You’re likely going to the grocery store or farmers market and thinking about how to make the food you buy last as long as possible. Whether you’re back to your regular grocery schedule post-arrival of COVID-19 or still trying to stretch out time between visits, knowing how to properly store your food can help extend its life in your home.
Some fruits and vegetables should not be stored next to each other, and storing or freezing certain items correctly can extend their shelf life. Fruits like bananas, mangos, papayas, and pineapples can last outside the refrigerator, while berries, apples, grapes, and cherries should stay in the refrigerator. Some fruit, like citrus, peaches, melons, pears, and avocados, can ripen at room temperature and then be put in the fridge if you don’t intend to eat them right away.
Almost all vegetables and herbs should be kept in your fridge. Exceptions include basil and winter squashes, potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. Cut or peeled produce should always be refrigerated. Tomatoes, bananas, and apples need to be stored separately from other produce due to the natural gases they give off. Onions and potatoes also need to be kept apart since onions emit a gas, ethylene, that makes potatoes sprout faster. Fruits and vegetables should always be kept apart in separate drawers.
Your greens also benefit from a moist (not soaking wet!) paper towel stored with them. To prevent mold, washing berries just before eating instead of all at once when you bring them home. Reusable storage bags and containers can also help your produce last longer.
No matter how often you buy fresh produce, it’s never a bad idea to store it properly to make your food last longer. To learn how to best store any type of food, visit Save The Food and select the food category you want to learn more about.
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