Food Storage Tips

Enjoy More, Toss Less: Smart Storage Goes a Long Way

The Bay Area is blessed with a cornucopia of fresh produce, and the fall harvest brings a large assortment of delicious fruits and vegetables. The ugly downside of such abundance is that more than 40{94d79dd6af1e87a94e700e4c297236468333f22e27ed5757b44711974a9a4b91} of all food goes to waste on its journey from farm to fork, much of it right in our own kitchens.

“In Alameda County, fruit and veggies top the list of foods that get tossed at home,” says Cassie Bartholomew of local public agency StopWaste, citing a recent study. “Meanwhile, more than half the residents we’ve spoken with are eager to do their part to prevent waste.” The agency’s Stop Food Waste campaign at aims to help prevent food waste through smart planning, storage tips, and easy-to-follow recipes to eat the food you have in your kitchen.

Take celery, for example. A must-have ingredient in turkey stuffing and countless other dishes, those once-crunchy stalks of celery tend to go limp in the fridge, since most recipes only call for a few stalks. To prevent spoilage, trim the base, then place celery stalks in a jar with 1 to 2 inches of water, just like fresh cut flowers, and store in the fridge. You can place a plastic bag loosely over the jar to prevent drying out. If you do end up with any inedible scraps, be sure to compost them!

To use up extra celery, try this delicious side dish:

Asian-Inspired Celery Salad

Serves 4

For the dressing: In a small bowl, combine
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1¼ teaspoons grated ginger
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons fish sauce (or ½ teaspoon salt).

Whisk together.

For the salad:
Cut 5 celery stalks across the ribs into ¼-inch slices.
Julienne 3 carrots.
Mince 1 green jalapeño (or more to taste).

Place vegetables in a serving bowl and toss with the dressing.
Garnish with ½ cup chopped, roasted peanuts and 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro.


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Storage tip series: Throughout the fall season, Edible East Bay’s e-newsletter will feature more storage tips and recipes from StopWaste. Sign up for the newsletter at or search the website blog for the series.