I came across a Whole Foods’ post the other day about organizing the food in your refrigerator to maximize its shelf life. I thought it was a perfect encouragement to examine the contents of your fridge and decide what you will actually eat and what is going to sit until it goes bad.
Quarantine is a good time to feel out your culinary creativity, but you also know better than you think what you will let sit and what you will actually eat. So, use this week to pitch old leftovers, expired condiments, or anything you were “saving to try” but still haven’t gotten to yet. If you haven’t tried it by now, you’re not going to. Throw it away and use the space for something new or something you will enjoy and use.
Here is a brief guide on how to reorganize your refrigerator to best preserve your food.
These drawers are specifically designed to keep your fruits and veggies fresh and preserve their taste and texture. Place all of your leafy greens, juicy oranges, and fresh berries in this drawer.
I better not hear that you have nothing to add into this drawer! This is the drawer the most vital drawer in your fridge as it contains the majority of the nutrients you should be eating. Stock it with good, organic, fresh fruits and veggies!
Use the shelves on your door for the nonperishables. While opening the door to use the fridge, you allow the items in it to fluctuate in temperature. This is okay for the long-lasting, less fragile food items as it takes a lot for them to go bad. Think condiments, like ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. Think jams and nut butters Think salsas and salad dressings.
Even if your door has a place for eggs and butter, it is not be the safest place for these perishable items. You want them to stay cold in order to preserve their shelf life.
The main component of the fridge, the shelves, will stay the most stable in temperature. This is where you can place your perishable items. But before you throw everything in willy nilly places on the shelves, review this guide on which grocery items should go on which shelf level.
Top Shelf: Place your dairy products on the highest shelf, farthest away from the raw meat.
Middle Shelf: Leftovers can hang out on the middle shelf, just make sure to seal the container tightly before putting it away.
Bottom Shelf: Any raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs should stay on the bottom shelf until you are ready to use it. This will prevent any meat juices from dripping down the shelves and contaminating your other food. For utmost safety, make sure the meat is in a sealed container and keep your eggs in their carton. Even if your fridge contains a built-in open carton for eggs, it is safest to keep them in a closed carton until you are ready to use them.