The longest lasting part of any meal is the leftovers, but sometimes a bit too many or not enough may cause you to become overly full and more susceptible to sickness. Don't worry, though—healthy people don't always get all the leftovers they want. Plus, leftovers are great for dinner! Sometimes it's better to have plenty to choose from than to go hungry all evening!
So what kind of foods do we throw those leftovers away? Many say that no-waste products like reusable containers, glass bottles of water, and even fruits and vegetables are good choices. But when did leaving those leftovers just turn into an extra day of misery? I’m here to tell you the truth about leftovers: while they’re great for making room in our refrigerators, we should never leave them at the end of a meal. Most leftovers start eating other foods right after they finish their meals!
So that means that we should only leave so much leftover as needed… but also that we should never eat everything that still looks, smells, or tastes like food. What we call “leftover dinner” is usually leftover pasta sauce from brunch, which has since turned into “mushy food.” We’ll talk about some foods that are leftovers later on because this post focuses on foods that are eaten after they’re finished! (But if you didn’t know by then, I guarantee there will be something else on my list!)
So, where do most leftovers spend the remainder of the night? They are generally kept in freezer containers, such as cardboard boxes, plastic bags, or paper cups or tins. These containers are perfect for storing anything from meat and cheese to vegetables, but when you have leftovers from something that was just eaten as leftovers, it turns out that foods left in these storage methods can taste sour and be hard to eat again. This can be especially true if there are large quantities of extra gravy or shredded carrots in the container, or even if you find yourself with things like canned beans and rice.
Now comes what leftovers stay in their original packaging. Most often, these are leftovers that were made after someone ate their snack. Many consumers don’t even realize that they left anything behind once they’ve eaten their snack. So while they may also have left a whole lot of food behind, they probably thought they’d left a couple of ounces on their plate. When these little leftovers are left at room temperature, it makes them even sweeter and even more moister. It also tends to leave an oily residue and tends to stick to them as soon as they’re opened up. If you try to eat too much, your stomach won’t feel like a space anymore and it’ll hurt as soon as the first bite arrives! Also, they’ll often stick around on the outside as well as inside the package, which is why they should stay in their bag and never in the fridge or freezer.
Some foods are best left in tins or paper goods instead of stored in loose containers. For instance, meat, cheeses, and deli meats, which are often left in a glass container can become soft and gooey, making them difficult to chew or digest. To avoid this from happening, you can use a paper bag. Or try and use whatever bag you have handy! Just make sure to wash off anything you eat before putting your leftovers into it. And just because this product was already cooked doesn’t mean you should throw it away! Even though some items like ground beef look and smell like it’s been deeply fried, it’s safe to consume and still has protein from the remains. Plus, it’s a nice way to cut down on calories without ruining it. Another excellent option is using frozen veggies instead.
So how long do leftovers last? Not surprisingly, very few things last more than a week or two days in a fridge. After this time, some things can go wrong and breakage in the food can occur. Food that tends to fall apart can become sticky and hard to eat, and even if there is no reaction or visible damage, some leftovers can start to become mushy due to their high moisture content. This gives it a very unpleasant texture and flavor. So remember that we say leave only a tiny bit—but let your body recover, but don’t force it to use it back up. Your body naturally gets rid of food when it stops consuming it, so don’t wait until it feels upset before starting to dispose of it all.