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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,


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.


Join The Conversation
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 8 years
No fridge for my 'maters or my hot peppers. And I love summertime so I can grown my own!
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
Thanks for the info Fit, but I agree with the others that tomatoes are better out of the fridge. The rest seems to be pretty good suggestions.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I don't keep my tomatoes in the fridge because then they get all mealy and weird-tasting. I have such a high produce turnover rate that I don't usually have problems with any of it ever going bad.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I put my tomatoes in the fridge once they've ripened so that they don't get funky. They taste fine.
marisa99 marisa99 8 years
Wow, Fit, you just lifted this entire article straight out of the current issue of Prevention magazine. How about a credit?
MariahGem MariahGem 8 years
So confused! What about Nectarines and Peaches? I throw those in the fridge, but I have been putting them on the top shelf. I didn't know it was warmest there. And what if you don't have a crisper??
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
I used to work at a fruit and vegetable store and we did not put tomatoes in the cooler/fridge we just kept them in the back room. I don't think you are supposed to store them in the fridge.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
Yep, I can't trust anything in this article bc of the tomato advice. :true:
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I, too, thought tomatoes were supposed to be stored at room temperature, like out on a counter.
weffie weffie 8 years
You're not supposed to, according to my grandmother at least :) Refrigerated tomatoes have no flavour, they taste much better at room temperature.
nikkisoda nikkisoda 8 years
I didn't think you were supposed to refrigerate tomatoes........? Hmmmm
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