I’m a Food Waste Expert: Ignore Most of These TikTok Storage Tips

What is this mess?

A food waste expert is throwing cold water on the recent crop of so-called genius food storage hacks that have popped up on TikTok.

Ben Thomas, head of environment at Waitrose, the UK’s most upscale national supermarket chain, has been more than dissatisfied with some of the category’s most viral videos, he told the South West News Service.

So-called ‘genius’ tricks for extending product shelf life abound – one expert warns not all of them will work. Yana Tatevossian

Thomas mocked content creators who supposedly “swear” by washing their fruit in water with baking soda after purchasing it, explaining that this could actually end up shortening the shelf life of the precious produce .

“By washing berries and then putting them in the refrigerator, the moisture can speed up the decomposition process and they will quickly end up mush,” Thomas pointed out.

“If you want to wash your food, do it before eating it rather than before storing it,” he said.

And while bagging paper towels with your salads to absorb moisture isn’t the worst idea in the world, aerating the vegetables is more important, Thomas said.

It’s best to transfer the greens to a suitable storage container with ventilation capabilities and decent air circulation – this will prevent your salad from becoming soggy.

Adequate storage is always essential, Thomas said. Anchiy

Thomas also urges consumers to avoid buying products in bulk – bags of onions, kale shells, etc. – and to only choose what they are safe to consume. Getting a good deal on a pound of greens is one thing, but will you actually use it before it turns brown? This is an other story.

As the leader of Waitrose’s food waste reduction initiatives, Thomas added that he was most interested in the “hacks” he’s seen that encourage home cooks to get creative with leftovers.

“There are many practical ways to make small changes to reduce the amount of food we waste. Really, if you use the leftovers for anything, you can’t go wrong,” he said.

For example, with so many home kitchens equipped with air fryers, it’s easier – and more fun – than ever to prepare leftover dinner, such as turning leftover mashed potatoes into crispy croquettes.

He also said grocery stores have an important role to play in combating waste.

Avoid bulk purchases and only pick up what you need, according to your needs, Thomas advised. Anchiy

“It is important that supermarkets also support shoppers in these steps,” he said. “Whether it’s selling misshapen fruits and vegetables or removing unnecessary packaging. »

For example, Waitrose has decided to remove the expiry dates on hundreds of its fresh products.

“Best before, best before and sell-by dates can be ignored; expiration dates are the only labels you need to focus on,” insisted Thomas.

The expert’s advice follows a new survey of 2,000 adults, which found 52% were inspired to attempt a hack after seeing it on social media.

Ben Thomas is head of environment at Waitrose, the UK’s most premium national supermarket chain. 193

However, 21 percent said they were disappointed by the outcome, with 79 percent admitting that first viewings can be misleading.

According to the survey, cooking, home improvement and kitchen cleaning tips were most likely to be attempted, along with bathroom improvement tips and ways to save money.

When asked about “hack” videos on food waste and food storage, some said they were inspired by things like using banana peels to shine their shoes or turning leftover fruit into a face mask.

According to those surveyed, bananas, bread, milk and salads were the most wasted foods, with 35% saying they forgot they were eating them, according to the survey conducted via OnePoll.

“Pre-purchase planning is a great way to help you choose what you will use during your weekly shopping trip,” Thomas said.

“It’s always handy to take a list with you or even take a photo of the inside of your fridge before you leave.

“Research shows how much (we) now turn to social media when it comes to tips and tricks at home – and the same goes for reducing food waste. »

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