How to Keep Fruits & Vegetables Longer

Overview

Whether its fresh juicy strawberries or bright green leafy spinach, fresh fruits and vegetables add an unmistakable flavor to cooking. The problem arises in maintaining the fruits' and vegetables' freshness long enough to enjoy them. If you have ever opened the refrigerator to find shriveled onions or parsley turning yellow, you are not alone. According to a study by the University of Arizona, the average American household throws out 1.28 pounds of food every day. Reduce the amount of food waste in your home and save money by keeping your fruits and vegetables fresh with some basic storage modifications.

Step 1

Line the crisper section of your refrigerator with either five or six paper towels or a few sheets of newspaper. The paper will absorb the moisture from the refrigerator, promoting drier conditions for the fruits and vegetables.

Step 2

Store asparagus and herbs in sturdy water glasses. Snip their tips with kitchen scissors and place the fresh tips in water, similar to fresh flowers. Cover the plants with a plastic bag to help hold moisture in for the stems and leaves.

Step 3

Store mushrooms in paper bags, toward the middle of the refrigerator. Mushrooms will freeze and become soggy if they are on the top shelf and will be too moist in the crisper.

Step 4

Store fruits and vegetables in separate drawers. When placed together, fruits and vegetables release ethylene gas, which causes the other to spoil sooner.

Step 5

Store potatoes and onions in dry, dark and separate locations. When placed together, they spoil twice as fast.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels or newspaper
  • Sturdy water glasses
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Plastic bags
  • Paper bags

References

  • Divine Caroline: How to Keep Fruits and Veggies Fresh
  • "Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean"; Linda Cobb; 2004
Keywords: fresh produce storage, keeping fruit fresh, keeping vegetables fresh

About this Author

Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.