COVID-19 Hacks: Crafty Ways to Make Your Food Last
If there’s a scenario that’s closest to apocalyptic times, then America’s situation today must be top of that list. No kidding! Think about it. You really can’t do what you usually do before. For one, you can’t go malling. You can hardly watch a movie that’s not Netflix-generated. And even if you shout from the top of your voice your freedom to travel wherever your credit cards will take you, you really can’t.
The one thing that still stands today, aside from the internet, is the supply of food. You can still buy bread. And have KFC deliver to you, right? But what if, for some reason, these supplies run dry? How long will you be able to survive with the food you have now at home?
Well, as hypothetical as that scenario is, it puts forward a valid point. And that is how well you store your food. Being able to make food last for as long as possible is key to survival in doomsday scenarios. Still, the skill is worth looking into. Why? Not only does it save you a lot of money, but it also means you’d be ready in case a nationwide quarantine to last for weeks is in full force. You won’t sleep hungry.
Keep a Close Watch on Your Fridge
If you haven’t noticed already, quarantine measures have extended for months now, even more severely as the winter sets in. This has been echoed by America’s top infectious disease doctor, Dr. Anthony Fauci. The world-renowned epidemiologist warned about ‘surge after surge‘ of virus infections this yuletide season.
If things get worse, you could be holed up at home for weeks. Then, you’ll realize your food-saving tactics would be put to the test.
More often than not, the first thing you think can save you is the fridge. It’s just natural. Most would think so.
But the thing is you need to use the fridge right. FDA Advisory states fridges should stay at 40 °F (4° C) or below. On the other hand, freezer temperatures should be at zero (-18° C) or lower. And you should check temperatures regularly.
The Two-Hour Rule
You should refrigerate right away. Don’t dilly-dally. As soon as you’re home, put food which needs refrigeration in the fridge in a jiffy.
As much as possible, observe the two-hour rule. It would be counterproductive to allow perishable goods to sit for more than two hours at room temperature. For starters, we’re talking about meat, eggs, seafood, and poultry.
If the room is sweltering, like 90 °F in temperature, it may take but one hour before your precious food could be spoiled. This includes take-out foods and doggie bars.
Of course, if your fridge isn’t working, you may have to let the refrigerator repair in. Unless you have formal training, repairing a fridge isn’t a good job to DIY. It can be risky.
When you hire a fridge serviceman, you save both money and time as you won’t have to buy a new unit. As they can zero in on the cause of the damage accurately, they can get your refrigerator up and running in no time.
What Not to Store in Your Fridge
The refrigerator may be the ultimate storage device to make food last, but it isn’t the one-shoe-fit-all solution that you may want. Indeed, there are fruits and vegetables that you shouldn’t let the cold insides of a refrigerator touch.
Top of the list is tomatoes. You shouldn’t put tomatoes in the fridge, assuming you want its full taste. To maintain their succulent taste, store tomatoes at room temperature, or even better under the heat of the sun.
Then there’s the case for garlic and onions. You should store these bulbs in a cool, dry, dark place (which the fridge is not). Moreover, you shouldn’t store them inside a plastic bag. Remember, these veggies want to breathe. So let them. Store them in a big-holed net bag.
The same holds true for potatoes and their sweet counterparts. You should store it in a cool, dry, dark place. This way, you won’t have to deal with sprouting.
Pineapple and melons don’t need to be refrigerated. Rather, you should eat them as quickly as you got them at room temperature.
Cook or Freeze Technique
You can cook food to extend its shelf life. It’s a useful technique. For instance, if you have mince and it’s beginning to go off, you can cook it into spaghetti bolognese. That should allow you to keep it in the fridge for more days, even a week.
Additionally, you can make a soup out of vegetables that are going off. Or a proven-and-tested method to extend a vegetable’s life is to freeze it. That should extend its life for the longest. There’s one catch, though. Make sure that particular food to be frozen isn’t already off. Or putting it in the freezer would be an act in futility.
There’s merit in learning to store food for the longest. It means you and your family exare in a better position to survive an extended lockdown than most.