If you want a long shelf life for those fresh fruits and veggies you just bought, proper storage and handling are key. And it’s more than just stashing them in the crisper. Try these tips to ensure produce starts and stays fresh until it hits your plate!
1. Don’t suffocate it. After shopping, unpack fruits and vegetables from plastic bags and wrappers. A lack of oxygen can make them decay faster.
2. Whole is better. Avoid cutting large items, like watermelon and pumpkin, in half. Cutting into produce exposes the inner flesh to microbes that speed up spoilage. Likewise, respect the stem by not twisting off berry, pear and other fruit tops.
3. Wash and use. Only wash produce just before you are going to prep it or eat it. Moisture may encourage decomposition and mould growth.
4. Everything in its place. Certain fruits and vegetables are cold sensitive – meaning they rot faster when refrigerated. So, always keep tomatoes, unripe bananas, peaches and whole avocadoes on the counter. Meanwhile, others fear fridge moisture, including potatoes, garlic, onions and winter squash. Tuck them away in a cool, dark, dry cupboard.
5. Keep them separated. Some produce, like bananas, apples, avocadoes and peaches, emit ethylene gas, which speeds up the spoilage of neighbouring fruits and vegetables, including carrots, cauliflower, leafy greens and berries. Store these “spoilers” in separate crispers or bowls.