How To Stop Throwing Food Out Of The Fridge: Jamie Oliver’s Tips

British chef Jamie Oliver and his team explain how to buy, store, and prepare food without throwing anything away. It will save you time, money, and help the planet a little. Read on.

1. Consider the features of the refrigerator

The temperature drops in the chamber depend on its model. Keep this in mind when placing perishable items on the shelves. Modern high-tech devices cool evenly, but the temperature on different shelves differs if you have a regular budget refrigerator. Look for instructions on how to decompose foods best. 


Read also: How To Properly Wash Fruits And Vegetables

2. Plan the menu and revise regularly

Think about how much and what you will eat this week. Don’t forget about scheduled out-of-home dinners. So you will not cook a pot of borscht, which you still cannot eat and finish.

Before going to the store, check the refrigerator and cabinets. Make a grocery list based on the menu and stick to it, so you don’t get too much food. Check the refrigerator from time to time to find spoiling food in time and have time to cook or freeze it.

3. Do not fill the refrigerator with everything

It makes no sense to keep some foods in the refrigerator; others spoil there even faster. For example, bananas turn black, and bread becomes moldy due to moisture. Therefore Jamie advises transfer them to a dark, dry place. This will free up space in the cell, and all purchases will be in sight.

Here’s a list of foods you shouldn’t keep in the refrigerator

  • onion
  • garlic
  • carrot
  • potato
  • tropical fruits
  • bread
  • canned food
  • olive oil
  • honey
  • jam
  • chocolate

4. Keep some vegetables and fruits separate

Potatoes and onions spoil faster when they are next to each other. It’s about ethylene plant hormone. It is released as a gas and causes the fruit to ripen. Some fruits and vegetables produce more ethylene, while others are more sensitive to its effects. Store foods from these groups separately. For example, put cucumbers, carrots, and cabbage in a refrigerator drawer and tomatoes on a shelf. Onions release a lot of ethylene and ripen quickly. Therefore, keep it in a closet, separate from other fruits and vegetables.

Hotpoint Survey Shows 'Fresh Thinking' Can Take on Forgotten Food Waste  Challenge | Whirlpool Corporation
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Ethylene is liberated abundantly

  • onion
  • potato
  • tomatoes
  • apples
  • pears
  • ripe bananas
  • apricots
  • peaches
  • nectarines
  • grapes
  • mango
  • kiwi
  • persimmon
  • plums
  • avocado

Ethylene sensitive

  • bananas
  • onion
  • garlic
  • carrot
  • cucumbers
  • cabbage
  • eggplant
  • pepper
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower

5. Don’t trust the expiration date

Manufacturers understandably set this date with great care. Jamie advises strictly adhere to the shelf life of meat and fish products, and in other cases, rely on the appearance and taste of food.

The product is examined at least three times, after manufacture, at the time of the expiration date, and after some time. All tests confirm the absence of pathogenic microorganisms, dangerous bacteria, yeast, mold. This means that in most cases, a delay of 2-3 days is completely harmless if it is not meat or fish.

Milk and dairy products, mayonnaise, margarine, vegetable oil creams, confectionery
Estimated shelf life The day of the last study
1-2 days 3
3 days five
5 days eight
7 days eleven
10 days 13
15 days 20
20 days 26
30 days 39
45 days 54
60 days 72 or 69 *
90 days 108 or 105 *
180 days 216 or 207 *
* For flour confectionery without finishing and for sugar confectionery

To determine if the milk is spoilt, smell it. As a last resort, try on your tongue, but do not swallow. When in doubt, use it for pancakes. To test an egg’s freshness, place it in a bowl of water – it shouldn’t float. If mold appears on the hard cheese, cut off 2–3 centimeters around it, the rest can be eaten. Throw out moldy soft cheese; the spores have penetrated deep, so the product is already dangerous.

6. Pickle vegetables

To do this, you do not need to sterilize the jars for hours in the kitchen. Rinse the container in warm soapy water and dry. Prepare vegetables; wash, peel (if necessary), cut. Add herbs, garlic, and mustard seeds as desired. For a half-liter jar, take 120 milliliters of vinegar and water, half a tablespoon of salt and sugar. Heat the marinade to dissolve the crystals. Pour them over the vegetables and twist the jar. When cool, refrigerate for two days. Vegetables pickled in this way can be stored for up to two months.

7. Freeze

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits are the most thrown away in the world, although they are easy to save. Chop any vegetables and fruits, arrange in bags or containers and freeze. Make fruit smoothies by mixing them in a blender with milk or yogurt. Add nuts, oatmeal, and honey as desired. To cook fruit ice, whisk with juice, and freeze in tins. Frozen fruits are perfect for pies and compotes. Vegetables are good for any meal.


Place the chopped greens in a container and add some oil. Freeze and use for cooking.

Dairy products and eggs

The yogurt in the freezer flakes, and the eggs crack. But freeze milk, cheese, and egg white boldly.

Also read: Who Should Eat Flax Seeds And Why?


If you’ve cooked too much, freeze your lunch – save cooking time next time. Store homemade food in zip bags. They are thin, so everything in them quickly crystallizes and thaws. Sauces can be frozen in ice trays. Sign what is frozen and when. Jamie warns that leftover food and dairy products can be stored in this form for no longer than three months.


If the bread gets stale, chop it up and freeze it to make breadcrumbs later.

Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff

Sources: Life hacker