Tag: refrigerator

The first anti-waste community refrigerator arrives in Japan – Italian Cuisine

The first community fridge was recently inaugurated in Japan, an initiative designed to combat food waste and food poverty

In Japan, every year, more than 6 million tons of edible food are thrown away, yet it is not easy to stem this problem and, above all, to link the environmental aspect to the social one of the right to food. However, a community fridge in Okayama, a beautiful anti-waste initiative which in addition to making an important contribution in terms of environmental impact it also represents an important support in the redistribution of food and in the fight against poverty and food insecurity. This project sees the light for the first time in Japan, not surprisingly during the difficult period of the Covid-19 pandemic. In other parts of the world the concept of the community refrigerator has already spread widely since 2012, just think that the Hubbub, the world's largest network, includes over 100 refrigerators scattered throughout the UK alone.

How the idea of ​​the Kitanagase Community Fridge was born in Japan

The idea of ​​importing the concept of the community fridge to Japan is thanks to Kenichi Narita, an ambitious and sensitive 42-year-old cook. After spending a period in the hospital during his adolescence due to cancer, he decided to do everything possible to help people in need. The idea of ​​combining this desire with the issue of food waste came to him in adulthood after starting to work as a cook in a restaurant. It is on this occasion, in fact, that he became aware of appalling amount of still edible food being wasted or thrown away. Narita, now a restaurant manager in Okayama prefecture, has therefore decided to take advantage of the time of the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent economic difficulties to launch an initiative that could make a difference within its community. After researching and traveling to the UK to field study the Hubbub Community Fridge Network, Kenichi Narita is finally able to introduce this project to Japan as well. In November 2020, thanks to him and in collaboration with the Kitanagase Area Management, the first community fridge of the Rising Sun.

Food recycling and solidarity network

The Kitanagase Community Fridge project is based on a concrete and well thought out program serving the community. First of all, it must be said that the fridge is located in an unmanned warehouse inside a shopping center and which actually includes a refrigerator, a freezer and a shelf. The contribution comes from around 60 local businesses, farmers and families who donate food and other non-perishable household goods, and not from supermarkets as is the case in the UK. Among the foods present, all intact, in excellent condition and not expired, there are fruits and vegetables, but also tofu, meat, noodle cup, canned or frozen food, bread and snacks. I am alone in using them community members who have a low income and who, after registering for the program, have access to the community refrigerator anonymously and independently, via an app to download.

There are currently about 300 Japanese families registered, but the hope is that this service will spread to other parts of the country and inspire other communities around the world.

Photo: community refrigerator anti waste_kenichi narita.jpg
Photo: japan anti waste community fridge_smart-supply.org.png

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How to store fruit and vegetables: refrigerator or room temperature? – Italian Cuisine

How to store fruit and vegetables: refrigerator or room temperature?

Here are some tips and advice to ensure a longer and safer life for your fruit and vegetables

Ideal allies for a correct and healthy diet, fruit and vegetables should never be missing in the fridge and pantry. To manage to keep them at their best, guaranteeing their integrity and freshness, is a fundamental step to fully benefit from their wealth of vitamins and minerals. Here are some suggestions to prevent them from spoiling and to contain household waste.

The right calculation of the doses and the containers to use

Don't buy fruit and vegetables in large quantities. Thinking about the real needs and consumption of these foods is the first step to avoiding waste. Be paper envelopes is wicker baskets: using plastic bags and containers to store fruit and vegetables is one of the most frequent and deleterious errors because it compromises their freshness. In particular, leafy vegetables should be kept in paper bags to absorb moisture.

Fridge or room temperature?

There are qualities of vegetables that deteriorate more easily than others, therefore the rule that fresh vegetables should be kept in the refrigerator until the moment of consumption does not always apply. There are in fact some vegetables that must be left at room temperature to prevent the cold from damaging them, such as potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic and legumes: at temperatures below 7-8 degrees they tend to change color and stain on the skin so it is best to keep them in a paper bag in a cool and dry place in the pantry. Eggplants and courgettes, however, among the most delicate vegetables because they wilt quickly, it is better not to keep them in the refrigerator for more than 4/5 days. In addition, once cooked, the vegetables can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days at most.

Regarding the fruit, out of the refrigerator must be put away the one that has yet to mature, the citrus and the exotic one which risks spoiling with the cold. Kiwis, pears and apples, which can last for weeks, can be stored at room temperature in a large basket. It is important to remember that apples produce ethylene and unless you want to ripen some other product quickly – fruit or vegetables is indifferent – it is better to keep them separate from the rest.

An alternative pantry

It is preferable to avoid leaving fruit and vegetables where the sun shines too long because high temperatures favor maturation. If you have one cellar or balcony, you can keep vegetables and fruit on ad hoc shelves in a shaded and well-sheltered place. Here you can store seasonal vegetables that suffer less like courgettes, squash, cabbage, onions, shallots, potatoes, garlic, apples, persimmons, pears and bananas.

Yes to the freezer

The freezer is undoubtedly a valid ally to avoid waste but to best preserve fruit and vegetables you must clean it by removing the inedible parts, blanch the vegetables for a minute and let them cool and then always divide into portions to have everything ready for use.

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Coronavirus, also survives in the refrigerator? – Italian Cuisine

Coronavirus, also survives in the refrigerator?

Here is what the virologist of the State University of Milan, Fabrizio Pregliasco, explained. And here's what countermeasures to take. Without getting anxious!

Yup, the Covid-19 coronavirus is able to survive for a few days on some surfaces. So is it necessary to disinfect each product when returning from the supermarket? No: the important thing is always wash your hands carefully, as soon as you get home and even immediately after putting each item in the fridge or pantry. Let's do some clarity.

How long does coronavirus survive on surfaces?

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated the time of survival of the coronavirus on some surfaces. On plastic it can resist longer, but after 7 hours the infectious capacity is halved, to be reset after 72 hours. On steel it halves in 6 hours and in 48 it breaks down, on cardboard it takes 5 and 24 hours, on copper 2 and 4 hours. Research has analyzed the survival of the virus at room temperature, but there is no reason to think that something different will happen in the refrigerator.

The disinfectants to use

After an ordinary disinfection, made with ethyl alcohol (62-71% ethanol), hydrogen peroxide (0.5% hydrogen peroxide) or bleach (0.1% sodium hypochlorite), the virus, however, dies within a minute.

But the most relevant aspect is that none of the studies, so far, has shown that we can get infected with coronavirus only by touching a surface: even if the virus is detected, it is not said that, in this way, it manages to infect a person (who should pass it from the hands to the mouth, eyes or nose).

For this reason, it is not necessary to pass alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the purchased packages, as confirmed by the virologist of the State University of Milan, Fabrizio Pregliasco, speaking to the "Corriere della Sera": "In the meantime I should have the misfortune that someone has coughed on it therefore, as on all surfaces the same thing always applies: I don't have to put my hands in my mouth and my hands should be washed often. I don't think it's necessary to disinfect the bag of plastic". Coronavirus is a very strong interhuman transmission, and so far there have never been documented cases of contagion through objects.

Not only, we must not be afraid of swallowing the virus: even if we ingest contaminated food, this would not be enough to infect us. The rule that always applies is to wash your hands before starting to cook, before eating and even after clearing: when we are not sure we have clean hands, we must stay be careful not to touch our face.

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