The Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced that inflation is up to its highest level in four decades. I don't know about you, but I find I am looking even more carefully than normal at everything I buy. Not only do I want a good product, but I also want that product to last as long as possible. If you are like me, you try to put as many vegetables and fruits into your diet as possible. Spending money on fresh vegetables and fruits can be pricey.

Many people in Acadiana know so much information about food including how long things like fresh produce will last, but I am not one of those people. While my sisters grew up "at my mama's knee" learning how to cook, I never did. I never got the hang of it. Included in my lack of knowledge is how long fresh produce will typically last. With everyone looking to stretch their money even further in today's economy, I figured I would try to see just how long is recommended that I should keep certain foods.

I found a great resource for information as the LSU AgCenter has compiled a list of how long the produce that you buy at the store will last once you get it home. These are some very handy tips to think about when you visit the grocery store or have your groceries delivered. Now, some fresh produce, like tomatoes, is something that I am willing to spend a bit more on even if I know I have to consume them sooner than other vegetables like celery that might last longer in the crisper in my refrigerator.

When it comes to the economics of buying food, I also want to make sure that I get "the most bang for my buck". I want to try to buy food that I know will last longer, and if it's going to go bad quicker, I want to know so that I can put it carefully sealed into the freezer.

Sandra May, LSU AgCenter registered dietitian in the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences had this to say,

"A lot of fresh produce lasts a long time if stored properly. When people buy fresh foods, in general, they usually eat them in the first week, but things like apples and carrots can last a long time in the crisper."

I find that what happens is I will buy a bag of oranges and a bag of apples, then I forget to put them together in the recipes that I was thinking about at the store. With the instruction for the LSU AgCenter, know I have a better idea of when I need to think about freezing the items to use when I am ready to cook that recipe.

LSU Ag Center also has a wealth of knowledge about food safety and other health issues related to food.

How long will food last?


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