6 tips to keep fruits and vegetables fresh longer
Did you know that about 40% of food in the United States is never eaten and instead thrown away? Your vegetables, fruits, and other perishables that you can’t seem to eat before they expire could be part of the problem.
In any case, you risk losing your last farmer’s harvest quickly if it is not stored properly! Here are 6 tips to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh longer, and save you time and money.
Tips for keeping fruits and vegetables fresh
Keep your fridge clean all the time
If you want the foods you keep in the refrigerator to survive longer, make sure they are in good working order. Mold and other germs cannot grow in this environment. These are some of the things that contaminate fresh foods and cause them to spoil faster, even when stored in the refrigerator. Allow air to circulate freely in the refrigerator, leaving areas open. Most of your fresh food is exposed to ethylene gas (emitted by some fruits, like apples, when they ripen), which encourages other produce to ripen faster and start rotting in a crowded space.
Fruits and vegetables should be kept whole
You can maximize the nutritional content of fruits and vegetables by cutting them up just when you are ready to use them. When fresh foods are exposed to air, they degrade more quickly.
If you chop and store fruits or vegetables before using them, find a technique to seal them well so that no air gets into their flesh. Dressing them in a coat that keeps moisture and air out is a fantastic idea. For example, while preserving avocado slices, you can sprinkle it with lemon juice to keep it looking like new!
Keep your perishables away from heat
The ripening speed of fruits and vegetables increases when exposed to high temperatures. Keep your fresh produce away from heat-producing gadgets, including stoves, gas ranges, toasters, and other household appliances.
Before storing your products, wash them!
Mold can be prevented by washing certain fruits and vegetables in a solution of water and vinegar. Simply mix 1 part white vinegar with 3 parts water, soak your fruits and vegetables in it, then wash them thoroughly. Vinegar not only prevents mold and rot, but it also helps remove pesticides from conventionally produced fruits and vegetables, as well as kill germs that can cling to your vegetables. Rinse thoroughly with clean water after washing and dry before storing.
Dip your herbs in water
Herbs, like cut flowers, do not last long if they are not kept in water. Herbs like cilantro and basil can be stored in a jar with their stems submerged in water. You can buy mason jars to keep your herbs fresh in water before storing them on counters or in the refrigerator.
Learn the dos and don’ts of keeping together
It is not a good idea to keep all of your fresh vegetables in one place. Because they generate ethylene “ripening” gas, some products spoil others more quickly. Apples and cherries or blueberries, for example, should not be kept together because berries and cherries will deteriorate more quickly. When you keep potatoes and onions together, the potatoes are more likely to rot or sprout. On the other hand, when potatoes are combined with apples, the potatoes stay intact and fresher for longer.
Bananas are a fruit that should be separated from the rest of the fresh vegetables on your farm. Ethylene gas is abundant in bananas. Not only will the gas make them ripen and break down faster, but it will also ruin an otherwise good meal.