Updated: May 31
Food waste is key and an easy way to reduce your environmental impact and save you money
According to the UN, 30% of food is wasted globally and salads are the most commonly wasted food within that.
A good way to avoid wasting salad, is to choose longer lasting varieties. For example, in Ireland, baby gem lettuce is easy to source locally and lasts far better than the bags of "baby leaves", etc. I can quite easily find Irish grown baby gem and the remaining challenge is to find it without plastic! A work in progress!
There are other variety such as Romaine, butterleaf and iceberg that also last well. Experiment with the varieties that are easy for you to find in your local shops and hopefully you'll find one that you like.
A "head"of lettuce will last longer than individual leaves. If you leave your head of lettuce unwashed and intact in the fridge it will last anything from 1 to 3 weeks. (I have yet to have my baby gems go off on me!). If you do have loose leaves the following tips will help to make them last:
Gently dry the leaves before storing them (e.g. in salad spinner)
Store them in a rigid container (e.g. glass or tupperware) to prevent bruising
Put a piece of damp cotton/paper towel on the bottom of the container to allow some moisture (but change it if it gets too wet)
Store lettuce away from high ethylene fruits, if possible (e.g. tomotoes, apples)
If it wilts, despite all your best efforts, you can try dunking it in ice water to revive it