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A kitchen gadget that sucks in a good way

Frisper Freshkeeper preserves food longer by storing it in vacuum-sealed zipper-top bags

This food vacuum is much cuter than its predecessors. Sur la table

Cooking primarily for one person presents a unique set of problems. For one thing, I often divide ingredients in four-person recipes by four, so I can avoid wasting food that won't keep well as leftovers. A bigger issue is that of fresh produce: fresh fruits and vegetables go bad, as do cheeses and meats, and my taste for variety in my meals has caused me to throw away vegetables or blocks of cheese more than once.

This is an even bigger issue when dealing with organic produce, dairy, and bread, which is free from preservatives and additives that can add to the shelf life of these types of food. Living in New York, I shop a lot at the farmers market in the summers, where a lot of organic fresh food can be bought for low cost, often in quantities too large for me to eat alone.

Bread and meat can be stuck in the freezer, but things like berries, peaches, and cheeses don't hold up after being frozen. So how can I continue to buy the fresh food that I love without worrying about throwing that money into the garbage bin?

Answer: remove the air around the food. Scientists and foodies came up with this a long time ago when they first decided to vacuum-seal food. The problem with this method is that the devices used were often cumbersome, ugly beasts, totally impractical for a smaller kitchen. If you don't have room for a toaster, are you really going to have a place to store a gigantic food vacuum?

Thankfully, the Frisper Freshkeeper by Oliso combines the tried-and-true method with ease of use and clever packaging to come up with a sleeker, more updated version of the food vacuum. It uses Vac-Snap zipper-top bags instead of the more difficult sealed plastic bags previously required, meaning you can open your sealed bags of food without a knife or scissors.

It also comes in a smaller, more aesthetically pleasing shape, so you can keep it on your counter without being ashamed or in a cabinet without taking up too much space. It's also a lot cheaper than the bulky dinosaur models: you can get it for about $50 on Amazon.