Keeping in theme with the exciting freshness of spring, we know you’re all aching to buy fresh produce. There’s absolutely nothing better than a fridge well-stocked with delicious, freshly picked fruits and vegetables. It’s enticing, bright, and offers boundless potential when figuring out what to make for dinner. The unfortunate thing about fresh produce is that it doesn’t stay fresh forever. We’ve compiled a list of easy steps to take to keep your fresh foods fresh as long as possible— and while it might require a bit more work, you’ll save yourself so much money in the long run.
Certain fruits and vegetables can’t be stored together— some contain a hormone called ethylene that they release as a gas, causing other fruits and vegetables to ripen too soon, spoiling them before you’re ready to eat them. Among a long list of ethylene-producing produce are apples, avocados, bananas, blueberries, tomatoes, potatoes, green onions. Among an equally-long list of those that are sensitive to ethylene are unripe bananas, cauliflower, cucumbers, strawberries, watermelon, spinach, squash, eggplant, sweet potatoes, lettuce, garlic, and kale. With this information in mind, keep things that are sensitive to ethylene away from things that produce ethylene; and if you want to make something ripen more quickly, expose it to ethylene.
Other produce should be kept in a cool, dark place like a cupboard, because they’re sensitive to light. This is why potatoes grow spuds on them if you leave them out on the counter where light can get to them. Keep potatoes, onions, and tomatoes in said cool, dark place until you’re ready to use them to keep them ripe as long as possible.
Leafy greens are always a tough and frustrating one— just when you’re ready to wash and eat them, they’ve started to rust or turn. To keep this from happening, make sure they’re dry and place them in an airtight container or plastic bag with a little bit of air. Make sure whatever vessel you put them in is sealed tight, because air will speed up their spoiling process.
If something begins to spoil, discard it immediately— otherwise it will start to spoil your other produce! Be sure that you’re only buying what you need. We create a lot of food waste simply by buying more than we can consume (and think about all of the money you’re throwing away when that whole bag of oranges grows moldy!). Be conscious with your consumption— and don’t forget that Roma’s is right around the corner with all of your fresh, local produce when you need it.