From Food52, we get this is a very comprehensive list of
Inspired by conversations on the FOOD52 Hotline, we’re sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. Today, we’re talking about smart storage.
We’ve given you Our Weekly Grocery List; now, we’ll show you how to stock your larder. Part of treating ingredients correctly is knowing the best places to store them, and for how long. We’re tackling several storage myths and general confusions, starting with the counter and the pantry. We’ll be covering the rest of the kitchen next week.
Garlic, onions, and shallots: These alliums can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks; in the fridge, they will turn mealy and lose much of their flavor.
Tomatoes, potatoes, and winter squash: Although it may seem blasphemous to keep vegetables out of the refrigerator, trust us (and the USDA): these should be kept in a cool, dry place instead. (Plus, they make beautiful decorations.)
Bananas, citrus, and melons: Like the vegetables listed above, these fruits are best left on the counter. Once cut, they should be relegated to the refrigerator; otherwise, they will begin to dry out.
Bread: To slow down retrogradation — the process in which the starch molecules in bread crystallize – Cook’s Illustrated says to store bread at room temperature for up to 2 days, either tightly-wrapped in foil or in a Ziploc bag to minimize moisture loss. After 2 days, wrap the bread in foil, place in a freezer bag, and store it in the freezer. And to revive crusty bread that’s been stored for more than a day, just pop it into the oven for a few minutes.
Cakes and pies: According to pastry chef Stella Parks, both frosted and un-frosted whole cakes will last for about a week when tightly wrapped in plastic. Cut cakes have a shorter shelf life, around 3 to 4 days. Fruit pies can be kept on the countertop for up to 2 days; after this, move them to the refrigerator.
Dry goods: Generally, dry goods can be stored for up to 6 months (longer if you take good care of them), according to scientists at Colorado State University. Once a package is open, it’s best to move it to an air-tight container; this will ensure freshness and keep your pantry cleaner to boot.
Nuts: Store your nuts in air-tight containers if possible; these allow them to maintain the right level of moisture. For ultimate freshness, consider storing them with their shells on.
Spices: As the LA Times tells us, heat, light, air, and humidity are all spices’ enemies; your spices should live in your pantry. Whole spices last much longer than crushed or ground; these can be kept for up to 2 years, while ground spices should be refreshed every 6 months. Airtight tins or small spice jars are the best mode of storage.
We’ve shown you what to store on your counter and in your pantry – now, we’re taking you to the refrigerator and freezer. Because not all parts are created equal, we’ll show you where — and for how long — your goods will last. Got any helpful storage tips or questions? Leave them in the comments section!
Dairy products: According to Cooks Illustrated, milk, cream, yogurt, and other dairy products are best stored on the upper shelves of your refrigerator; the temperature there is the most constant, so they’ll keep longer.
Eggs: Some refrigerators urge you to put your eggs on the inside of their door. Don’t give in — the door is the warmest part of the refrigerator. Eggs are happiest in their cartons on a shelf. Don’t try to be European and store your eggs outside the refrigerator; eggs in the United States, unlike in Europe, are washed before sale so they lose their protective outer layer.
Mushrooms: According to our friends at the Kitchn, commercial mushrooms (the ones you buy at the grocery store) are best left in their original packaging. Once you open it, wrap the whole package in plastic wrap. Wild mushrooms are best kept in a paper bag in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
Vegetables: All vegetables, minus the ones relegated to the countertop, are best stored in perforated plastic bags in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. To make sure they don’t decompose prematurely, keep them away from ethylene-producing fruits: apples, stone fruits, mangoes, passion fruit, pears, and kiwis.
Fruit: Fruit, with the exception of melons, citrus, and bananas, should be stored in the refrigerator in a separate drawer from the vegetables. Do not wash your fruit until you are ready to eat it; the excess water quickens decomposition. Although whole lemons are best left out on the counter, lemons that have been zested — but not juiced — can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.
Cheese: According to Formaticum’s blog, cheese should be wrapped in porous material for storage; cheese paper is the best, but waxed paper or parchment paper will also do the trick. Before storing, do a “face clean” of each cheese: scrape the surface with a non-serrated knife to remove any excess oil that may have “sweat out” at room temperature. Each cheese should be wrapped separately and marked with the name and date of purchase. Avoid plastic wrap at all costs — as scientiest Harold McGee says in his book On Food and Cooking, the cheese can absorb the flavors and chemicals from the plastic. There’s nothing worse than an expensive piece of cheese that reeks of plastic or has gone bad, so storing it correctly is worth that extra effort. For a handy how-to, check out this article from Serious Eats.
Eggs in the door! Shame on us. Do as we say, not as we do.
Meat: Meat is best stored in the coldest section of the refrigerator: the bottom. Removing the retail packaging and rewrapping the meat in foil can extend its shelf life, but you should try to consume refrigerated meat within 4 days of purchase.
Fish: Before refrigerating a piece of fish, dry it completely and wrap it in waxed paper. It will usually keep in the coldest part of your fridge for up to 2 days, but make sure to check the smell before you cook it; if it smells too fishy or has an off color, throw it out. For bonus points: store wrapped fish on a bed of ice (heaped in a bowl or shallow dish) in the fridge, and change as needed, à la Cooks Illustrated
Pies: According to Betty Crocker, pies containing eggs (custard or cream-based pies) should be stored loosely covered in the refrigerator.
Yeast: While yeast can last in the pantry, it’s best stored in the refrigerator (or freezer, for long-term); once exposed to heat and light, it’s easily killed.
Herbs: According to FOOD52-er RobertaJ on this Hotline thread, basil, parsley, cilantro, and other leafy, water-based herbs should be treated like flowers: take off any twisty ties, trim a small amount off the stem ends, and plop the bunch into a tall glass of water. Cover the herbs loosely with a plastic bag, and they’ll stay fresh for at least a week. Hardier, oil-based herbs like thyme and rosemary can be wrapped in a damp paper towel and layered into plastic bags. Hotline MVP anitalectric has a special tip for basil: wash, dry, and stem the basil when you get home from the market, and keep the leaves in a rolled-down plastic bag. They’ll stay fresh for 5 days.
Yeast likes to hang out in the fridge. Amanda also likes to keep “sensitive” oils in there.
Meat: Freezing uncooked meat in its original packaging is the best way to keep it for long periods of time. According to the USDA, the maximum recommended freezer storage time for beef and lamb is 6 months; for veal, pork, and poultry, 4 months; and for seasoned sausage, 2 months.
Fish: Fish can last in the freezer, according to the Perdue University Center for Animal Sciences, for up to 6 months; fattier fish, however, should not be frozen for over 3 months. For the best results, use the ice-glaze method provided by the National Center for Home Food Preservation: place the unwrapped fish in the freezer until completely frozen, dip the fish in near-freezing ice water, and place it back in the freezer to harden. Continue with this process until a uniform cover of ice is formed, then place the fish in a freezer bag for storage. As an alternative,according to the FDA you can simply wrap your fish tightly in plastic, foil, or moisture-proof paper before freezing.
Pies and pie crusts: You can freeze crusts and whole pies, baked or unbaked. According to Betty Crocker, an unbaked crust will keep for 2 months; an unbaked pie for 3 months; and a baked crust or pie for 4 months.
Cake: Un-cut, un-frosted cakes can be wrapped first in plastic wrap, then tin foil, and stored in the freezer for several months. To thaw, let the rounds spend a night in the refrigerator; cake needs to thaw slowly so that it can reabsorb its moisture.
Stock: Freeze stock in ice cube trays or muffin tins, then store the cubes/chunks in a freezer bag. That way, you can access a small amount of stock whenever a recipe calls for it. To save even more space, reduce the stock by 50 percent before you freeze it, then add water when you defrost it. According to Martha Stewart Living, frozen stock will last up to 2 months. You can also store leftover wine in the same manner and use as needed.
Coffee: Cook’s Illustrated says the freezer is the best place to store ground coffee beans; they keep longer, and will retain thier well-rounded, roasted flavor.
Citrus Zest: Here’s a tip from the smart folks at The Kitchn: any time you use a lemon, lime, grapefruit, or orange, take a few minutes to zest it. You can store the zest in the freezer in plastic bags for each fruit — or if you’re feeling fancy, in individual, plastic-wrapped portions.
Oh man – some of these items I love, but now I am reconsidering ever buying them at all! GREAT find Em!! From ReadersDigest:
27 Foods You Should Never Buy Again
Cross these items off your grocery store list—whether they’re rip-offs, fakes, drastically unhealthy, or just plan gross, here are the 27 foods you should never buy again.
A few shavings of nice cheese on top of pasta or vegetables can take a simple dish from good to great—but you don’t have to fork out $22 a pound for the famous stuff. Instead, look for varieties like Pecorino Romano and SarVecchio, which offer the same flavor at half the price.
Smoked and Cured Meats
From fancy charcuterie to “dime a dog” night, pass on cured meats in any form—they’ve been linked to cancer, disease, high blood pressure, and migraines. Plus they’re packed with artery-clogging grease: regulations allow up to 50% (by weight) of fresh pork sausage to be fat.
Ahh, blueberries…now in everything from your breakfast cereal to muffins, granola bars, and sauces—or are they? Turns out that most of the blueberry-flavored items on grocery store shelves don’t feature a single actually berry, just artificial blueberry flavor. Buy your own berries and add them to plain cereal for a real health boost.
This is junk food masquerading in a healthy disguise. Check the ingredient list to make sure whole wheat is the first, and main, ingredient—otherwise, you’re just getting a few grains mixed into regular white bread. Better yet, forgo the bread and enjoy straight-up barley, brown rice, quinoa, or steel-cut oats.
Reduced fat peanut butter
When companies take out the fat, they have to add something back in to make the food taste delicious. In this case, it’s lots of extra sugar—and who wants that? Instead, spread regular peanut butter on your sandwich for more of the good fats and protein without fake sweetness.
Tomato-based pasta sauces
A jar of spaghetti sauce typically runs $2 to $6. The equivalent amount of canned tomatoes is often under $1. Our suggestion: Make your own sauces from canned crushed tomatoes or fresh tomatoes — particularly in the summer, when they are plentiful, tasty, and cheap. The easiest method is to put crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh) into a skillet, stir in some wine or wine vinegar, a little sugar, your favorite herbs, and whatever chopped vegetables you like in your sauce — peppers, onions, mushrooms, even carrots — and let simmer for an hour. Adjust the flavorings and serve. Even easier: Coat fresh tomatoes and the top of a cooking sheet with olive oil and roast the tomatoes for 20 to 30 minutes at 425˚F before making your stovetop sauce.
Large bottom-feeder fish such as tuna, shark, king mackerel, tilefish, and especially swordfish are high in mercury. Choose smaller fish, like flounder, catfish, sardines, and salmon instead.
Stick to a cup of coffee for your afternoon boost. Seemingly harmless caffeinated beverages are often sugar bombs—and the FDA has received numerous reports linking brands like 5 Hour Energy and Monster Energy to heart attacks, convulsion, and even death.
Gluten-free baked goods
If you aren’t diagnosed with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, keep in mind that gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean healthy—and gluten-free baked goods like bread, cookies, and crackers often are packed with more refined flours, artificial ingredients, and sugar than traditional baked goods. Plus, they can cost up to twice as much as you’d normally spend.
Flavored non-dairy milks
Vanilla-eggnog-caramel soy milk doesn’t win you any points in the health department—and it definitely won’t help your grocery receipt bottom line. If you prefer non-dairy milks for personal dietary reasons, buy unsweetened versions. And if you’re just trying to eat healthfully, skim milk should be just fine.
Foods made of WOOD
Take a look at the ingredient list for your high-fiber cereal or snack bar, and you’ll probably see an ingredient called “cellulose.” Turns out that cellulose is a code word for “wood pulp.” Food manufacturers use it to extend their products and add fiber, so it looks like you’re getting more food. But really you’re just left with a mouthful of wood shavings.
Skip the refined grains and go for whole: a 17% higher risk of diabetes is associated with eating five or more servings of white rice per week, compared to eating white rice less than once a month.
‘Gourmet’ frozen vegetables
Sure, you can buy an 8-ounce packet of peas in an herbed butter sauce, but why do so when you can make your own? Just cook the peas, add a pat of butter and sprinkle on some herbs that you already have on hand. The same thing goes for carrots with dill sauce and other gourmet veggies.
When you buy a pre-made sandwich, you’re really just paying for its elaborate packaging — plus a whole lot of salt, fat, and unnecessary additives. For the average cost of one of these babies ($2.50 to $3.00 per sandwich), you could make a bigger, better, and more nutritious version yourself.
Premium frozen fruit bars
At nearly $2 per bar, frozen ‘all fruit’ or ‘fruit and juice’ bars may not be rich in calories, but they are certainly rich in price. Make your own at home — and get the flavors you want. To make four pops, just throw 2 cups cut-up fruit, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice into a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. You might wish to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water so the final mix is a thick slush. Pour into 4-ounce pop molds or paper cups, insert sticks, and freeze until solid.
Boxed rice ‘entree’ or side-dish mixes
These consist basically of rice, salt, and spices — yet they’re priced way beyond the ingredients sold individually. Yes, there are a few flavorings included, but they’re probably ones you have in your pantry already. Buy a bag of rice, measure out what you need, add your own herbs and other seasonings, and cook the rice according to package directions.
Energy or protein bars
These calorie-laden bars are usually stacked at the checkout counter because they depend on impulse buyers who grab them, thinking they are more wholesome than a candy bar. Unfortunately, they can have very high fat and sugar contents and are often as caloric as a regular candy bar. They’re also two to three times more expensive than a candy bar. If you need a boost, a vitamin-rich piece of fruit, a yogurt, or a small handful of nuts is more satiating and less expensive.
Spice mixes like grill seasoning and rib rubs might seem like a good buy because they contain a lot of spices that you would have to buy individually. Check the label first: We predict the first ingredient you will see on the package is salt, followed by the vague ‘herbs and spices.’ Look in your own pantry, and you’ll probably be surprised to discover just how many herbs you already have on hand, and you can improvise as much as you want.
Powdered iced tea mixes or prepared flavored iced tea
Powdered and gourmet iced teas are really a rip-off! It’s much cheaper to make your own iced tea from actual (inexpensive) tea bags and keep a jug in the fridge. Plus, many mixes and preparations are loaded with high fructose corn syrup and other sugars, along with artificial flavors. To make 32 ounces of iced tea, it usually takes 8 bags of black tea or 10 bags of herbal, green, or white tea. If you like your tea sweet but want to keep calories down, skip the sugar and add fruit juice instead.
Bottled water is a bad investment for so many reasons. It’s expensive compared to what’s coming out of the tap, its cost to the environment is high (it takes a lot of fossil fuel to produce and ship all those bottles), and it’s not even better for your health than the stuff running down your drain.
Even taking into account the cost of filters, water from home is still much cheaper than bottled water, which can run up to $1 to $3 a pop.
If you have well water and it really does not taste good (even with help from a filter), or if you have a baby at home who is bottle-fed and needs to drink safe water, buy jugs of distilled or ‘nursery’ water at big discount stores. They usually cost between 79 cents and 99 cents for 1 gallon (as opposed to $1.50 for 8 ounces of ‘designer’ water). And you can reuse the jugs to store homemade iced tea, flavored waters, or, when their tops are cut off, all sorts of household odds and ends.
Washed and bagged greens can be a time-saver, but they can cost three times as much as buying the same amount of a head of lettuce. Even more expensive are ‘salad kits,’ where you get some greens, a small bag of dressing, and a small bag of croutons. Skip these altogether. Make your own croutons by toasting cut-up stale bread you would otherwise toss, and try mixing your own salad dressing.
Individual servings of anything
The recent trend to package small quantities into 100-calorie snack packs is a way for food-makers to get more money from unsuspecting consumers. The price ‘per unit’ cost of these items is significantly more than if you had just bought one big box of cheese crackers or bag of chips. This is exactly what you should do. Buy the big box and then parcel out single servings and store them in small, reusable storage bags.
We checked unit prices of those small bags of trail mix hanging in the candy aisle not that long ago and were shocked to find that they cost about $10 a pound! Make your own for much, much less with a 1-pound can of dry roasted peanuts, 1 cup of raisins, and a handful of almonds, dried fruit, and candy coated chocolate. The best part about making your own? You only include the things you like. Keep the mixture in a plastic or glass container with a tight lid for up to 3 weeks.
‘Snack’ or ‘lunch’ packs
These ‘all-inclusive’ food trays might seem reasonably priced (from $2.50 to $4.00), but you’re actually paying for the highly designed label, wrapper, and specially molded tray. They only contain a few crackers and small pieces of cheese and lunchmeat. The actual edible ingredients are worth just pennies and are filled with salt.
Gourmet ice cream
It’s painful to watch someone actually pay $6 for a gallon of designer brand ice cream. Don’t bother. There’s usually at least one brand or other on sale, and you can easily dress up store brands with your own additives like chunky bits of chocolate or crushed cookie. If you do like the premium brands, wait for that 3-week sales cycle to kick in and stock up when your favorite flavor is discounted.
Pre-formed meat patties
Frozen burgers, beef or otherwise, are more expensive than buying the ground meat in bulk and making patties yourself. We timed it — it takes less than 10 seconds to form a flat circle and throw it on the grill. Also, there’s some evidence that pre-formed meat patties might contain more e. coli than regular ground meat. In fact, most of the recent beef recalls have involved pre-made frozen beef patties.
If you have ever wondered where the various cuts of beef come from - look no further!
BTW: my favorite is the tri-tip!
An easy-to-use guide to cuts of beef. The chart shows where each cut of meat comes from on the cow, how much it costs and how to best cook it.
Ten good rules for healthy eating
Fewer things can generate more controversy and disagreement than discussions about food and nutrition. It often seems that people will never reach any kind of consensus on what we should and shouldn’t eat. But there may actually be a few exceptions to this. Here are 10 nutrition facts that everyone actually agrees on — well, perhaps almost everyone.
Top image: Arnold Schwarzenegger poses with fruits, via Associated Press.
1. Added Sugar is a Disaster
We all know that added sugar is bad. Some think sugar is a simple matter of “empty” calories, while others believe it to cause diseases that kill millions of people each year.
It is definitely true that added sugar (sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contains empty calories. There are no nutrients in it and if you eat a lot of sugar then you’re likely to become deficient because you aren’t getting enough foods that actually have nutrients in them.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg; there are other, much more serious dangers of sugar that are now reaching mainstream attention.
How does fructose do this? Well, fructose is metabolized strictly by the liver over time, causing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, elevated triglycerides, abdominal obesity and high cholesterol (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).
Fructose also makes our brains resistant to a hormone called leptin, which effectively makes our brains want to get fat (10, 11, 12). This way, eating an excess of added sugars sets up a relentless biochemical drive in the brain to keep eating sugar, getting fatter and eating even more sugar.
Bottom Line: Added sugar provides empty calories and is believed to be a leading cause of diseases that kill millions of people each year.
2. Omega-3 Fats Are Crucial and Most People Don’t Get Enough
Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for proper functioning of the human body.
For example, DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid derived from animals, makes up about 40%of the polyunsaturated fats in the brain (13). Being deficient in Omega-3 (very common) is associated with a lower IQ, depression, various mental disorders, heart disease and many other serious diseases (14).
There are three main sources of Omega-3 fats: ALA (from plants mostly), DHA and EPA (from animals). The plant form, ALA, needs to get transformed into DHA or EPA in order to function correctly in the human body. There is some evidence that this conversion process is ineffective in humans (15).
Therefore, it is best to get Omega-3 fats from animal sources, including fish, grass-fed meat, Omega-3 enriched or pasturized eggs, or fish oil.
Bottom Line: A large part of the population is Omega-3 deficient. Avoiding a deficiency in these essential fatty acids can help prevent many diseases.
3. There is No Perfect Diet For Everyone
We are all unique, and subtle differences in genetics, body type, culture and environment can affect which type of diet we should eat.
Some people do best on a low-carb diet while others may do fine on a vegetarian high-carb diet. The fact is, what works for one person may not work for the next.
To figure out what you should do, a little self experimentation may be needed. Try a few different things until you find something that you enjoy and that you think you can stick to. Different strokes for different folks!
Bottom Line: The best diet for YOU is the one you get results with and that you can stick to in the long term.
4. Trans Fats Are Very Unhealthy and Should be Avoided
Trans fats are also known as partially hydrogenated oils. They are made by mixing unsaturated fats with hydrogen gas at a high heat to make them resemble saturated fats. This process isvery disgusting and it amazes me to think that someone thought these fats would be suitable for human consumption.
Trans fats raise the bad cholesterol and lower the good cholesterol, cause abdominal obesity, inflammation and insulin resistance (16, 17, 18). In the long term, consumption of trans fats raises the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression and many more diseases (19, 20, 21, 22, 23).
I recommend you avoid trans fats as if your life depended on it.
Bottom Line: Trans Fats are chemically processed fats that cause all sorts of damage in the body. You should avoid them like the plague.
5. Eating Vegetables Will Improve Your Health
Vegetables are good for you.
They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and an endless variety of trace nutrients that science has just begun to uncover. In observational studies, eating vegetables is associated with improved health and a lower risk of disease (24, 25, 26).
I recommend that you eat a variety of vegetables each day; they are healthy, fulfilling and add variety to the diet.
Bottom Line: Vegetables are rich in all sorts of nutrients. Eating vegetables each day is associated with improved health and a lower risk of disease.
6. It is Critical to Avoid a Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is a unique vitamin. It actually functions as a steroid hormone in the body.
The skin makes Vitamin D when it is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun, and this is how we got most of our daily requirement throughout evolution. However, today a large part of the world is deficient in this critical nutrient. In many places, the sun simply isn’t available throughout most of the year. Even where there is sun, people tend to stay inside a lot and use sunscreen when they go out, but sunscreen effectively blocks Vitamin D generation in the skin.
If you’re Vitamin D deficient, then you’re actually deficient in a major hormone in the body, and a deficiency is associated with many serious diseases, including diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and others (27, 28, 29).
The best way to know is to see a doctor and have your blood levels measured.
Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to get enough Vitamin D from the diet. If getting more sun is not an option, taking a Vitamin D3 supplement or a tablespoon of cod fish liver oil each day is the best way to prevent/reverse a deficiency.
Bottom Line: Vitamin D is a crucial hormone in the body and many people are deficient in it. Reversing a deficiency can have powerful health benefits.
7. Refined Carbohydrates Are Bad For You
There are a lot of differing opinions about carbs and fat.
Some think fat is the root of all evil, while others believe carbs are the key players in obesity and other chronic diseases.
But what pretty much everyone agrees on is that refined carbohydrates are at the very least worse than unrefined (complex) carbohydrates.
There are some nutrients in high-carb foods like grains that can be beneficial. However, when you process the grains you remove most of the nutrients and then there’s nothing left but the bad stuff, massive amounts of easily digestible glucose.
Eating refined carbs will cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, followed by a surge of insulin in the blood which triggers fat storage and contributes to insulin resistance and various diseases like obesity and diabetes.
I personally don’t think that grains are necessary at all, the nutrients in them can be acquired from other healthier and more nutritious foods in greater amounts. But it is very clear that whole grains and unrefined carbohydrates are at least a lot better than their refined, processed counterparts (30, 31).
Bottom Line: Refined carbohydrates like processed grains are unhealthy. They are lacking in nutrients and lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin, which can cause all sorts of problems down the line.
8. Supplements Can Never Fully Replace Real Foods
“Nutritionism” is the idea that foods are nothing more than the sum of their individual nutrients. It’s a trap that many nutrition enthusiasts tend to fall into — but it’s simply not true.
Nuts, for example, aren’t just shells loaded with Omega-6 fatty acids in the same way that fruits aren’t just watery bags of fructose. Rather, these are real foods with a massive variety of trace nutrients. The vitamins and minerals, the ones you can also get from a cheap multivitamin, are just a small part of the total amount of nutrients in foods.
Therefore, supplements, at least the supplements we have today, are not able to replace the nutrients we get from real foods.
Now I will admit that supplements can be beneficial, especially for nutrients that are generally lacking in the diet like Vitamin D and Magnesium.
But no amount of supplements will ever make up for a bad diet. Not a chance.
Bottom Line: It is much more important to eat real, nutritious foods than to count on supplements to provide the nutrients you need.
9. “Diets” Don’t Work, a Lifestyle Change is Necessary
“Diets” are ineffective. That is a fact.
They may lead to short-term results, but as soon as you start eating junk food again you will gain the weight back. And then some. This is called yo-yo dieting and is extremely common. Most people that lose a lot of weight on a diet end up gaining it back whenever they “stop” the diet.
For this reason, the only thing that can give you actual long-term results is to adopt a lifestyle change.
Bottom Line: Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the only way to ensure long term weight loss and a lifetime of improved health.
10. Unprocessed Food is Healthiest
Processed food is unhealthy.
As the food system has become more industrialized, the health of the population has deteriorated. During food processing, many of the beneficial nutrients in the food are removed. Not only do they remove healthy nutrients like fiber, but they also add other very harmful ingredients like added sugar, trans fats and refined wheat.
Additionally, processed foods are loaded with all sorts of artificial chemicals that have absolutely not been proven safe for long term human consumption.
Basically, processed foods have less of the good stuff and a LOT more of the bad stuff. The most important thing you can do to ensure optimal health is to “eat real food.” If it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it!
This is a pretty cool tool to help you price those things you want to sell (or buy) on places like eBay. Take a look at Market Price – details from Lifehacker:
What is the Market Price on eBay for …
Figuring out what items are going for on eBay is a tricky process and it’s never an exact science. That said, Market Price is a webapp that makes it a little easier to figure out what your item is worth by showing you what it’s getting on eBay.
All you need to do is type the item you want to look for into Market Price and it gathers the results from eBay. It then sums up all the info you need to know in a handy graph so you can see what the item is typically going for. Market Price is still in its early stages and the search parameters are simple, but it’s incredibly helpful when you’re getting ready to sell an item. Combined with searching for “completed listings” on eBay you should be able to get a good idea of what any item you want to sell is going for.
This is a great chart and should be posted on everyone’s refrigerator! I hate having to throw away anything especially food! Take a look at this from Lifehacker:
The Shelf Life of Food
(click on the above for the full chart)
The costs of wasted food go far beyond the money you may have wasted buying something and letting it spoil. We’ve talked about ways to stop wasting food before, but if all you really need to know is “How long will this stay fresh and how should I store it,” this helpful chart will help.
This chart, sent over to us by our friends at Visual.ly, does a great job at listing some common foods and how long they’ll stay fresh and safe to eat based on different storage methods (along with a few that you might be tempted to freeze but really shouldn’t.) At the bottom the chart goes into detail about the differences between the “sell by,” “use by,” and “expires on” dates you commonly see on packaging at the store. Put simply, those dates refer to the quality of the food and how often a store should rotate its stock to ensure freshness—it has nothing to do with the safety of the food.
Its also worth noting that while the chart has good data, don’t forget to trust your nose—if you’ve stored your food properly, you can usually beat most expiration dates and keep your food fresher, longer. For another reference, check out previously mentioned Still Tasty and type in the type of food you’re curious about. Otherwise, click the chart below to enlarge, or hit the link below to see it at Visual.ly.
The Shelf Life of Food | Visual.ly
We love fruits and vegetables around here. But I despise having to throw away food that has gone bad! Ugggg! Here are some great tips from Organic Gardening:
12 Fruits and Vegetables That Last for Months
Do you routinely throw $5 bills away just for kicks? Probably not. And very few of us light candles with dollar bills, no matter how much we may have loved Scrooge McDuck.
But that’s basically what you’re doing whenever you go grocery shopping. According to a recent report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, 40 percent of the food that’s grown and sold in the United States is wasted—if we cut food waste by just a third, we could feed every hungry person in the country. That waste comes to the staggering cost of $2,275 per year, for a family of four. The biggest loss category? Fresh produce. Just 48 percent of what’s produced is eaten. The rest heads to landfills (or the compost pile).
Another report from the United Nations pointed the finger, in developed countries at least, squarely at grocery stores and consumers, in part because the former pushes “great bargains” that encourage the latter to buy more than they need.
The solution, though, isn’t cutting back on your fresh produce purchases. It’s getting smarter about how you shop. Rather than load up on bags and bags of spinach that will wilt before you get home, for instance, buy cabbage, which will keep in your fridge for months. Instead of buying grapes and kiwis and other delicate fruits that turn brown in days, buy apples, which will last for weeks.
We’ve compiled a list of the healthiest produce that lasts virtually forever, so you can cut down on waste and yet always have fresh veggies handy for a healthy dinner.
Apples need an optimal temperature of 30°F to 32°F—just 10 degrees warmer, and they’ll ripen twice as fast. If you want your apples to last for weeks, keep them in a plastic bag in your fruit crisper drawer, away from vegetables (the ethylene gas they emit will cause other vegetables to ripen faster).
Bonus tip: Eat the largest apples in your bag first; they’re usually the first to go bad.
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Beets can last between 2 and 4 months in the refrigerator. First, cut off the greens if they’re still attached, and then store them in a perforated plastic bag in your vegetable crisper.
Dig Deeper: The Beauty of the Beets
Cabbage tastes best when it’s fresh, but it can last for up to 2 months wrapped in plastic in your fridge. Use it as a stand-in for lettuce or other delicate leafy greens in salads, since most salad greens wilt within days due to their high water content.
The key to making carrots last is keeping them dry, as they give off a lot of moisture, which causes them to rot more quickly. If you buy carrots in a plastic bag, place a paper towel in the bag to absorb any moisture and change it whenever it gets saturated. This can keep them fresh for a few weeks to a few months.
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A root vegetable available mostly at farmers’ markets, celeriac is the root of celery plants and has a mild celerylike flavor. Celeriac likes moisture, so store it wrapped in plastic on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. Even after it’s cut, celeriac will keep for another week if wrapped well.
Learn More: 4 Extraordinary Root Vegetables
Garlic keeps longest when stored at 60º to 65ºF and moderate humidity. Unless you have an older, very dry home, your garlic should do fine in a dark kitchen cabinet. You can also store whole bulbs in the fridge in a paper bag (cut garlic will make all your other food taste like garlic), where the bulbs will last for months. Just be aware that once garlic has been in the cold, it will start sprouting within days after being brought to room temperature. So if you store it this way, keep it in the fridge till just before you’re ready to use it.
Go For It: Grow Your Own Garlic
Store onions in a dry area where the temperature stays between 30ºF and 50ºF, and they’ll keep for up to a year. If you don’t have a place like that, keeping them in mesh bags (like the kind used to package grocery-store onions) and storing them in a dark cabinet will let them last for up to a month, and perhaps longer.
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The ideal storage temperature for potatoes is 40ºF, which is on the warm end of most home refrigerators, and they don’t like light, which can cause them to turn green. Basements or cellars usually provide perfect potato-storage conditions that will keep them from rotting for between 2 and 4 months. Keep them away from onions and apples, wherever you store them, as both emit gases that speed up the ripening process.
Bonus tip: Sweet potatoes don’t last very long in storage, so eat those within a week of purchase.
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Winter radishes, like the daikon variety you might see at grocery stores, are much more pungent than the red varieties you get on spring salads, so don’t load up on too many if you’re looking for a healthy supply of fresh veggies. Store them as you would carrots, with their greens removed and in a plastic bag accompanied by a paper towel to absorb moisture. They’ll last for up to a month.
Learn More: The New Status of the Radish
Pumpkins, butternut squash, and other varieties of hearty winter squash will last between 2 and 6 months if kept in a dark cabinet. Keep all your squash in a single layer in your cabinet so air can circulate around them.
Rutabagas are great sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber, and the fact that they can last up to a month in your refrigerator makes them good candidates for stocking up. Store them as you would celeriac, wrapped in plastic on a low shelf in your fridge.
When all else fails, head to the frozen-foods aisle. Because they are frozen within hours of being picked, frozen vegetables can be even healthier than fresh versions of spinach, asparagus, peas, and other veggies that don’t last very long in storage. And you never have to worry about them going bad!