Conserve more and wasteless
As farmers how are we going to conserve more and wasteless, the true magnitude of that idea is significant? According to Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), around 10 million tonnes of food went uneaten between 2013 and 2016 — 60% of which could have been avoided. This not only has a negative effect on the environment but if you’re the farmer growing this food, then the product that goes to waste before it even reaches the market is bad for your bottom line as well. In the current economy, reducing your levels of food waste and getting more of your product to market is one of the best ways to improve your profit margins. If you’re a farmer, it’s therefore crucial that you reduce the amount of surplus food on your farm to the absolute minimum. For farmers, food loss falls into two main categories: food that is grown and never harvested, and food that is lost between harvest and sale. To get your levels of food waste to an absolute minimum, you should tackle both of these common sources of food waste simultaneously.
Make sure you have the right temperature:
The temperature and time required to adequately dehydrate will vary depending on the type of dehydrator you buy, as well as the food you want to dehydrate. General time and temperature guidelines will be printed on the dehydrator label or included in the instruction manual along with suggested times needed.
Make sure foods are 95% dehydrated:
In order to be stored properly, foods need to be at least 95 percent dehydrated. If your items feel soft, spongy, or sticky, put them back in the dehydrator for additional time. Hard and crunchy or breakable pieces are done. High indoor humidity, air conditioning, or breezes may alter the time needed to dehydrate foods. Ideally, find a dry, warm place away from air vents and windows to set up your dehydrator.
Don’t try to dry foods quicker:
Do not worry about over-drying your food. You can dry them longer if necessary, but it’s not wise to turn the temperature settings up in an attempt to dry the foods quicker. This will seal the outside, leaving moisture within, which will ultimately lead to the food spoiling before you have a chance to eat it.These are just so ways to conserve more and wasteless.
Don’t store them wrong:
Dehydrated foods can usually last around 1-6 months in jars or Tupperware. Jars and Tupperware also won’t keep out moisture or light. Your dehydrated foods will go bad much faster. If you want your dehydrated foods to last a long time, then you should keep them in the freezer, invest in mylar bags and a vacuum sealer, and use amber spice jars. Amber bottles are hugely beneficial in this capacity One of the main reasons that amber vials are used often for perishable goods is because deep red, yellow, and orange hues do not allow as much light to pass through as a clear glass bottle would.
As the world’s population is expected to see an increase of over 2 billion people by 2050, according to the UN, it’s imperative that all parts of the food supply chain are optimized to make sure we’re using the food we produce in the most effective way possible. This will involve each link in the food supply chain working at maximum capacity and communicating with one another in the most effective way possible, and this must start at the beginning of the chain — the producers of the food. Optimize your farm to produce the minimum possible amount of food waste and you’ll not only do your bit for the planet but also grow your bottom line in an increasingly difficult economy. Check out our PDF on dehydrating microgreens