Meal prepping has become extremely popular in recent years, but there are many opinions and theories that might leave you feeling baffled as to what you’re supposed to think about it. Here’s some info on the process answering the most common questions – whether it’s safe, whether it can help you with anything, and what you need for a successful meal prepping adventure.
What is Meal Prepping?
If you’ve ever gone on YouTube in the last year or so, you probably came across a meal prepping video. It’s all the rage these days. But what is it, really? Basically, to be a meal prepper, you need to cook some food for several days and then store it in Bento boxes or regular lunch boxes in your fridge.
Pretty simple, right? The fact is that some people take it to a whole new level and they end up cooking their food for the whole week. Unless they set the temperature of their fridge to a certain mark, the food they’ve prepared on Sunday will inevitably get spoiled by the next Saturday.
Is it Dangerous?
The answer to this question is a bit more complicated, and basically, it depends. If you cook food for three days and the water content in it is as low as possible (we’re not referring to stews here), you’re good to go. Make sure that you use useful products like those Bento boxes that can be closed efficiently so that their lids create some sort of a vacuum and protect the food from anything else in your refrigerator.
However, once you’ve gone into the 4th-day mark, that food isn’t necessarily safe to eat. You need to make sure that the temperature inside your fridge is under 39 degrees F (4 degrees Celsius). Otherwise, you’re risking food poisoning. And who wants that?
What you need for successful meal prepping
Some types of food can be more dangerous than others. For example, if you cook a batch of rice and then store it in the fridge, you don’t add any other ingredients to it (like meat, especially), and it’s more or less dry, which means that the water content is low, you can safely eat it for three days in a row.
Part of your success with meal prepping should come from the fact that you are always focused on your safety. Really, it’s not that difficult to do a bit of meal prepping twice a week instead of just once and it doesn’t take that much extra time.
You’re going to need several boxes to store all that food. It might be very tempting thinking that you’re going to eat a lot of food over the course of the next three days or so, but if you cook too much, you’re going to throw it away. For me, there’s nothing worse than getting all organised and accomplished with some meal prep only to have to bin half of it.
So, my advice to you is to see how much you’ve eaten on the first day and then store some of the food in the freezer if you’re convinced you’re not going to be able to finish it all.