Making Produce Last Longer

It’s that time of year when produce is plentiful. How do you keep spoilage to a minimum? Throwing out food is costly. So you’ll want to save by storing food in the most beneficial place.

The general rule-of-thumb is to keep produce in the same environment as it was when you purchased it. If it was refrigerated, then put it in your refrigerator. If it was setting out on a table, then keep it on the counter.

This produce guide is from ConsumerReports:

In the refrigerator, keep . . .
Apples in a cool zone away from strong-smelling foods, so they won’t absorb odors. If the refrigerator is jammed, you can also store apples in a cool, dark place.
Beets in the crisper; lop off greens before refrigerating and use them in a salad or cook them as you would spinach and other greens.
Berries in a warmer zone of the refrigerator, unwashed, in a dry, covered container.
Broccoli in the crisper.
Celery in the crisper.
Cherries unwashed, in a plastic bag, in a warmer zone of the refrigerator.
Corn with husks on, in a warmer zone of the refrigerator.
Grapes unwashed in a plastic bag or their plastic clam-shell container, in a cool zone; pick out any spoiled grapes, since one bad one can spoil the bunch.
Green beans in an airtight container in a moderate zone; don’t snap off ends until they’re ready to be used.
Leafy greens in a salad spinner (if you have one and have room in the fridge) after washing or in the crisper. Otherwise, keep washed greens in a plastic bag lined with a clean cloth or paper towels; loosely tie top of bag to maintain moisture.
Melons, once they’ve ripened, in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. Wash the outside of a melon before cutting to avoid the spread of bacteria.
Mushrooms unwashed, in a paper bag, in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. Never store them in plastic, which traps moisture and leads to slime.
Peppers in a plastic bag in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. Leave them whole, and unwashed.
Yellow squash/zucchini in a plastic bag in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. Leave them unwashed, and use within two or three days of purchase.

Outside of the refrigerator, keep . . .
Avocados in a brown-paper bag; add an apple or banana to the bag to accelerate ripening.
Bananas in a fruit bowl on the counter.
Onions in a dark, dry, well-ventilated place. Store them away from potatoes, and apples since they have spoilage-inducing ethylene gas.
Stone fruits, including nectarines, peaches, and plums, in a brown-paper bag at room temperature to speed ripening. Refrigerate once ripe.
Potatoes in a cool place, away from light. Don’t refrigerate, since the moisture will encourage sprouting.
Tomatoes always at room temperature but not in direct sunlight.

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