It’s something most of us do far too often — chucking out food that’s gone bad and it’s part of a big food waste problem in this country.

The typical Canadian household is tossing out $1,100 a year of wasted food.

“The average Canadian currently is throwing out almost 47 per cent of the food they bring into their home,” says food waste expert and Abeego Founder Toni Desrosiers. “That’s amazing, that’s a huge financial savings if you don’t throw it away.”

Desrosiers says produce that’s not properly wrapped can wilt in less than three days in the fridge.

The reason? It’s lost it’s moisture.

But when the same piece of food is wrapped in a protective, breathable barrier, it stays fresh, much longer.

The best option for wrapping produce is beeswax food wrap, which is sold at health food stores and farmer’s market.

Desrosiers created Victoria-based Abeego food wrap in 2008 but says there are also do-it-yourself alternatives that are much better than using plastic bags or leaving food unwrapped in the produce drawer.

“Some of the easy things you can do is wrap it in a wet paper towel and wrap in a tea towel,” says Desrosiers.

Most of us are also cutting cheese wrong, if we want it to last.

“Instead of consuming it start to finish, you should cut all the way around the block of cheese and the reason is cheese ages from the outside in so you’re consuming the most aged cheese first,” Desrosiers explains.

The ‘best thing since sliced bread’ may be a popular phrase, but when it comes to bread, it’s better to slice it yourself.

“The crust is often drier and a protective barrier,” she says. “Once it’s sliced you start to lose moisture and it dries out faster.”

You can store it on the counter, sliced side down, or in a clean tea towel to make it last longer.

If you’re not eating a lot of bread, another tip is to keep it in the freezer and just take out some when you need it.

Putting fruit in the fridge — other than berries or sliced fruit — is also a no-no.

“The have their own breathable wrap and do better at room temperature,” Desrosiers advises.

And you can use your produce drawers to ‘FIFO’ — which stands for first-in-first-out — moving older veggies to the top and putting new ones in the bottom to reduce waste and help the planet.

Tess van Straaten