Jackie E. Ogden, Cooperative Extension agent for the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and president of the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences, was recently quoted in an article in the Washington Post about keeping food fresh.
Ogden said that an important step in getting food to keep longer is to check the temperature of storage areas. For cabinets and pantries, she recommends keeping the temperature between 50 and 70 degrees. For everything else, she advises setting the refrigerator to 37 degrees and the freezer to zero or below.
When it comes to lettuce, she said there’s not much that can be done to extend its life beyond a week, but spinach can last up to 10 months.
“You blanch it—plunge it into boiling water—to stop the enzymes that break it down, then cool it quickly to stop the cooking process, dry it thoroughly and then freeze it in an airtight container,” Ogden said.