Reducing food waste is a priority at our home. Swiss Kitchens are usually well planned with modular kitchens and integrated fridge cum freezers. Over the years I have a system in place which produces zero food waste. In this post I will be sharing some Zero Food Waste Fridge organization tips to eat healthy without any meal prepping.
Growing up in India, we had access to fresh produce almost at our door step everyday. So the necessity for a refrigerator didn’t arise for us. My father was of the opinion that food also deteriorates and looses its nutritional value even if you store the food in a refrigerator. So we always cooked fresh and consumed it within the same day. By God he is right, little did I know of it in my childhood or youth. I must frankly admit to that wisdom once I got my own home. Because the maximum temperature you can cool in the fridge is up to 4 or 5 degrees. So the food is just cooled to a certain point.
My Journey to Zero Food Waste
Moving to Switzerland, my access to fresh produce everyday at my door step was now remote. Moreover everything was from the supermarket who also keep it in their fridge for a while. The nutritional value of food stored for long in the refrigerator is much diminished. And especially if the food has already been cooked, cooled and then further cooled and then eaten again by warming up has even less of any nutritional value. You get the general idea of what I am expressing. On top of it, the food doesn’t taste good for my taste buds. This was how I saw it. So I had to come up with a way to reduce food waste especially of cooked food and the fresh produce to retain the nutritional value and the quality of freshness.
I have tried to implement my father’s principle of retaining nutritional value of food. Food is thy medicine, that is how I saw it too. During my childhood and youth, we had no exposure to any ready meals other than the occasional restaurant eat outs. Fortunately for me, my stay at home mom cooked all meals from scratch. Every meal we cooked was fresh and we consumed it within the hour. This was exactly how I was determined to do for my family and I went about doing the same. To implement this healthy habit, I have some very good food storage system in my refrigerator to store healthy food and eat healthy at all times. If we store healthy food, our tendency to healthy is also high.
Let me share with you some tips which goes back to almost 25 years.
Tips for Zero Food Waste Fridge
- Shop for whole foods only to have zero food waste in your fridge
- Store only whole fresh vegetables and fruits, avoid cut fruits and vegetables. Because vegetable even uncut do continue to sweat and the color and flavor does change drastically once you cut them.
- Storing zero left overs in the fridge ( unless its cooked beans). When you have zero left overs you tend to cook fresh and eat healthy.
- Keeping the vegetables and diary in their optimal containers. For the vegetables I used Tupperware Ventsmart containers which regulates the breathing of the different vegetables keeping them fresh for long.
- Store a few staples like carrots, beetroots, ginger, apples, lemons always in the fridge because these can be stored longer.
- In the freezer, I store mostly berries, cut coconuts. Because if I had pre-cooked and frozen food, I tend to forget and it may be lurking for too long, I will most likely end up throwing it away.
- Give the fridge a thorough clean up every 3 months. And a rough cleaning weekly or bi- weekly.
- Store diary in appropriate containers so there is no spillage and bacterial lurking around. For the Cheese I use a Tupperware Fridge smart which regulates the odor in the fridge. Milk and yogurt are stored in glass bottles.
- Since we have our own Garden, I tend to store less in the fridge during summer months and pick whenever needed. Winter is different of course, especially around the holiday season, I do stock up for that week.
- Never overload your fridge, keep the air flow going and don’t fill it to the brim. This will keep the food inside cooler and help you achieve your zero food waste fridge.
Tips to Clean your Fridge cum Freezer
If you want to skip reading you can directly go to the video I made a few months back by clicking on the link below.
I usually like to do a thorough cleanup of my fridge cum freezer once in a few months. But to make my life easier and save time, I follow some lazy methods.
- I Empty the fridge and freezer and store them in my second fridge. Another way to do is to clean when your fridge is not fully stocked. Switch off the fridge cum freezer and I typically defrost the freezer the night before I start cleaning.
- I wash all the glass shelving units in my dishwasher under Glass cycle. This is quick and avoids scratches. Plus its safer than me washing with soapy water and breaking them accidentally.
- I also load the door plastic shelving units into the dishwasher and run a short cycle.
- Then, I clean the fridge with diluted organic soapy water.
- The freezer drawers also fit into my big dishwasher, but I usually wash them by hand as they are big and easy.
- I leave the fridge overnight open to remove any lingering odors in it.
- The next day, I use an organic hygiene cleaner meant specially for the fridge and then start putting everything together.
- To avoid any stray odor coming, I keep a cup of Baking Soda on the top shelf and then a few cut lemons on each shelf.
I have shared with you some of my tips to achieve a Zero Food Waste Fridge. I would love to hear from you what other ways you follow to store food in your refrigerator. Thank you for taking the time to read this post.