Storing Fruits and Veggies So They Last Longer

Ensure your fruits and vegetables stay fresh longer by storing them properly. After giving produce a quick cleaning, knowing where to keep them means they'll be wonderfully crisp or as sweet as possible when you're ready to enjoy.

Instead of tossing spoiled fruit, which is basically the same as throwing your money away, try these tips for storing fruits and veggies so they last longer:

  • Use produce bags. Store fruits and vegetables in breathable produce bags so they are able to absorb moisture and air. When kept in sealed bags, fruits and vegetables break down quicker. 
  • Watch out for cold-sensitive items. Storing potatoes, onions, and garlic in cool, dark spots elongates life for up to a month. But these cold-sensitive items don't do well in the fridge, where temps dip too low for their liking. 
  • Know your ethylene produce. Certain fruits and vegetables release ethylene, which speeds the ripening process. Apples, apricots, cantaloupe, and honeydew are best kept in the fridge to keep them fresh longer. But store separate from greens! The ethylene emitted will wilt your future salad. 
  • Leave some produce out of the fridge. Other ethylene emitters, such as avocados, bananas, peaches, nectarines, tomatoes, pears, and plumbs, are best kept on the counter and can be tossed in the fridge once ripe to lengthen shelf life. Store separately to keep them from ripening too quickly. 
  • Dry your washed veggies. It's a good idea to wash fresh greens, but tossing them in the fridge while damp may make them soggy. After rinsing, pat dry, wrap in paper towel, and store in an open container in the fridge. 
  • Put grapes on a paper towel. Grapes have a tendency to mold due to moisture build-up. Remove grapes from the bag or container the fruit came, wash, and gently pat dry. Place on a paper towel in an open container and pop in the fridge. 
  • Don't wash your mushrooms. Mushrooms don't enjoy a washing, and are best stored in a sealed container in the fridge. 
  • Place stone fruit on counter. Keep stone fruit on the counter until fully ripe and then pop in the fridge to keep it sweet longer. 
  • Keep peppers in a bag. Place peppers in a paper or produce bag and store in the fridge. They'll stay crisp for a couple of weeks. 
  • Separate bananas. Prolong the life of bananas by separating them from the bunch, which slows the ripening process. 
  • Remove berries from containers. Berries are delicate things, and don't like moisture. Remove from containers they came in, gently wash and pat dry, and place in a single layer on a paper towel in an open container. Store in the fridge. 
  • Store citrus fruits on the counter. Citrus fruits do just fine when stored at room temperature. Instead of displaying in a bowl, simply let the fruit hang out on the counter to resist mold growth.

Not sure if something is safe to eat? Check out this list about when to toss foods.