4 Tips to make your Groceries Stay Fresh
When we go grocery shopping, we want to get the most out of every item we are spending money on in our basket. I asked Diego, our Quality Assurance Director how long our roasts last once they leave the deli, and his response was: it largely depends on the what happens once it passes from the deli to the customer. The length of time we get out of perishable refrigerated items such as uncooked meat, cooked meat, vegetables, and anything which needs to be kept at a cooler temperature than the inside, depends on keeping it at that temperature, even in the grocery store.
Farmers and Cooks roasts are a single cut of meat from a single animal, with only all natural ingredients, so our meat has no preservatives in it. Because it is real meat and all natural like you would cook at home, it is even more important to keep it cold on its way from the deli to your home, and beyond. Even other ‘all natural’ deli meats are usually macerated multiple cuts of meat which have added water in the final product. This can help it last longer than it would if it was a single cut of real meat. Even adding one of these tips to your routine could help make our roasts last longer.
1. Making your food last longer starts before you get to the store…
Many of us have reusable bags to reduce waste, and even if you don’t, it is unlikely that you have an insulated bag in that collection (Let me know if I’m wrong!). I know I only added one of these beauties to my collection recently when I became a part of a local meat share! Having an insulated bag with a frozen freezer pack would be the best solution, but that is probably not realistic since most of us keep our reusable bags in our car for convenience. If you have the willpower to remember the freezer pack and the insulated bag then awesome, but if not, the insulated bag will still help substantially. The goal of using this bag is to keep items which are cold or need to be kept cold, staying that way even as you shop throughout the grocery store.
So for Farmers and Cooks roasts, the meat should get handed from the deli to you, and then into your insulated bag to keep it fresh and ready to eat as long as possible.
2. Changing your grocery store map
When I go into the grocery store I go to produce, meat, deli, bakery, dairy, frozen, and then everything else in the non-refrigerated aisles. Most stores are set up to flow you through areas which need refrigeration first, but by thinking about changing this to put those items in the cart last, those cold items will stay at the correct temperature longer. So even if you forget your insulated bag or don’t want to invest in making that a part of your routine, changing the way you shop through the store can help keep all of your shopping fresh, longer.
We would prefer that you shop the deli last to keep our roasts cold and not exposed to the store temperatures.
3. From the store to your home
Now you have your insulated bag (maybe even bags??) full of produce, meat, dairy, Farmers and Cooks roasts, deli, and frozen foods in your car. Where do you go next? To run another quick errand? No! Go right home. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. The main takeaway is to get the food from refrigeration at the correct temperature BACK TO refrigeration at the right temperature as quickly as possible. While the insulated bag will help to keep items colder than they would otherwise be, this is still not the best temperature for them. Once you get home, focus on getting cold items into the fridge and freezer as quickly as possible. My significant other and I tag team this process with one of us bringing groceries into the house while the other puts items in the fridge before moving on to putting everything else away.
4. Making sandwiches or recipes
The meat has made it from the grocery store to your car, to your house, to your refrigerator, so it must be as good as it gets now right? Wrong! Now you are going to eat this food probably right? That is, after all, what all of this running around, spending money, and keeping things cold was about. So once you are taking the food out of the fridge, try to only remove what you need and if that isn’t possible or easy, put back what you don’t use as quickly as you can.
With Farmers and Cooks roasts, it’s hard to remove slices from the deli bag, so we recommend taking the bag out, removing the meat you need, and putting the remainder back in the fridge before assembling sandwiches or recipes. Air is the enemy of meat, so try to get as much air out of the bag as possible, or wrap tightly in cling wrap.
I am guilty of taking everything out and not even thinking about putting it away until my recipe or sandwich is made…sometimes even later. To get the most of your food do not do this. Keep things refrigerated that you want for longer than just the day, and your groceries will go farther.
Let me know if you have any tips or tricks for remembering to pack your bags, what your grocery store routine looks like, or anything else you do to make your groceries go the extra mile for you!