Tip Tuesday: Sprouting Potatoes…To Eat or Not to Eat?

Sprouted potato

After storing potatoes for some time, sprouts always appear. Some people say that a potato with sprouts is not safe to eat anymore. But is this really true? And what’s the actual reason behind this?

Today’s Tip Tuesday will give you the answer!

As a matter of fact, sprouted potatoes are still safe for consumption when their main part is still hard and the sprouts are removed. They just contain less starch because this has been converted into simple sugars for the sprouts’ growth.

However, you should be aware of the following saying: “sprouted potatoes carry viruses”. This can happen sometimes, when the tuber carries the virus, which is less likely to happen at home. In addition to this, the virus affects the appearance of the potato, thus making it easy to understand when it is no longer safe to be eaten.

This is how a potato carrying a virus infection looks like:

Potato with wrinckles

In short, sprouting potatoes still can be eaten when they still look good from the outside. But when they have shrunk or wrinkled, then you should discard them immediately.

There you have it! Another useful Tip Tuesday that will help you save more food!

Stay tuned for more tips!

The information provided here is served as a general guideline.

Nutritionist of The Froodly Team
Wan Lih Ching

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Tip Tuesday: Can Alcoholic Beverages Go Bad?

Bottles of wines

Have you ever asked yourself whether alcoholic beverages can go bad or not? Well, the answer to this question is “yes and no”. Let’s see together why.

The reason why alcoholic beverages do not go bad is because microbes cannot tolerate high concentration of alcohol. Thus, unopened beverages, with an alcohol content above 40% such as spirits, can be stored indefinitely.

However, people usually drink alcohol because of its unique taste, flavor, and mouthfeel. Wine, for instance, contains many compounds that contribute to the overall perception of the consumer. These compounds gradually degrade or oxidized on the shelf, not to mention if the bottle of wine is stored under light or at a warm (or fluctuating) temperature. For this reason, when a bottle of wine is kept for an extended period of time, you may notice a difference in taste and flavor.

To summarize: alcoholic beverages cannot go bad but they can definitely change their taste over time!

Enjoy your drink and…try to consume alcohol with moderation!

The information provided here is served as a general guideline.

Nutritionist of TheFroodly Team

Wan Lih Ching

3 Innovative Solutions to Fight Food Waste

Light bulb to express ideas and innovation

Food has an immense value. Every day it gives us the energy to wake up and live our lives, and it has the power to gather families and friends around the table to share experiences and laughs. Food shapes an important part of our culture. But that’s not all, behind every food item that we can find in a supermarket, there is a hidden list of important resources that have been used for its production and transportation: soil, water, energy, manual labor are just some of them.

Too often, while strolling around the grocery and buying stuff that we don’t need, and which will likely end up in the trash bin, we tend to forget about the value of food. This behavior, together with the inefficiencies at a production and delivery level, causes an incredible amount of food to be wasted.

Did you know that only one-quarter of the food wasted at a global level could feed the 795 million people around the world who suffer from hunger?

Recently, in this global jungle of edible food being thrown away, increasing human population and decreasing natural resources, some cutting-edge initiatives, aiming to reduce food waste, have arisen. Let’s see together what they are about!

1. Denmark – WeFood

Have you ever wondered what happens to the surplus produce in supermarkets? Well, most likely, in case the grocery doesn’t have any agreement with a charity organization, it will end up in a landfill. Sounds like a good waste eh? In Denmark, where 700,000 tons of wasted food are produced every year, an innovative supermarket has been established few months ago to reduce this trend. “WeFood”, as it is called, only sells surplus food (bread, meat, and organic fruit), in some cases past its sell-by-date, at a price 30 to 50 cents cheaper than a normal grocery, allowing everyone to purchase affordable and healthy produce.

2. US – Imperfect Produce

Launched in 2015, the Californian Company “Imperfect Produce” sells, at a price 30%-50% less than a traditional market, the veggies and fruit that a normal grocery would refuse to display due to their funny shapes. To facilitate the purchase, buyers can order a box of fresh veggies and fruit online, which will be delivered directly to their homes.

3. Sweden – FoPo

If you like alternative solutions to problems, this young and vibrant startup will definitely catch your attention. “FoPO – Food Power” collects fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be wasted and turns them into dried powder which can later be used to prepare tasty milkshakes, yogurt, and desserts. The FoPo products would not only be sold in groceries but also to NGOs which operate in tough environments and climate conditions, which make food conservation difficult.

Bringing food waste to an end is not easy. Nevertheless, as the above-mentioned initiatives can prove, in the recent years an increasing amount of people have become more and more concerned with this crucial phenomenon and have started recognizing the precious value of food.

What about you? How do you fight food waste? Leave us your comments below, we would like to hear your stories!

 

Tip Tuesday: Expired Chips

Crunchy chips

Chips are irresistible, especially during parties and picnics, and when stored correctly they can last for a very long time!

Today, let’s discover together how to find out when your chips are no longer safe to be eaten!

The “best by” date shown on the chips’ label is mostly 6 to 12 months after the manufacturing date. Well, we know that chips are actually baked or fried and that they carry a very low moisture content (scientifically known as “water activity”). Microbes can’t survive in environments characterized by little water activity. Thus, when an unopened package of chips is properly stored, i.e. away from direct sunlight, away from moisture, and avoiding hot or considerable storage temperature fluctuation, they can still be eaten even few months after the “best by” date.

However, you should worry about the fat contained in the chips. Fat turns bad (“rancid” is the scientific term) quickly upon exposure to the air. For this reason, the chips contained in an opened package, or those packed in a low-quality material (modified-atmosphere-packaged chips are an exception) might slowly turn rancid.

To summarize, the chips contained in an unopened and properly stored package are most likely totally fine to be eaten even after their “best by” date. But, if you smell something rancid or see some oil droplets on the inner surface of the packaging, then you may want to throw them away to avoid the excessive intake of oxidized fats!

Stay tuned for the next Tip Tuesday and…be careful eating too many chips!

The information provided here is served as a general guideline.

Nutritionist of The Froodly Team

Wan Lih Ching

9 Tips to Reduce Food Waste

Fresh fennel, carrots and tomatoes

The problem of food waste can be seen at all levels of the food chain, from production to the consumer. That’s why each one of us can still play an important role in fighting the large phenomenon of edible food being thrown away!

Have you ever asked yourself what can you concretely do in your daily life to join this important cause?

We at Froodly we believe in consumers’ power, and for this reason, we have compiled a list of 9 tips that will help you reduce food waste at your home place! Are you ready? Let’s dig into them!

1. Plan your shopping

Before going for your weekly grocery shopping, you should always check what food you already have at your home. Go through your fridge, shelves and pantry to plan your weekly meals. Then, write a list of the items that you still need to buy. Also, think whether you are going to eat at home for the whole week or you have plans to go out. You should avoid throwing random food in your shopping cart since this would increase the probability for it to end up in the trash bin.

2. Check the dates

While strolling around the endless grocery’s corridors in search for food, take some time to check the “use by” label on the items you are buying. If you are planning to have meat on the same day you are purchasing it, then you can look for a steak or some chicken which is close to its expiration date. By doing so, you would lower the chances for it to be thrown away by the grocery itself in case nobody else buys it. On the other hand, if it’s still the beginning of the week and you are planning to organize a barbecue over the weekend, then you should make sure that the meat you are buying will last long. Alternatively, you can always decide to go back to the grocery on the same day of the barbecue to buy fresh meat.

3. Consider your budget

Keeping an eye on your finances helps you value more the food you put in your shopping cart and thus, limits the chances for it to end up in the bin.

4. Keep a healthy fridge

Always make sure that your fridge is clean and that the inside temperature is neither too low nor too high. Food needs to be stored between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius for maximum freshness and longevity.

5. Check the storing instructions

Store your food according to the storing instructions on the packages.

6. Rotate

When coming home from the grocery store, take some time to move all the older and perishable food items in your cupboards and fridge to the front. This is a good habit to avoid finding mold later on in your food storage compartments.

7. Serve small amounts of food

The strongest habits we have are those that we have learned at our home. When eating, either by yourself or with your family, don’t put too much food on the plate. It is better to re-fill it for a second time than throwing its content away.

8. Use your leftovers

Leftovers can either be used for lunch or dinner on the following day (this habit will also save you a lot of time). Tomatoes which have gone soft can be used to prepare a nice sauce for pasta. Other veggies that have started to wilt can be used to prepare soups. Fruit that has started going soft can be used to prepare smoothies or pies.

9. Freeze

Your fridge contains some delicious fresh fish and you have just discovered that you have been invited out for dinner! No worries, you can freeze it and use it on some other day. Freezing comes also in handy when you cook too much of something. For example, if you have prepared a large amount of soup, then freeze it and keep it for those evenings when you are too tired to cook.

There you have it! Those simple tricks will help you save food, money and protect the environment!

Alice Moretti

Tip Tuesday: Storing Vegetables (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of our Tip Tuesday: Storing Vegetables! Salad, mushrooms, stems and roots, are you ready to go through your kitchen and refrigerator to check whether you are following our rules of thumb? Let’s start!

Salad leaves

Leaves (eg. Lettuce, spinach, basil, kale)

They neither like too cold nor dry conditions. Remove any bands, ties or pots. Keep them folded in a small damp piece of paper in a covered container before putting into the refrigerator.

 

Variety of mushrooms
Fungi (eg. Various types of mushrooms)

Without washing, keep them in a covered container and store it in the refrigerator.

 

Asparagus and fennel
Stems (eg. Celery, asparagus)

Keep them in a covered container and store it in the refrigerator.

 

Orange and white carrots
Roots (eg. Beetroot, carrot, radish)

They usually have the greens on top. Cut the top off to reduce moisture loss so that the firmness can be maintained for a longer period of time. Wash them before keeping in a covered container which should be placed either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Rule of thumb:

  • Always cut the vegetables during food preparation, not during storage.
  • It is best to store the vegetables in a container to avoid them from absorbing odours from other items in your refrigerator.
  • During storage, separate ethylene-producing fruits from vegetables. Ethylene-producing fruits accelerate the ripening of the vegetables.!
  • Pack vegetables loosely in the refrigerator to allow good ventilation for rapid chilling and for their respiration (yes, they are still ‘alive’ and ‘breathing’!).

There you have it, some easy tips that will help you extend the life of your veggies and reduce food waste at your home!

Stay tuned for more advice!

The information provided here is served as a general guideline.

Nutritionist of The Froodly Team

Wan Lih Ching

Friday Recipe: Braised Soy Sauce Eggs

Braised eggs

Did you know that some ingredients might be even better to use when they’re not fresh anymore? The Froodly’s team is glad to announce you the beginning of a new series of blog posts – “Friday Recipe”– that will help you reduce food waste in your home kitchen! Are you ready to discover some incredibly tasty and sustainable food recipes?

Let’s start! Today we are going to see how to prepare Braised Soy Sauce Eggs. Be ready to surprise your guests!

Ingredients for 3 – 5 serving

* 6-10 hard-boiled eggs
* 3 cups water
* 1-2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
* 3 Tbsp soy sauce
* 1 Tbsp brown sugar
* 1 stick cinnamon
* 3 star anise
* 1-2 green tea bags (6 eggs = 1 green tea bag)
* Salt (optional because soy sauce is slightly salty.)
(Note: 1 Tbsp (tablespoon) = 15ml, 1 cup= 250ml)

Cooking Steps

  1. First, prepare the hard-boiled eggs by using a week old eggs. (Note: Fresh eggs are harder to peel!). Peeled off their shell and set aside.
  2. Heat up the water in a pot. While boiling the water, add the soy sauce, sugar, all ingredients except the eggs into the pot.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for approximate 15-20 minutes, until the stock is infused with the aroma of the green tea, star anise, and cinnamon.
  4. Add the hard-boiled eggs to the stock and cook with the lower heat to simmer until 1 cup of the sauce left in the pot (about 15 mins in cooking). In order to get more sauce flavour into eggs, you can also use a fork by poking (make some tiny holes) on eggs surface if you like.
  5. Leave the eggs in the braised stock for overnight to get the best flavor.
  6. These braised soy sauce eggs can be stored in an air-tight container for 2-3 days.
  7. You can use the leftover sauce as a dipping sauce by adding a clove of fresh garlic, chopping fresh chili and spring onion.

(Note: The amount of dark soy sauce is depending on how dark you prefer your eggs to be.)

Enjoy!

Stay tuned for more recipes!

Sandra Sandar

Braised soy sauce eggs

France Cracks Down on Food Waste in Supermarkets

Fresh binned food to illustrate food waste
Copyright©U.S. Department of Agriculture

While a father with a minimum salary might be struggling to feed his family, a grocery might decide to throw away a large amount of unsold, edible food just as its best-before date approaches. Sadly, in many developed countries, this happens every day; the amount of wasted food increases together with the number of people having a hard time affording a proper meal.

France, which according to Le Monde, wastes around 7.1m tonnes of food every year, and where the phenomenon of poor people foraging in supermarkets bins at night to feed themselves has dramatically increased, has recently decided to take concrete steps in fighting food waste and helping the needy.

A new law, passed in February 2016, stops large supermarkets (of at least 400 squares meters) from binning good quality food approaching its best-before date by forcing them to donate it either to food banks or charities. Those who will flout the law will incur fines up to 3750 euros.

Thanks to the new regulation, practices such as pouring bleach on the unsold food to deter bin foragers won’t be allowed anymore.

The law will also simplify the bureaucracy for the food industries looking forward to giving their excess products to food banks.

This positive change in the legislation, which has been voted unanimously by the French National Assembly, is the result of a successful petition launched by Arash Derambarsh, a municipal councilor of Courbevoie, north-west of Paris. In an interview with the Guardian, Derambarsh has explained how he has started his campaign: by collecting and distributing unwanted food from his local supermarket, an action that eventually has allowed him and his supporters to feed up to 100 people per day.

But France is not the only European country committed to putting an end to the food squandering carried out by supermarkets. Italy, where the yearly value of the food being wasted amounts to 12.5 billion, and where six million people rely on food charities to eat, has recently passed a similar bill. Unlike France, instead of fining the lawbreakers, Italy will give incentives to those willing to donate their food (e.g. reductions in rubbish taxes).

The bill was passed in March by the Italian Parliament’s Lower House and it is now waiting for final approval from the Senate.

We at Froodly we hope that during the following months other countries will follow in France and Italy’s footsteps. What about you? We will keep an eye on this important topic, stay tuned!

Alice Moretti

Image credits Copyright©U.S. Department of Agriculture

Tip Tuesday: Storing Vegetables (Part 1)

There are so many kinds of vegetables out there…But which are the best methods to store them in order to avoid food waste? Do not worry, in this post and in the following one we will give you some useful tips to help you extend the life of your beloved fresh veggies. To make it simpler, we have grouped the vegetables in terms of the unprocessed point of view and not according to their scientific classification.

Fresh Broccoli and cauliflower

Flowers (eg. Broccoli, cauliflower)

It’s fine to leave them at room temperature for several days. Alternatively, you can keep them in a covered container before putting into the refrigerator.

Fresh peas

Seeds (eg. French beans, lentils)

They are fairly easy to keep fresh. You can place them at room temperature, refrigerate or freeze them. Generally, they last longer when kept at lower temperatures.

Garlic and onions

Bulbs (eg. Garlic, onion, ginger)

They are, too, easy to keep fresh. Store them at room temperature but away from heat, light and moisture. Avoid stacking them to allow good ventilation.

Potatoes

Tubers (eg. Potatoes, yams)

Store them at room temperature but away from heat, light and moisture. Avoid stacking them to allow good ventilation.

Fresh fruits

Fruits (eg. Chillies, cucumbers, eggplants, tomatoes)

Store them at room temperature but away from heat, light and moisture. Avoid stacking them to allow good ventilation.

Keep your veggies healthy and happy, stay tuned, more information will be coming soon!

The information provided here is served as a general guideline.

Nutritionist of The Froodly Team
Wan Lih Ching