You're throwing away $125 in groceries monthly: Here are 7 ways - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

You're throwing away $125 in groceries monthly: Here are 7 ways to avoid food spoilage

How long do strawberries stay fresh in your house? (Source: WOIO) How long do strawberries stay fresh in your house? (Source: WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Forty percent of food is wasted in the U.S. and American households are throwing away an average of $125 worth of groceries each month because of spoilage, according to the National Resources Defense Council.

The produce drawer is where many healthy intentions go to die. Rotten, wilted, wasted fruits and vegetables add up to an estimated $1,500 in loss each year to a family of four.

"A head of lettuce, no root in the refrigerator, you might get a week out of it, after you cut it, maybe less," said Ernest Graham, the Harvest Manager at Green City Growers.

Industry professionals said there are some common mistakes to avoid, and best practices to adopt if you want your food to stay fresher longer.

  • Keep your produce between 34-35 degrees and store it in an ideal place in your fridge.

"Not at the top and not in the back where you see icicles and stuff like," Graham said.

Farmer and Spice Kitchen & Bar Chef Ben Bebenroth said it's important to avoid one of the most common mistakes people make with groceries. 

  • Don't wait too long to put groceries into the refrigerator. 

"Even in my own household it drives me crazy. There are bags of groceries in the back of the car, then they come in the house and they're sitting on the counter, and then they're just sitting on the counter. Every minute counts," Bebenroth said.

He added moisture content is also important.

"If it's a harvested product and there is a little water at the bottom of the bag, that is a breeding ground for bacteria. That's what's going to rot everything," he said.

  • Buying in season, and local will also help with the longevity of your produce.

"If you can shorten the distance between harvest and consumption you're nutrient density of that product is amplified," Bebenroth said.

  • Wash lettuce only when it's being eaten, not before your store it. 
  • Leave only the bottom of your Romaine lettuce exposed. 
  • Keep potatoes, onions and garlic in open air dark spaces. 

"We keep them in the dark. If you have a pantry with a door that's an ideal location to keep your roots," said Bebenroth.

  • Don't wash mushrooms. 

"When you're washing them you're not killing any of those germs, you're just spreading them around and you're feeding them moisture," Bebenroth warned.

Download the Cleveland 19 News app and First Alert Weather app.

Copyright 2017 WOIO. All rights reserved.

  • Headlines from Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Fulton & Monroe CountiesNewsMore>>

  • Mother locks son in car, attempts to set car on fire

    Mother locks son in car, attempts to set car on fire

    Thursday, June 29 2017 11:39 AM EDT2017-06-29 15:39:37 GMT
    Sherri Richter (Source: Monroe County Sheriff's Office)Sherri Richter (Source: Monroe County Sheriff's Office)

    A Monroe County mother is in jail after trying to set a car on fire with her son inside on Tuesday.

    More >>

    A Monroe County mother is in jail after trying to set a car on fire with her son inside on Tuesday.

    More >>
  • Local actress to become series regular on CBS show 'Zoo'

    Local actress to become series regular on CBS show 'Zoo'

    Thursday, June 29 2017 11:37 AM EDT2017-06-29 15:37:23 GMT
    Gracie Dzienny (Source: IMBD)Gracie Dzienny (Source: IMBD)
    Some of you might be familiar with the TV show "Zoo" that airs on CBS. The show is based on a book by best-selling author James Patterson in which animals start planning coordinated attacks on humans.  The cast if fairly unknown, but you might recognize a familiar face if you live in Toledo.  Gracie Dzienny, who will play Clementine Lewis on the show, is a native of Toledo.  The 21-year-old and youngest of three siblings started her career as a model after...More >>
    Some of you might be familiar with the TV show "Zoo" that airs on CBS. The show is based on a book by best-selling author James Patterson in which animals start planning coordinated attacks on humans.  The cast if fairly unknown, but you might recognize a familiar face if you live in Toledo.  Gracie Dzienny, who will play Clementine Lewis on the show, is a native of Toledo.  The 21-year-old and youngest of three siblings started her career as a model after...More >>
  • TPD looking for 13-year-old boy

    TPD looking for 13-year-old boy

    Thursday, June 29 2017 11:20 AM EDT2017-06-29 15:20:37 GMT
    Jordan Phillips (Source: TPD)Jordan Phillips (Source: TPD)
     The Toledo Police Department is searching for a 13-year-old boy who has been missing since Wednesday.  Police say Jordan Phillips was last seen on Wednesday around 2 p.m. Police say Phillips was supposed to be at the East Toledo Community Center around that time, but never showed up.  He is described as a white male standing at 5'3" and weighing 120 pounds. Phillips has blonde hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing a green shirt, blue jeans and hiking bo...More >>
     The Toledo Police Department is searching for a 13-year-old boy who has been missing since Wednesday.  Police say Jordan Phillips was last seen on Wednesday around 2 p.m. Police say Phillips was supposed to be at the East Toledo Community Center around that time, but never showed up.  He is described as a white male standing at 5'3" and weighing 120 pounds. Phillips has blonde hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing a green shirt, blue jeans and hiking bo...More >>
Powered by Frankly