Prolong Your Produce

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Fresh produce is one of the biggest culprits in our kitchens when it comes to food waste, and combating these issues can feel like a never-ending battle. Plus, wasting it isn’t only bad for the environment, but also for our wallets and diet plans. Who’s going to be motivated to make a healthy superfood salad with soggy spinach?

We’ve dug into this pesky produce problem to find the best tips and tricks in order to extend the shelf life of your produce, plus a handy guide to storing.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

  1. For longer life, keep your produce WHOLE.
  2. Leave refrigerated produce unwashed and in its original packaging until you’re ready to consume.
  3. Keep as many fruits and veggies separate as possible.
  4. Pack veggies loosely and not in an airtight bag (the closer they are together they quicker they rot).
  5. When grocery shopping, go for the produce aisle LAST. This will prevent you’re your fruit and veggies from getting warm and respire rapidly.
  6. If you’ll be making multiple stops between the grocery and home, put a mini-cooler in your car for your fragile produce.
  7. Want your apricots or avocados to ripen faster? Put them in a paper bag on the counter. Want to speed up the process even more? Put an apple in the bag, too.

Some foods give off high levels of ethylene gas, which is a ripening agent that speeds up decay, and when stored with ethylene-sensitive foods in the same bin they will turn yellow and limp in no time. Use this helpful storage guide to combat that!

GAS RELEASERS

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Refrigerate: Apples, Apricots, Cantaloupe, Figs, HoneydewLeave on counter: Avocados, Bananas, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Tomatoes

NON-GAS RELEASERS

Keep these away from all gas releasers: Bananas, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Spinach, Kale, Parsley, Peas, Peppers, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Watermelon

Want more help? We love referencing The Kitchn’s handy guide, which breaks down exact storage methods and preparation tips for each and every fruit or veggie (you will walk away knowing WAY more about artichokes than you ever dreamed possible).