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Produce is a standard in the American household. A produce section is always featured prominently in our supermarkets, and young urban adults have made local farmer’s markets a hip trend, yet adequate storage of fruits and vegetables seems to be an elusive trait amongst so many consumers. Not only is an incredible amount of money being wasted, but an equally unfortunate amount of food. The following tips and tricks will help you get the most out of your produce purchase, and help you preserve those valuable nutrients.

A Guide To Storing your Produce

• Pack Vegetables Loosely in the fridge because the closer they are together, the quicker they’ll rot.

• Wash leafy greens by soaking them in a tub full of water before storage, but Do Not Wash soft herbs and mushrooms until they are about to be used.

• Remove Ties and Rubber Bands from produce before storing.

• Good Air Flow is essential when storing veggies, thus you should puncture holes into the bag or container before storage.

Know Your Fruits

• Some Fruits Will Deteriorate when left on the counter-top and must be refrigerated. These include: grapes, berries and bell peppers.

• Some Fruits Will Ripen when left out, these include: melons, tomatoes, avocados, apples and stone fruits like peaches, mangoes, apricots and plums, but not cherries.

• Store Fruits and Vegetables Apart, because as certain fruits ripen they emit high levels of ethylene, which can subsequently spoil the surrounding vegetables.

• To Ripen Fruit Quickly store it loosely in a paper bag in room temperature, but be sure to keep it away from sunlight. Different fruit ripen at varying rates so check the fruit often.

When it becomes soft to the touch and emits a sweet scent, it should be ready to consume.

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A guide to storing your produce would not be complete without mentioning the myriad fruit and vegetable storage accessories available on the market. These include bags that absorb ethylene and some that cater to increased air flow. Just as important as how you store and what you store your produce with, is when you buy it and how long before the groceries make it to your fridge. The produce section is the first area of the grocery store that you’ll see by design. The abundance and freshness of the produce section is meant to deliver a positive first impression, but the wise shopper will visit this area last to ensure the freshness of their fruit and veggies.

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