NEW YORK (MainStreet) With an estimated 40% of U.S food being wasted annually, the average family of four throws away anywhere from $1,365 to 2,275 a year. This problem is entirely avoidable; it only takes understanding when foods are safe to eat and how they can be best stored for shelf life longevity.
According to the guide at StillTasty.com, much of your typical diet can defy the laws of expiration when kept in a specific way. However, it is good to note here that any person attempting to keep food fresh for months or even years at a time should ultimately rely on sight, smell and taste of foods to determine whether eating the food is a safe proposition.
Milk: can keep for up to 3 months
Although saving your milk for longer than its refrigerator shelf life may result in a change of consistency, it may be imbibed months after its printed expiration date.
Here's how to make it last: for long storage, freeze your milk in its original container. When you're ready to consume it, thaw it out and stir. Though it should be safe for cooking and drinking, let your senses be the ultimate judge of food safety.
Honey: can keep forever
Honey stored well may grow solid over time or even change color, but it will never be unsafe for consumption.
Here's how to make it last: as long as honey is kept in a cool place and in a tightly closed jar, it will keep.
Rice: can keep from one year to forever (depending on type)
Most rice varieties such as basmati, white and wild can stay fresh indefinitely, as long as they are kept well-sealed and away from contaminants. On the other hand, brown rice, which is higher in oil content, has a much shorter shelf.
Here's how to make it last: typical uncooked rice keeps well in a cool and dry location, while brown rice can keep up to a year when frozen.