If you live in a big household like me, chances are, you have a very disorganized pantry and fridge. If not, kudos to you and your family. Every now and then, people at home would pass by the supermarket or palengke to grab a bottle of ketchup or a hand of bananas only to be left in the refrigerator’s time-space warp corner, bound to be buried in oblivion.
Sounds familiar? You’re not alone.
Improper food storage can lead to a wastage of good food and hard-earned money. Approximately 1.3 billion tons of food gets lost or wasted globally. Not only that, it can also jeopardize your family’s health and well-being. Did you know that more that 350,000 people die of food poisoning worldwide? These are the statistics that I’m sure you don’t want to be a part of.
So, how can we be part of the solution and not of the problem? We can start by teaching ourselves where to store food items to prolong their shelf life. Some foods like the cold, moist environment while some last longer in a dry, open space. Which common Filipino food items should be kept inside or outside the fridge? Let’s find out:
NOT TO CHILL
1. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro
A cool, dry, dark, and open container is best for these root crops. Cold and moist temperature tends to weaken the potato starch resulting to a gritty texture.
Garlic must be stored in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place, but away from the potatoes.
3. Onions, shallots
Onions and shallots come from the same family as garlic and must be stored the same way.
A common mistake in a Filipino kitchen, tomatoes become dull and mealy if kept in the fridge. Keep them on the kitchen counter especially the green ones. A cold temperature will prevent them from ripening.
5. Ketchup, hot sauce, soy sauce
These condiments contain salt, vinegar, and preservatives and they will do just fine at room temperature even after opening. Also, the heat of the hot sauce weakens in cold temp. However, if your consumption of ketchup is fairly slow, you may keep it in the fridge to slow down the bacterial growth.
Spices must never be refrigerated. Keep them in opaque airtight containers away from the heat and sunlight.
In the US, eggs are usually kept in the fridge because they are washed which breaks down their protective layer. In the Philippines (and parts of Europe), most eggs are unwashed which makes them safe to be stored at room temperature, albeit it also won’t hurt if you store them in the fridge.
8. Tropical fruits
Unripe tropical fruits must be kept outside the fridge as cold temperature may disrupt the ripening process even if you take them out later on. Ripe bananas, papayas, and mangoes may be kept in the fridge if you want to slow down the ripening process. Melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew) are best stored at room temperature. Chill them in the fridge after cutting and just before serving.
1. Citrus fruits
Lemons, oranges, limes, and calamansi may be stored on the kitchen counter, but last up to four times longer in the fridge.
It’s okay to keep butter at room temp for easy spreading, but it lasts much longer if stored in the fridge. Leave a small portion of butter on the counter and keep the rest inside in your refrigerator.
Most herbs must be refrigerated. Rosemary and thyme must be washed, rolled up in a damp paper towel, and placed in plastic bags. Coriander, mint, and parsley must be washed and placed in a jar with a small amount of water before storing inside the fridge. It’s okay to keep basil in a jar of water outside at room temperature.
Cold temperature helps maintain the texture, flavor, and color of peppers. Keep them dry and unwashed in the vegetable compartment.
5. Leafy greens
Greens must be stored in the refrigerator. Keep them unwashed in perforated plastic bags, although they are at their best if consumed soon after purchase.
Fish can be stored in the fridge but must be consumed within 1 to 2 days. Otherwise, store it in an airtight, freezer-safe container and keep it in the freezer.
As a rule of thumb, fresh shellfish and crabs must be cooked and eaten immediately, although some shells can be placed in a basin of water and stored in the fridge for a day or two. Shrimps and prawns can be stored in the freezer for several months.
Fresh poultry meat only lasts 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator but up to 1 year in the freezer.
8. Red meat, pork
Meats last up to 5 days in the refrigerator but up to 4 to 12 months in the freezer. Ground meats can be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days and frozen for 3 to 4 months.
Refrigerators are amazing human inventions that have been preserving and prolonging the shelf life of our food for decades. However, not all refrigerator brands are created equally. Panasonic revolutionizes the way we chill and freeze our food with its Prime Fresh Freezing technology. But what is it exactly?
The problem with freezing meat products is the thawing process. It just takes so much time to defrost! Plus, freezing and thawing reduce the natural freshness and flavor of food as they break down its essential nutrients. Your food may still be safe to eat, but its nutritional value has already weakened.
A typical refrigerator freezer’s temperature can go down up to -18°C to -20°C. But with Panasonic’s Prime Fresh Freezing compartment, it only freezes the food up to -3°C. This means that your food only freezes on the surface. The result: no more thawing! You can immediately cut, prepare, and cook the meat straight from the freezer without the long wait. And the best part, Prime Fresh Freezing also maintains the freshness, nutrients, and natural flavor of your food. I think that’s really impressive! 🙂
Who would have thought that there could be a better way of freezing food? Only Panasonic! Watch this:
To learn more about Panasonic and their amazing range of products, visit their Facebook page at Panasonic Philippines.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored content brought to you by Panasonic Philippines. However, my review and opinion are my own to maintain fairness and to protect the integrity of the brand, this blog, and its readers.