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Tips for Keeping Produce Fresher Longer


It's summer and that means farmers' markets and fresh produce.  But it all looks so good!  If you're like a lot of us, you buy more than you can eat before it goes bad.  No one likes to throw food away.  Groceries are expensive and when you can keep your food fresh longer, you can save a lot of cash.  Here are some tips for keeping your fresh food fresher longer.

Keep your refrigerator clean.  Leftover residue or mold spores can increase the spoilage of all your food in the refrigerator.

Don't store fruits and vegetables near a gas stove.  Natural gas has been shown to increase ripening. In addition, don't store fruits or vegetables in areas that have smoke or heat, like the stove or toaster oven.  The exhaust and heat from these appliances can increase the amount of Ethylene gas that is produced and speed up the ripening process.

Store produce in special storage bags that you can buy from your grocer.  

Don't cut your fruits and vegetables until you will be using them.  Cut fruit will spoil faster.

If you do cut your fruit or veggies, sprinkle them with a little lemon juice to keep them fresh and cover them with plastic wrap.

Place fresh herbs and leafy greens in a jar or vase of water, just like you would a bouquet of flowers.  They'll last longer and you'll have a beautiful, green arrangement.

Store dried green onions or chives after you chop them up in a plastic water bottle in the freezer.  When you're ready to use some, just pull this out and sprinkle.

Store potatoes with apples to keep the potatoes from sprouting, and keep them away from your onions.  Onions will make apples go bad faster.  

Keep your greens in the refrigerator in a bowl with a paper towel, and cover with plastic wrap.  The paper towel will absorb the excess moisture and keep them fresh.  

Clean berries, fruits, and greens in a mixture of 10 parts water and 1 part white vinegar.  This will remove dirt and even pesticides, and help them last longer by preventing mold. 

Bad apple in the bunch?  Remove it immediately. The old saying "One bad apple will spoil the bunch", is true. 

Store fruit in the middle of the refrigerator or in the drawers to keep temperatures consistent.

Keep bananas away from your other produce, as they produce some of the highest amounts of Ethylene gas.  Place plastic wrap around the crown of your banana bunch to keep them lasting longer.  If you want them to ripen super fast, place them in a closed plastic bag.  Since they emit so much Ethylene gas, they'll ripen quickly when the gas is trapped by the bag.

Keep tomatoes at room temperature and away from sunlight.  If you grow your own tomatoes, pick them as soon as they are ripe.  Do not store your tomatoes in plastic; this will trap moisture and increase the likelihood of spoilage. 

Store nuts in the freezer or in a food safe jar to protect them from moisture and air. 

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