That’s a Wrap!

Ag & Food |  2 min. read

All of us have probably left something in the fridge a little too long.  Ok, maybe a lot too long.  But you might be surprised to know just how much food we throw out.

Add up what we throw at home, with what restaurants and grocery stores chuck, and – ready? about FORTY PERCENT of everything we are supposed to be eating, we wind up throwing out instead.

Picture it this way, you bring home two bags of groceries from the store – and you take one of those bags and dump most of it straight into the trash (or the compost bin if you’re a Californian).  That much.

“We” by the way – is those of us here in the U.S., but we have plenty of company.  Worldwide, wasted food runs to about a third of everything.

And that – makes food waste a BIG problem.  Now there’s no one solution for it – but a little plastic wouldn’t hurt.  That’s plastic as in, plastic wrap.  Here’s a little science on the subject:

“Ultrathin plastic film helps block transmission of oxygen, increasing shelf life of fresh meats to 21 days or more, and plastic vacuum packaging prevents discoloration of meats and extends shelf life 10 times longer than store-wrapped meat, resulting in 75 percent less food waste.”1

Or, if you like to see for yourself (and see something a little gross) – the folks at ExxonMobil (taking a break from their 9 to 5 jobs), posted a time-lapse video of two weeks in the life of a cucumber in the refrigerator – half of it wrapped in plastic, and the other half just sitting on a plate.  Spoiler alert:  one of the two pieces – really does spoil.

Conclusion?  Plastic wrap (made in a process that starts with petrochemicals) keeps food fresher, and makes food last longer – in our home refrigerators and in the grocery store too.  Cue some wrap music.

And bonus use:  if you’re using a dry rub to prep something before cooking, put the marinatee (yeah, we made that up) – double wrap the thing you’re marinating in plastic wrap.  The marinade gets absorbed faster that way.  (Want extra credit?  Why is it “marinade” but “marinating”?)