During 2019 in the US, approximately 136.1 billion dollars of food was produced by American farmers, much of which was wasted due to spoilage. An estimated 30-40 percent of food is said to be wasted in the United States. Food is purchased and stored in the fridge or pantry, but consumers end up throwing items away because most consumables have a short shelf life.
There are many ways to reduce food waste. Many people are unwilling to take the additional time to slow food spoilage. One practical way to do this is vacuum packaging. With a simple home use vacuum sealer and bags, food storage times can be substantially increased.
Food waste increases food costs by driving up demand. Thankfully, increasing food storage times offers the ability to reduce food waste. Spending the extra time to vacuum seal food items, can help save money and time
How Vacuum Sealing Can Reduce Food Waste
Vacuum sealing creates a modified atmosphere within the package. For home use sealers, the modified atmosphere has reduced oxygen. The vacuum sealer removes the air within the package, which reduces oxygen content. The reduced oxygen content allows products to last longer during storage. When used with frozen storage, the shelf life increases exponentially.
Prevent Freezer Burns
While it’s still safe to eat freezer burnt foods, the taste is significantly affected, and it will look unappetizing. You can prevent freezer burn with vacuum sealing. Because of the limited air exposure, moisture is not drawn out of the frozen food. The loss of moisture in frozen food causes discoloration, taste loss, and nutrient loss.
By vacuum sealing the food, the vacuum bag becomes the barrier from the cold, which zaps moisture content.
You Can Save Money
Buying food in bulk can save money as the cost per unit is less. With a vacuum sealer, it’s possible to buy food in bulk and repackage it into smaller portions. Using a home-use vacuum sealer is much more effective than zipping reclosable bags. The product will have fewer ice crystals and can be stored for longer. Butcher shops and meat companies use vacuum sealing for a reason, vacuum packaging works.
Food Lasts Longer
With a vacuum sealer, your food can last longer than conventional storing methods. For example, meat can only last a couple of months in the freezer without freezer burn. With vacuum sealing bags, you can extend the shelf life of meat for many months. It may be impractical to store food that long, but it can be beneficial when purchasing in bulk. The purchase of primal cuts or large packs of meat at the right time can save money and taste the same months later.
Preserves Food and Snacks
Let’s admit it; snacks don’t always get finished. So people end up putting them in the fridge or on a pantry shelf. The food becomes stale or poor-tasting in a short period because it’s no longer fresh. After a few days, the uneaten food is trashed. With vacuum-sealing bags, leftover snacks can be preserved for a future time without compromising food taste. The compact bags will take up less space while increasing storage times of snackable items.
Save Those Leftovers
During special occasions like Christmas and birthdays, leftovers can be in abundance. With vacuum bags, you can save these leftovers, freeze them, and you have a ready-made meal. Saving grandma’s favorite bake for a future date is well worth the $50 a home use vacuum sealer costs.
According to a 2018 Yahoo Finance article, families average spending $150 for Christmas and Thanksgiving meals. Many larger families spend much more depending on size and additional guests. Saving 20-30% without spoilage can almost pay for a home use sealer and bags to begin.
By vacuum sealing your food, you’re not only saving money and preserving your well-loved food, but you can also save time. There is no need to spend hours doing meal preparations and cooking them. If you’re in a hurry or if you have a hectic week, you can easily cook a meal. Leftovers are an absolute money and time-saver for the entire family.
Store Seasonal Items
One of the best uses of vacuum sealers is saving seasonal food such as berries, tomatoes, and other vegetables for unseasonable times of the year. If you have a larger freezer and canning equipment, harvested produce will not go to waste.
With in-house testing we have stored frozen squash, peas, and zucchini for over 12 months. The ability to store local grown food for longer is perfect for home gardeners. Have better tasting produce for longer through the year.
Other Ways to Reduce Food Waste
Apart from vacuum sealing your food, there are other helpful ways to reduce food waste. Below are some tips:
1. Before grocery shopping, ensure that you have a shopping list complete with all the items needed to purchase. It’s always best when you pre-plan purchasing amounts before shopping. Choose bulk products that can be re-packaged and stored without compromising taste.
2. Store your food wisely, especially those that you put in the pantry. If you’re into quantity buying, ensure that you use older products first, so they do not expire. Using the first-in-first-out method efficiently will help prevent spoilage. For items stored longer, be sure the container used is fully sealed to avoid bugs and air reaching to products. Otherwise, you’ll only end up throwing them away.
3. Consider putting date and item labels on food items. Note on anything you re-package when you bought it and what it is. Nobody enjoys thawing the mystery meat to eat. Knowing what the food is and an age will keep from avoiding mysterious foods.
Are You Using Vacuum Sealing Bags in Your Home?
If you want to preserve your food and reduce waste, we recommend considering vacuum-sealing. Imagine how much you can save when you can extend the shelf life of the food you buy.
Several prominent brand-name home-use vacuum sealers can be purchased for under $50. For home-use vacuum sealing in low volumes, most brands work perfectly fine.
Be sure to notice the textured rolls or bags when you are buying new vacuum sealing bags. The textures are in the bag to allow air to easily pass through the bags during the vacuuming process. The purchase of any bags without texture will end in disappointment because they will not work with a home-use sealer.
The benefits of vacuum sealing your food are more than just helping you preserve food and reduce waste. You’re also helping the environment buy not buying more and causing excessive packaging. With vacuum bags, since the top can be cut and re-sealed after use, one bag can be used many times.