Almost every household has some amount of food wastage, and this is mostly due to the food going bad or rotten- especially when it comes to fresh produce. Storing your fruits and vegetables correctly can make all the difference and help reduce waste.
So why exactly do your fruits and vegetables get spoilt/rotten?
Ethylene is a natural gas released from certain fruits and veggies, which helps speed up the ripening process. That can be good for some fruits and vegetables, but too much ethylene can also cause your produce to rot. Besides ethylene, temperature plays a key role in storing your produce as does how you clean your fruits and veggies and where you store them.
We’ve created these handy charts to guide you on how and where to store your fresh organic produce!
A few extra tips to keep in mind when storing your organic produce:
- To ripen your organic avocado faster, store it next to a ripe banana in a brown paper bag and the ethylene gas from the banana will do the trick.
- Always keep fruits that emit high amounts of ethylene away from other produce.
Apples, avocados, stone fruits, pears, bananas, and tomatoes are high ethylene-emitting fruits, while delicate leafy greens are the most sensitive to this ethylene gas.
- Another important point to remember is to always keep onions to themselves. Onions have a strong fragrance, especially when cut, therefore they should be stored separately, and especially far from potatoes which usually wilt and sprout faster when onions are around.
- Always refrigerate your sliced/cut produce. Most of the produce will last for around 5 days (some veggies may last longer) as long as you store them in an airtight container. Certain fruits such as apples, pears, bananas, and avocados should not be cut ahead of time as they brown quickly!
Tips while washing your organic produce:
- It’s always a must to wash all of your fruits and vegetables before you eat them, even the ones you peel. This is because bacteria that cause foodborne illness can get stuck onto the surface of the fruit or vegetable. Most fruits and veggies should be fine after a quick wash under cold running water, but there are a few that require extra attention.
- Leafy Greens: First, separate the greens/leaves from the head and put them in cold water for around 5 minutes. Place the leaves in a salad spinner and dry. It’s no fun eating all wet and mushy greens!
- Ideally one should always wash their produce right before they’re about to use it. Storing your produce wet is never a good idea- they should always be dry!