When buying something such as a peach, you usually buy by weight. This will include things such as the pit that you won’t eat, but that add into the weight. When you buy canned peaches there is no pit, and usually no skin. Thus you aren’t comparing true consumed weight. But with canned goods, you’re paying for the water/syrup/brine that the fruits and veggies are packed in… Other things are more comparable – a green-bean (string bean) frozen, canned, or fresh, is pretty much the same weight, in terms of consumed product.
Let’s just say you were unable to resist the temptation of the bulk bin aisle, and you’ve arrived home with a half-dozen baggies filled with everything from quinoa flour to einkorn. These things happen, but not to worry, because you have plans — big plans! — for baking all sorts of wondrous things in the coming weeks.
Okay, you eager-beaver baker, you — do you know where you should be storing all your lovely bags of whole-grain flour until your schedule clears? Do you know why?
Why should I care about it being in an air-tight container? Because even in the freezer, the fats will react (slowly) with oxygen and become rancid. In an air-tight container, the oxygen level will eventually drop too low for the reaction to continue, thus preserving the flour for a longer time than flour stored in the freezer and constantly exposed to fresh oxygen.
On the flip side, whole grain wheat has a shelf live of over 30 years if properly prepared, sealed and stored. Just add a grinder for flour.
Honey is magic. Besides its delicious taste, it’s pretty much the only food that does not spoil while in an edible state. But why, exactly, doesn’t honey go bad?
Honey has a lot of pretty incredible properties. It’s been used and investigated for medicinal properties for a long time, especially as a treatment for open wounds. Herodotus reported that the Babylonians buried their dead in honey, and Alexander the Great may have been embalmed in a coffin full of honey.
The oldest honey ever found was unearthed in Georgia, and dates back over 5,000 years. So, if you found yourself in possession of some 5,000 year-old honey, could you eat it? Well. . .
Did you know there are other things that will almost never spoil? Vinegar (especially the extremely distilled kind, like white vinegar) can last a long time. But it can lose its flavor over time. Similarly for vodka. Anything with a high alcohol content takes forever to go bad.
Two foods are left out on the counter – fresh tomatoes and a bowl of sugar. Within a week or so, one will develop black spots and the other remains pristine, albeit perhaps a little clumpy depending on the humidity of the air. The reason? Osmosis.
According to some estimates, as much as 40 per cent of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten. That’s $165-billion of wasted food.
The Environmental Protection Agency says that 35 million tonnes of food was thrown out in 2012 alone, 20 per cent more than the food tossed out in 2000. In fact, more food now ends up in landfills than plastic, glass, paper and metal, and comprises more than a fifth of America’s garbage.
Considering food waste accounted for less than 10 per cent of total waste in 1980, the numbers are unnerving.