Text: Zhu Lingyun “Ming Pao” Picture: Huang Zhidong
(Hong Kong) We open our refrigerators when we get hungry, but how many of us regularly review the contents? If you take a closer look, you may be pleasantly surprised, just like Natalie Huang, the project coordinator (nutritionist) of medical practitioners, has seen some refrigerators in the neighborhood containing food that has been out of date for several years.
If Caiyan, a retired person, learns to “break away from homes and leaves”, the refrigerator will not only bring convenience to mankind, but also become a guardian of health and promote a nutritious diet.
【Case: Caiyan, a retiree】
Caiyan has always liked delicious food and cooking, but since she fell into the high-risk category of diabetes, she began to pay more attention to nutrition and exercise in her diet. By chance, she came across a street station placed by doctors and nurses, and found that the refrigerator facing each other day and night turned out to be the door to healthy eating.
Natalie is in charge of coordinating the Yingjuli community project. Through four classes, she teaches the skills of organizing refrigerators and nutrition knowledge. She also goes to supermarkets with her neighbors to buy healthy ingredients. After Caiyan participated, she found that her refrigerator was not only messy, but also stored all kinds of unhealthy food. She made up her mind to clean up the refrigerator and pass on the knowledge to those around her.
■Yan=Caiyan ■Ki=Reporter ■N=Natalie, a nutritionist
Eggs go bad easily by the door
In May 2009, Caiyan passed by a street station placed by doctors and nurses, and a small game about refrigerators and nutrition caught her attention.
Yan: Refrigerators all have nutrition? Refrigerators have to learn to organize? I’m just curious, everyone has a refrigerator at home. Before (I) put things in it casually, I never thought that I have knowledge.
Reporter: At that time, there were some matching games at Street Station?
N: Yes, there is a cardboard refrigerator.
Yan: I misplaced some of them, for example, most of the eggs are placed by the door. Raw and cooked meat (previously) is placed casually, and stuffed in if there is a place.
N: I have heard experts say from different channels that the temperature next to the refrigerator door will be 1 to 2 degrees higher. If you don’t eat it often, the eggs will go bad easily if left there. If the eggs are stored for a month or two, it is best to store them in the refrigerator.
Stuffed with no expired food in sight
Caiyan then participated in the “Li” community project organized by medical practitioners. Natalie, who was in charge of the project, asked everyone to take pictures of the refrigerator at home, and Caiyan discovered some bad habits of her own.
Yan: I always see it when I take pictures. The first one was messy, but now it is much more tidy. Also check that some food should be cleaned up as soon as it needs to be cleaned up, such as expired food. I used to (save) more sauces, but now I eat less, so it expires soon after opening.
Reporter: What are the problems with most of the refrigerators of the participants?
N: One of them is more common. The refrigerator may be filled with a lot of things, and sometimes you don’t know what is behind it. I have seen many neighbors have expired food, such as chocolate five years ago, flaxseed eight years ago. The second is like Caiyan, who doesn’t know where things should be placed.
Frozen meat and seafood are nutritious for a long time
Hong Kong people live a busy life and have little time to cook a big meal, so they keep processed food at home for a long time.
Yan: I used to buy a lot of frozen food. Dumplings and balls must be put in the refrigerator, luncheon meat and other foods that must be available at any time, so I don’t need to go to the street to eat. I like to eat dumplings, which are stored in the refrigerator.
Reporter: Many people store a lot of processed food at home, is it not recommended?
N: In fact, the dumplings are full of fat, and salt and oil are added. It is not recommended to eat such processed food. If it needs to be stored for a long time, it is recommended to freeze meat, seafood, eggs or tofu, which will be much higher in nutrition. Sometimes it’s convenient, there’s no way (non-fresh food), but if time permits, eat a little more fresh meat.
Reporter: After the nutrition class, have you tried some new food types?
Yan: I seldom eat dairy products in the past, but now I choose cheese, and I don’t buy too many small cups, because she (Natalie) said not to buy in large quantities, otherwise it will go bad again. I have tried the milk and it turned sour. I couldn’t finish it and put it by the (refrigerator) door, but it turned bad and wasted money.
Organize the refrigerator together for relatives and friends
Part of the plan is to invite neighbors to organize refrigerators for relatives and friends. Caiyan chose to share knowledge with her sister’s family, and the process was quite challenging.
N: It’s not so easy to go to someone’s house, open his refrigerator, and give advice there. Friends or family members actually need a lot of trust to let you go up.
Reporter: Caiyan, what is your experience?
Yan: Go to my sister’s house, have dinner first, and let everyone be happy. The brothers-in-law are all there, and the three of them tidy up together. She put a lot of things in the refrigerator, and some juices spilled and had to be cleaned up. I have a feeling in my heart that (cleaning the refrigerator) is not a one-off, because she has so many things in it. I share that knowledge, hoping to infect her with the incentive to do so.
Reduce purchases at the source and do a good job of categorizing
Refrigerators also need to lose weight
“What is a refrigerator?” Natalie took this question as the first lesson of the plan. Caiyan was still impressed by the answer shown in the slideshow: “The refrigerator is originally to protect the health of the family. This is so important, that is (cleaning the refrigerator) )motivation.”
Natalie wants to remind the public that we eat what the refrigerator “eats”, so tidying up the refrigerator is closely related to health.
Refrigerators are an essential accessory for modern homes. Natalie observed from the classroom that many neighbors have basic knowledge, such as knowing how to store raw and cooked meat separately, and food should be wrapped or covered. Some families, however, have chronically full refrigerators because neighbors often buy ingredients they don’t need, or because they can’t bear to throw away festive food that others don’t like.
Ignore clearing expired food when it is full
A full refrigerator will not only affect the circulation of air-conditioning, but also cause neighbors to neglect to clear out expired food. “Vegetables are often stuffed with stuff, and you can’t see what’s underneath.”
Caiyan also felt the same way. In the past, she would just randomly stuff food into any empty space in the refrigerator; now she follows Natalie’s advice and reduces the amount of shopping at the source to avoid waste. “Refrigerators must be slimmed down!”
On the day of the visit, I opened the refrigerator of Caiyan, and saw that the bulk food was individually packaged in dense bags, and the bags were placed upright with labels attached, which was very neat. Seeing the results of the training, Natalie couldn’t help but praise: “I think there are two things that are good. The first is that a lot of (ingredients) are in place, and the snow rack is well arranged. The second is a lot of nutritional changes, with more meat. , Fruits of different colors.”
Doctors and nurses donated some storage bags and storage boxes to encourage the participants to improve the way of food arrangement, and Caiyan also made use of them.
Tidying up your refrigerator is not just for food safety, it can also encourage neighbors to pay more attention to nutrition. Caiyan learned to eat a variety of fruits after class, so during the visit, the refrigerator was stocked with kiwi, dragon fruit, and blueberries. Now try two fruits, or a combination of fruits and vegetables of different colors.”
Natalie also pointed out that the conspicuous salmon in the refrigerator is a choice with high nutritional value. Caiyan cooks at home from time to time. The ingredients are not only healthy, but also take into account her own preferences. “This time I added salt-roasted mackerel, salmon and shrimp. I like to eat them all, and the quantity should not be too much.”
Encourage good habits with your family
In the class, Natalie arranged for the participants to look at the photos of each other’s refrigerators in their homes, and to give each other suggestions for improvement. Afterwards, they went to the supermarket to buy food together. Natalie quoted the conversation among the participants: “Your family buys more meatballs, why not buy more frozen meat and mushrooms, which are both healthy and convenient.”
Cleaning up the refrigerator is not a one-on-one struggle. The project encourages participants to develop the habit with neighbors and family members, and at the same time use the refrigerator to strengthen the relationship. Caiyan mentioned that she seldom goes to her sister’s house for dinner on weekdays, and it’s rare for her to spend more time with each other by tidying up the refrigerator. Natalie revealed that in early August, she will go into the community with the participants to promote healthy eating tips to more people as neighbors.
Now Caiyan’s refrigerator only stores the food she needs, and her eating habits can be seen at a glance. Breaking up is never easy. Her experience is: “The refrigerator is clean, and the whole person is happier.”
Make good use of bags and boxes to filter ingredients
Save space and keep fresh
Inflation eats out less and cooks more at home, which has made many people accustomed to buying dishes for several days at a time; coupled with the convenience of online shopping, carefully selected “family cooking” is often purchased because of discounts A large number of ingredients make the refrigerator, the granary at home, “always full”.
Filling the refrigerator with food will cause the temperature of the storage compartment to rise, causing all ingredients to go bad in minutes.
Experts pointed out that some simple methods can save space in the refrigerator and free up more space to welcome new products into the “warehouse”. In addition, if the food is placed properly, the food will not go bad easily, and the cooking will be particularly delicious.
Dried seasonings do not need to be frozen
To achieve ideal freezing and refrigerating effects, the freezer compartment of the refrigerator should be maintained at 0 to 4°C; the freezer compartment (commonly known as ice tray) should be maintained at -18°C or below.
Fang Liying, an associate professor at the Department of Food and Health Sciences of the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong, said that the ideal storage capacity of refrigerators should not exceed 70%, otherwise it will hinder the blowing and circulation of cold air.
It’s just that there are many people in the family and the refrigerator is small, what should I do? I consulted two housework experts to share the method of saving space in the refrigerator.
1/ Before buying the goods, break away from the house and eat the old ingredients first
“Many people rush home after buying groceries and put all the groceries in the refrigerator.” Zhang Meiling, an instructor of the ERB’s domestic helper course, pointed out that before bringing the groceries home, the first task is to perform the practice of “breaking away from home” , first clear away all expired, spoiled, and broken foods; and follow the “first in, first out” principle, that is, the ingredients that have been placed for the longest time are cleaned or eaten first.
In addition, soy sauce, sauces and other seasonings and general dry goods do not need to be frozen, and it is convenient to store them in a dry place at home.
Also, pay attention to how you place your food. If you stack food randomly, every time you look for it, it’s like playing a treasure hunt. Besides time-consuming accidents, random stacking is actually a waste of space; if the refrigerator door is opened for a long time, it will also affect the temperature inside the refrigerator.
She suggested referring to the supermarket shelves and arranging the food neatly; and placing the food that is about to be eaten near the door for easy access. If you store food in an airtight compact box, it is recommended to use the same size box and stack it neatly to save space. If you want to further save space, you can use a dense bag to hold food without juice.
2/Dry vegetables and fruits can be stored with fish and salt
Many people will buy vegetables for 3 to 4 days at a time, but they should pay attention to the different shelf life of different ingredients. Zhang Meiling took vegetables and fruits as an example, pointing out that mushrooms are the most perishable, and they can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days. It is recommended Consume within 1 to 2 days after purchase; leafy vegetables and melons can be kept fresh for about 3 to 5 days.
“Purchase timely and fresh types, and they can also be placed for a long time. For example, mushrooms, cabbage, lettuce, leeks, zucchini, and gasshang melon are generally of good quality from April to May. Store for a long time. But be careful, fruits and vegetables with too much water will turn yellow and rot more easily.”
“Before putting in the refrigerator, it is advisable to cut off the rotten parts of the leaves or roots, then absorb the water with a paper towel or dry them and put them in a tight bag, which saves space and keeps fresh.”
Zhang Meiling believes that the fish used for steaming is best eaten on the same day, otherwise it will have a fishy smell. “The fish used for cooking can be frozen and kept fresh for 1 to 2 days, but it is best to remove the internal organs, gills and blood, wipe dry and smear with salt, and then put it in a tight bag before putting it in the refrigerator. Fish scales can improve the preservation The freshness can be removed before cooking.”
Lu Wenhai, who taught the Employees Retraining Board’s domestic help course, said that it is best to use fresh pork for soup or steaming, as it will taste more delicious. “Although fresh meat can also be put into the freezer compartment like frozen meat, if it is kept in the refrigerator for too long, it will lose the juice and affect the taste, especially the fresh pork ribs, which have less meat than pork chops, and will dry out and taste bad after being refrigerated. “
If you plan to refrigerate meat for more than a week, it is recommended to simply buy cheaper frozen meat. After purchasing a large number of refrigerated chicken wings, you can use airtight bags to pack each meal individually, allowing you to use the space in the refrigerated compartment more flexibly.
“If you store meat in airtight bags, squeeze out the air in the bag before sealing to save space.” In addition, the meat stored in the freezer can be chopped according to the amount of each meal, and seasoned with sauces, and then packed in airtight bags Store separately.
3/ The marinade helps to keep the antibacterial fruit skin fresh
Fang Liying said that it is advisable to store food in dense bags and dense boxes according to the amount of each meal. When extracting, it can reduce the exposure of other foods in the refrigerator to room temperature. This will also avoid putting too much food back into the refrigerator after thawing, reducing the risk of bacterial growth. Arranging food neatly can reduce searching time and prevent other food from coming into contact with room temperature.
Oil, salt, and sauces can help inhibit the growth of bacteria. Peel the meat, remove the fat, and remove the bones, then chop and marinate it finely. Put it in a compact box and put it in the refrigerator. It is hygienic and space-saving. Different, “Fruit peels have a fresh-keeping effect. Do not freeze the fruit to save space. However, making salads with salad dressing is an exception, because the fruit is cut into pieces and wrapped in salad dressing, which helps to preserve freshness.”
Individually packaged food (such as chocolate, etc.) should be removed from the packaging box before putting it in the refrigerator. The box not only wastes space, but also prevents cold air from contacting the food and reduces the cooling effect.
“In addition, it is recommended to buy individually packaged ice cream, because the family pack is bulky, there is a risk of bacterial contamination every time you take it out to eat, and secondly, it will occupy the space of the refrigerator for a long time.”
Depending on whether the interior space is practical
Large size does not necessarily mean large capacity
The inventory of household food materials has increased greatly, and the “overload” of the refrigerator is serious. If you consider replacing a new refrigerator for this reason, it is worth noting that the larger the size of the model does not necessarily have the larger capacity, and the larger the capacity does not necessarily mean that it can hold The more food you have, you must pay attention to whether the design of the internal space and the partition are practical.
Mr. Thomas Poon, deputy director of product business, said that the refrigerator adopts smaller and efficient thermal insulation materials, which can make the fuselage thinner, and the storage space of individual models can be about 20% more than that of the same size models; with accessories Delicacy, such as lighting with LED lights, makes the interior space more flat and spacious.
Double refrigeration system with more cold air
Too much storage in the refrigerator may cause the temperature to rise. He suggested that you choose a model with a dual freezing system. Taking the double-door refrigerator as an example, the freezer and refrigerated compartments use independent cooling and air supply systems to ensure more sufficient cold air; in addition, the air between the freezer and refrigerated compartments does not circulate to prevent odors from mixing.
In addition, the air outlets of the freezer compartments of traditional refrigerators are mostly located on the upper layer, and the temperature in the lower layer may be 1 to 2°C higher. However, the individual storage compartments of the new refrigerator can precisely and flexibly adjust the temperature inside. For example, when storing fresh food such as fish and pork, the relevant storage compartments can be lowered from the normal 2°C to -1°C, further improving the freshness preservation performance without the need Cool down the entire freezer to save energy and protect the environment.
Furthermore, when defrosting refrigerated food, there is no need to move the food from the refrigerated compartment to the frozen compartment, and the temperature of the storage compartment of the refrigerated compartment can be directly raised from -18°C to 4°C. In addition, the temperature in the corners of the interior space of the old refrigerators may be higher, because the cold air may not be able to be effectively sent to the interior space. There is a metal back panel extending to the corners of the interior space of the new refrigerators, which can enhance the cooling effect.