Blog By carausher on 13 April 2017

How To Store Your Ingredients Properly

Fruits and vegetables are often stored improperly, causing them to go bad quickly, leading to waste. Did you know that Americans toss about 19% of vegetables and 14% of fruits they buy? Talk about a waste of money and food! It is important to learn how to keep fresh produce and ingredients fresh for longer to reduce food waste and get the best nutrition out of the food you are consuming.

At IONutrition, we always ensure that we are sending you the freshest ingredients sourced from local organic farms. With meal prepping, leftovers are inevitable, and it’s important to learn to love your leftovers! In order to do so, learning how to store your ingredients properly is the first step. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your meats, seafood, fruits and veggies remain fresh.

General guidelines:

Don’t store fresh fruits and vegetables together. Fruits that give off high levels of ethylene (the ripening agent) can prematurely ripen and spoil surrounding vegetables.

Fresh vegetables: Before storing, remove ties and rubber bands and trim off any leafy ends. Ensure the bag you store the veggies in has some holes punctured to allow for good air flow. Pack vegetables loosely in the refrigerator. The closer they are, the quicker they will ripen/rot. Wait to wash veggies until right before they are used.

Fresh fruits: Non-cherry stone fruits, avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, melons, apples, and pears will continue to ripen if left sitting out on a countertop, while items like bell peppers, grapes, all citrus, and berries should always be refrigerated. Bananas in particular ripen very quickly, and will also speed the ripening of any nearby fruits.

Meats and seafoods are best stored in the fridge or freezer. A good rule of thumb is to cook refrigerated seafood after 3 days, or freeze it in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Cook refrigerated poultry after 3 days, or freeze it, and cook refrigerated meat after 5 days, or freeze it. To defrost frozen meat and fish, thaw in their packaging in the refrigerator for about 1 day before cooking.

When it comes to heating meat and seafood, cook poultry to at least 165°F, fish to 145°F, ground meat to 160-165°F, and beef to 145°F.

Fresh grains & pasta should be stored straight in the refrigerator in an airtight glass container for best results.

Storing ingredients properly is an important part of eating healthy to ensure food safety and that you are getting the most nutrients out of foods. Follow the directions above for best & freshest results. With our IONutrition meals, they are safe to store in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days in their packaging. We remove the hassle of shopping, cooking, and possible food waste for you –  just simply store and eat them! Take a look at a sample our meals here.