to keep…and how to keep, a produce storage guide
Nearly 50% of all fruits and vegetables produced globally are wasted, mostly due to neglect.
We’re all guilty of it, in fact I just did it today when I found a forgotten bag of spinach gone slimy in the corner of my refrigerator’s crisper. The first way to prevent produce storage spoilage is to eat it of course, but in a close second is making sure that they are stored correctly so that when you’re ready, it’s ready.
Download, print and post my FREE fridge guide to produce storage and check out these few facts below to help extend your produce shelf life (and your $$$$$).
“Ugh, you’re just WASTING!” is what my Granny used to say when food was thrown away. I remember growing up watching her shop for produce daily and wondering why she just didn’t go on the weekend like everyone else. Turns out, her old school way is something we should all follow to be the healthiest. But unfortunately, life tends to get in the way more than it did back in the day. We usually start in the shop with good intentions and by the end of the week the mangoes look more like avocados.
To keep and how to keep is the question when it comes to where, how and how long to store your precious produce. While a few items do fine in or out of the box, others have hard and fast rules (keep the garlic out of the fridge please) that if not followed will turn precious produce HARD…and waste your money FAST.
DON’T GET GASSED!
Wondering why your watercress is wilted? More than likely Ethylene is to blame. Ethylene is a natural plant hormone released in the form of a gas that acts as a ripening agent. It’s found in all produce but most commonly found in bananas, potatoes and apples. Improper produce storage of these and other ethylene heavy items is the cause for many a rotten fruit, hence the saying one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch. Instead use ethylene to your advantage; such as speed ripening a peach by bagging it with a ripe banana. There are a few items on the market like re-usable PeakFresh Produce Storage Bags (about $7USD) which are an excellent way to control ethylene and extend the life of your stash.
Buy PeakFresh Produce Storage Bags here (or at WholeFoods, USA)
Ethylene Producers (keep away from other produce)
apples – apricots – avocados – bananas (ripe) – blueberries – cantaloupe – cranberries – green onions – guavas – grapes – honeydew – kiwi mangoes- nectarines – papayas – passion fruit – peaches – pears – persimmons – plums – potatoes – prunes – tomatoes
Fresh Produce Storage Tips
*Buy organic, make sure the sticker begins with the number 9 (never 3, 4 or 8)
*Always keep fruits and vegetables in separate bins
*Never store together: potatoes & onions, cabbage & peppers
*Rinse produce with a water + apple cider vinegar mixture & scrub edible skins, dry completely
*Keep produce whole and intact until ready to eat
*Berries and grapes are covered in a white “bloom” a natural preservative, so wash just before eating
*Never seal anything in an airtight bag, always perforate
*Freeze excess fruit and veggies for smoothies, soups or sauces
*Plan your meals according to what spoils the fastest
*Forgetful about your fridge? Get familiar with long life produce
The facts and figures in this article are from my extensive research and years of personal produce storage experience. As with anything in life, your mileage may vary and environmental factors such as humidity play a large part in your success. Thoughts? Please share them in the comments section!
Download and print (12×12″) a free copy to post on your fridge here!
Order a removable/reusable fridge decal here!
More info on the storage life of other foods
And See Also: From hot sauce to coffee; 11 things NEVER to refrigerate