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How to Store Produce

Store Your Produce so It Lasts


Money is tight these days, so after spending your hard-earned cash on nutritious produce, don't just toss it in the fridge willy-nilly. Use these tips on storing your produce so your fruits and veggies last until you're ready to enjoy them.

Broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, celery, corn, carrots, and scallions: Store these in separate plastic bags. Poke holes in the bags so the veggies can breathe, and then store them in the crisper, the coldest part of the fridge.

Cucumbers, peppers, and Summer squash: These veggies need to be in the warmest part of the fridge, the top shelf. These should also be in separate perforated plastic bags.

To see how you should store other types of produce, read more.

Leafy greens: Pat them dry to soak up any water, since moisture can cause them to rot. Wrap them in paper towels, place them in plastic bags, and store in the crisper. Keep them away from ethylene-emitting fruits such as apples and tomatoes.

Tomatoes: Store cherry and grape tomatoes in their original plastic container in the fridge. If larger tomatoes need to ripen, let them sit on the counter since cold temps can affect the color, flavor, and nutrient value. After they ripen to a bright red color, store them in the fridge away from other veggies.

Fresh herbs: Also wrap them in paper towels, place them in plastic bags, and store in the crisper. Except for basil — since it's damaged by the cold, stand basil in a vase filled with water near a sunny window.

Berries: After purchasing, remove bruised or moldy berries from the batch since they can cause the other berries to rot quicker. Store them in their original container. Don't wash them until you're ready to eat them since moisture will encourage mold growth.

Grapes: Remove bruised or rotten grapes. Then wrap the rest in a paper towel and store them in their original ventilated plastic bag. As with berries, don't wash grapes until you're ready to eat them.

Watermelon: According to a USDA study, allowing whole watermelon to ripen on your counter for about a week can double the fruit's lycopene and beta-carotene levels. Store it in the fridge away from other fruits and veggies since, like leafy greens, this melon will rot faster when exposed to ethylene gas.

Root veggies: Onions, yams, and potatoes should be stored at room temperature.

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