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Since 1983, Manna has been feeding Montgomery County’s food insecure residents. In our 30 years of service, Manna has served nearly 3 million people, 700,000 households, and distributed 45 million pounds of food. As the designated food bank for Montgomery County we are the main resource people turn to when... Read more

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Don’t Throw Away Money

Have you ever wadded up a ten dollar bill and thrown it in the trash or taken a handful of quarters and tossed them down the garbage disposal?  Of course not, or at least not intentionally. How about some yogurt that was just past it’s sell by date or an apple that was slightly moldy when you finally got down to the end of that 3 pound bag of fruit? If you answered yes to this last question, you may as well have answered yes to the first. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the average family in the United States throws out $2,275 worth of food a year. Think of all the money we’d save on groceries if we could prevent even some portion of that food from being transported to the landfill. And we can! Here are some tips for keeping your food fresh and tasty for longer!

  1. Fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro are nutritious additions to salads, soups, and, well, just about everything else.  To keep them looking perky as the day you bought them, trim off the bottoms and store, sit them in a glass of water with a produce bag over the top, then store in the fridge for 2-3 weeks! Note: Fresh basil doesn’t like the cold, so store that herb in a cool dark place in the package it came in.
  2. Fruit.  If you don’t have immediate plans for lemons or limes stick them in the freezer as is. No need to bag them or put them in a plastic container.  When a recipe calls for fresh juice from one of these fruits simply microwave for about 30 seconds on each side and juice away!  Other fruits, like peaches, berries, apples, or pears can be sliced and placed on a cookie sheet in the freezer. That way they will freeze separately and be readily accessible for smoothies or as a healthy topping for ice cream or yogurt.
  3. Speaking of yogurt…don’t throw away your unopened yogurt just because it’s past the sell by date. Yogurt and some other foods, if refrigerated, are good up to 1 week past the date on the package. Yogurt is already fermented so it may simply become more tangy as time goes on but as long as it’s not moldy, discolored, or has an unpleasant odor, it’s safe to consume.

Photo of Jenna Umbriac

Manna’s Jenna Umbriac

As a general rule, there are many foods that can be safely eaten after the Best By or Sell By date. If you are unsure of a food’s shelf life check out Still Tasty.com .

– Jenna Umbriac, Director of Nutrition Programs
 
 

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Jenna Umbriac

About Jenna Umbriac

Jenna Umbriac is Manna’s dietitian.

Since 1983, Manna has been feeding Montgomery County’s food insecure residents. In our 30 years of service Manna has served nearly 3 million people, 668,527 households, and distributed 45 million pounds of food. As the designated food bank for Montgomery County we are the main resource people turn to when they find themselves in need of food assistance. Manna delivers emergency food assistance through its three main programs: Food for Families, Smart Sacks, and Agency Food Distribution.

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