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Effective Strategies: 7 Smart Ways for Reducing Food Waste in Summer

Effective Strategies: 7 Smart Ways for Reducing Food Waste in Summer 0

Food waste contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and water waste, with a typical American family of 4 discarding about $1600 worth of food every year. In summer, the issue is exacerbated as people are frequently away from home and the heat affects food shelf life. However, there are several strategies to reduce food waste during this season. These include meal planning according to seasonal appetite changes, purchasing freeze-dried fruits and vegetables, storing food correctly to prevent spoilage, creatively repurposing leftovers, utilizing the freezer, composting food scraps, and donating excess food. These methods not only help minimize environmental impact but also save money and resources.
5 Tasty Plant-Based Dairy Alternatives to Celebrate National Dairy Month… the Other Way

5 Tasty Plant-Based Dairy Alternatives to Celebrate National Dairy Month… the Other Way 0

Discover the benefits of plant-based dairy alternatives and explore five delicious recipes for milk, yogurt, and cheese substitutes. From Strawberry Almond Milk to Cashew Cheese with Chives & Garlic, these plant-based options offer healthier, more sustainable, and tastier alternatives to traditional dairy products. Embrace the world beyond cow milk and goat cheese this National Dairy Month.
Everything You Need to Know about International Firefighters’ Day

Everything You Need to Know about International Firefighters’ Day 0

International Firefighters’ Day is marked on May 4th every year to raise awareness about fire safety and honor the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. It is a time to recognize and appreciate their hard work, courage, commitment, and sacrifice and pay tribute to the fallen firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.

5 Ways To Celebrate National Spouse’s Day 0

Mark your calendars for January 26th—National Spouse's Day—a special day dedicated to celebrating and appreciating life partners. Often overlooked, this day provides a perfect opportunity for couples to take a break from their hectic routines and focus on each other. Whether it's revisiting the place of your first date, cooking a favorite meal together, or planning a unique outdoor activity, National Spouse's Day is about rekindling romance and expressing gratitude. So before Valentine's Day grabs all the attention, take a moment to cherish your spouse on this dedicated day, reminding them—and yourself—of the love and partnership you share.

10 Memorable Holiday Gift Ideas 0

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The holiday season is here with us again. It is time to plan the gifts for your friends and family. But the problem is finding creative holiday gift ideas for your family can be challenging. When the time comes, consult this list of the best holiday fit ideas to show people that you care for them no matter your budget.

You can choose food gifts because everyone loves food, from homemade foods to holiday baskets with ready-to-eat treats. Gift boxes are a welcome surprise to most people, not only for birthdays and anniversaries but also top the list of thoughtful holiday gift ideas. From food gift baskets to books and personalized gifts, here are 10 amazing holiday gift ideas homemade treats are the point of holidays because you gift people close to you. Happy gifting!

1. Mother Earth Products Gift Card

Do you want to shop for your loved ones but are unsure what to give them? A gift card is a perfect holiday gift idea when you prefer the person to choose how to use them, like in the case of your colleagues. Give them the gift of choice with a Mother Earth Products gift card for $10. We deliver gift cards via email with instructions on redeeming them at checkout with no additional processing fees.

2. Make A Fruit Gift Basket

It's no secret that food is a way to most people's hearts. Moreover, more people are now health conscious and prefer healthy gift boxes to snacks or sweets. Freeze dried packs make up special gift boxes and healthy snacks for foodies.

Gift your loved ones a fruit basket with organic freeze dried fruit to let them enjoy fresh organic fruits. The fruits are organic, have retained 99% of their nutritional value, and have zero additives. The best part is that they can last longer because of the extended shelf life of freeze-dried foods.

Make a tropical assortment of freeze dried mango, pineapples, bananas, papaya, and apples. Another assortment could be made up of berries such as freeze dried blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cherries, and raspberries. Be creative with your choices.

3. A Vegetables Gift Basket

Chances are your friends have used freeze dried products before and loved them. This holiday season, surprise them with an assortment of freeze dried vegetables they can use with their recipes, especially for people who love to cook.

The best part about freeze dried vegetables is that they have a long shelf life, and you don't need to limit what to buy. Moreover, the vegetables are picked at their peak season and dried while preserving taste and nutritional value. A good veggie combo includes broccoli, peas, corn, red bell peppers, and green beans. You only need to rehydrate before using it, and it's ready to use, thus making it a more convenient and time-saving option.

Make a DIY gift box with boxes at home or buy decorative gift baskets at the local craft store. Add a handmade card to your gift box with a handwritten message to make it memorable. It is also an excellent opportunity to teach your kids to wrap gifts at home.

4. Personalized Gift Items

Personalized gift items are unique holiday gift ideas that are memorable. Consider a custom family portrait with all the family members if you are making a gift for your parents. Other ideas include personalized notebooks, digital photo frames, pillowcases with their names, or mugs with pictures of your loved ones.

5. A Chocolate Gift Box

You will never go wrong with a chocolate gift box for the holiday season. Everyone loves chocolate. You can choose from regular chocolate or chocolate truffles, or candy bars. Don't know if they will be impressed? Why not add their favorite wine or drink? If you are gifting a close person, buy their favorite brand and couple it with flowers and wine in the gift box.

6. A Book

As they say, readers are leaders. Reading broadens your perspective. If you want your family members to love reading, start by gifting them a book or two. You can get them to choose their favorite by buying a gift card from a local bookstore or paying an Audible or Kindle unlimited subscription on Amazon for them.

7. Family Board Games

If you want to surprise your family, you need to think outside the box when looking for unique holiday gift ideas. The holiday season brings people together after a long year of working. What better way to make people have fun together and make memories than by playing games such as scrabble, chess, monopoly, or puzzles?

8. Gift Them a Journal

Nothing shouts "I care about you" more than a thoughtful journal. It is the perfect gift for people who love writing their goals and plans. Add a bookmark or two with motivational quotes. They'll appreciate the creativity. You can buy beautiful journals from Amazon, including gratitude journals, self-love, or goal-setting journal.

9. Cookie Decorating Kit

A cookie decorating kit is the perfect holiday gift for a family that loves cookies, considering that most families love to make cookies for the holiday season. Gift your teenage daughter or niece who loves to cook with cookie decorating kits and make cookies for the family with her. Add sprinkles and frosting for decoration and any other cookie supplies.

10. Breakfast Basket

A breakfast basket gives thoughtful holiday gift ideas when visiting your friends and family. No one can resist their favorite foods in a gift basket. Fill your basket with foods they would ideally make for breakfast. Consider a high quality coffee hamper and fruits such as freeze-dried mango, bananas, or strawberries for making breakfast smoothies or bread spread, cookies, cake mix, and granola. Don't forget to add a bouquet of fresh flowers to seal it off.

Spice up your family's holiday celebration with these ten holiday gift ideas. Which holiday gift idea did you like and want to try out? Let us know in the comments below.

References

  1. https://blog.vantagecircle.com/amazing-christmas-gifts-for-employees/
  2. https://www.bhg.com/christmas/gifts/homemade-food-gifts/

Proper Food Storage: The Ultimate Guide to Storing Freeze Dried Foods 0

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Proper food storage is critical for maintaining food quality and safety while preserving its color, texture, flavor, and vital nutrients. (1) The food packaging depends on whether the food is dry or perishable. While most food packaging is airtight and capable of keeping food fresh for an extended period, others are not. At Mother Earth Products, we package our freeze dried products in mylar bags, quart jars, or moisture-absorbent packets to ensure longevity.

Freeze dried foods have gained popularity in recent years because of their longevity. They're portable, lightweight, and simple to store. (2) Although they have a longer shelf life, improper packaging can affect the food quality. If you want them to last after opening, you must take certain precautions before storing them for a lengthy period. In this article, we'll go over how to store your freeze dried foods so they stay fresh longer.

Why is proper food storage necessary?

Proper food storage is vital for preventing foodborne infections, reducing food waste, and lowering food production costs. (1) Furthermore,  it helps to preserve food for later use. The amount of time you should keep your food varies on the type. Meat, for example, must be refrigerated, although fruits and vegetables do not. (3)

Here's why appropriate food storage is critical:

  • Poorly kept food is prone to contamination which might cause food poisoning. (1)
  • Proper food storage reduces food wastage and helps save money. If you properly rotate foods or keep them at the right temperature, you won't need to discard them. (4)
  • It saves the planet. Food production uses natural resources and may also require industrial processes that produce harmful gas emissions. Minimizing food wastage is beneficial to the environment. (5)
  • It saves you time. Having every food item in the proper storage unit prevents you from wasting time searching.

What is freeze drying?

Freeze drying is a food preservation method that uses sublimation to remove water from its cells. The process reduces the moisture content of food, thus remaining fresh at room temperature without refrigeration. As a result, there is a longer shelf life and reduced food wastage. Freeze drying effectively preserves food that may spoil quickly after harvestings, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, milk, and meat. (1) 

Freeze dried food is available in various forms, including fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, and beans. It is also available in various quantities, from individual servings to big containers. You can eat the food right from the bag. However, after opening, you may need to invest in adequate food storage containers that reduce humidity and increase their shelf life. 

Benefits of Freeze Drying

  • Freeze drying effectively inhibits the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and enables food preservation without refrigeration. (2)  
  • It preserves the nutrients, flavor, and organoleptic (involving the use of sensory organs: eyes, mouth, smell, etc.) characteristics of foods.
  • It makes food storage, transportation, and distribution easier since it decreases weight and eliminates the need for a cold chain. 
  • Allows rehydration, allowing the meal to regain its organoleptic properties and weight.
  • Freeze-dried foods can remain fresh for years! Its lifespan, however, is determined by how it is stored. (4)

Basic Freeze Dried Food Storage Guidelines

If you have noticed a change in the taste of freeze dried foods from the last time you ate them, then you're likely to store the food properly. Here are some guidelines for keeping freeze-dried meals correctly so that they remain fresh longer:

  • Rotate your stored foods regularly so that you use the oldest foods first.
  • Store freeze dried foods in a dry place, away from sources of humidity that might contribute to mold formation.
  • Keep them out of direct sunlight because light can harm freeze dried foods whenever feasible, and can cause color to fade.
  • Protect them from extreme temperatures, because it can induce chemical changes in freeze dried foods, resulting in loss of taste and nutritional value.
  • Keep them away from open flames.
  • Store them in airtight bags or containers and seal them properly to keep them dry, light-protected, and humidity-free. We can give you tips on how to do this.
  • Ensure your containers have adequate locking mechanisms to keep them from opening in transit.

How to Store Freeze-Dried Food Storage for a Long Time

The storage of dried foods is equally as crucial as that of perishable ones since it can still get contaminated by physical or chemical agents. To guarantee that your freeze dried foods survive as long as possible:

  • Keep them in an excellent, cool, dry spot away from sources of humidity and light. Keeping your dry storage items in dry, dark places away from direct sunlight will extend the shelf life of your food and help you maintain the temperature. (1)
  • Store them in food-grade Mylar bags, quart jars, or oxygen absorber packs, and keep them in a cool and dry storage room. You can get the storage packaging here.
  • Mark the date you placed the freeze dried items into long-term storage on their package for the best outcomes so you know when it's safe to eat them. Each package you purchase from us will have a date on the bottom right hand portion of the label.

How to store freeze dried foods after opening

  • After opening, the foods begin to reabsorb the moisture in the air, softening and exposing them to harmful contaminants and deteriorating faster. Once you open a pack, keep the food in an airtight container such as a glass jar or a sealable Mylar bag to extend the shelf life. 
  • Also, keep the food containers in a dry, dark, and cool pantry or storage room since light can also quicken freeze-dried foods' deterioration. (5)
  • Maintain proper temperatures and discard foods exposed to excessive heat for an extended period.
  • Apply the first in first out (FIFO) strategy to use previously purchased items before purchasing new products. Label all food items stored at room temperature that are not in their original containers with the product's name, lot number, and opening date. Arrange the products according to their purchase date or expiry date.
  • To minimize cross-contamination, keep freeze dried foods separately from raw foods.
  • You can repackage your freeze dried goods in two ways: In their original packaging or repackaged in mylar bags. If packing them in their original containers, ensure they're clean, sterilized, and free of potential pathogens.
  • When repackaging your freeze dried food into mylar bags, use food-grade bags and seal them correctly to eliminate contamination and keep the food dry. Wear gloves and use clean, sterilized containers when repackaging freeze dried goods at home.

How long does freeze-dried food last after opening?

We recommend you go by the date on each label (bottom right hand corner). You should consume the remaining part within 6-12 months if not storing in a cool, dry, dark place. (5) If you don't use the food frequently, you can reseal it in a Mylar bag and store it in a dark storage area. 

Conclusion

Food preservation is an excellent strategy to protect your health and your wallet! Keep your freeze dried foods away from light and humidity for longer shelf life. Proper food storage also makes it easier to regulate expiry dates while preserving the items' freshness and organoleptic properties. Click here to buy food-grade storage bags.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/food-storage
  2. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/food-safety-and-storage
  3. https://foodrevolution.org/blog/food-storage-food-preservation/
  4. https://food.unl.edu/free-resource/food-storage
  5. https://harvestright.com/blog/2017/how-to-store-freeze-dried-food/