Storage Tips for Farm Share Food
Learn how to make ingredients last longer and minimize food waste.
One of the biggest goals that drives us at Family Dinner is to build a business that helps sustain the local food system while reducing food waste. We are thrilled to bring you fresh, seasonal ingredients on the reg, and we’re here to give you some tips to ensure they last as long as possible.
The Freezer Is Your Friend
- If you have seafood in your share, it was probably caught within the last 24 hours. As it is at the height of freshness, we recommend prioritizing it as an ingredient and cooking it within 1 or 2 days.
- The freshly packed meats (chicken, steaks, chops, sausage, etc) can be stored in your fridge for the week, but you can also chuck them immediately in the freezer and they can be kept frozen for months (thaw a day in the fridge before you plan to cook it).
- If you don’t foresee cooking it within a few days, fresh pasta can be safely stored for a couple months in the freezer. When you’re ready, you can cook the noodles straight from frozen (do not thaw).
- Butter can be stored in the freezer as well! If you have too much of it, save it for later by throwing it in the freezer and thawing when you’re ready to use it up.
- Bread, grains, and sweets can also be stored in the freezer (not the fridge!) for long-term storage as well.
- Store your fruit and vegetables straight from the delivery bag. Don’t rinse produce until you’re ready to cook or eat it, since extra moisture before storage can encourage spoilage.
- Many vegetables can soften easily in the fridge when they become dehydrated. In order to keep root vegetables hydrated as long as possible, remove any leaves or stems from them before refrigerating. These leaves can be stored separately and be used as a salad or herb (carrot tops are a great alternative to parsley and can also be turned into pesto). If your veggies are dehydrated, whether they are root veggies, lettuce, asparagus, or something else, you can rehydrate them by trimming the root and placing them in a bowl of water for a brief amount of time, until they are firm and rehydrated.
Odds and Ends
Got extra bits of vegetables itching to get used up? Some ideas to inspire you:
- Add to scrambled eggs
- Use as pizza topping
- Throw in a stir-fry
- Add to a soup
- Juice them
- Make quick pickles
- Make slow pickles and ferment them
For more specific storage tips, obviously you can Google “how to store ____”, but we particularly recommend these sources to start:
- USDA food safety basics
- New York Times “Tips to Reduce Food Waste”
- Cook’s Illustrated
- Serious Eats
- The Kitchn