Over on Live Love Fruit blog there’s a great post on how to keep your fruit and veg to avoid waste. Obviously that’s what we’re all after
Lengthen shelf life
Putting fruit and vegetables in cooler areas (like the fridge) slows down the respiration process and helps make (most) produce last longer. In warmer temperatures, produce respires at a much faster rate, making the ripening process much faster.
You do want to slow down the rate of respiration, however, you do not want to stop it altogether. Sticking produce in airtight plastic bags in the fridge is one of the worst things you can do to fruit and vegetables. You will suffocate them and speed up the rate of decay (and thus leave you throwing out tonnes of produce)
If you recall earlier when I mentioned ethylene gas (a natural ripening agent released from fruit and vegetables), this can lead to premature decay. If you put greens like kale, collards or spinach in the same bin as nectarines, peaches or apples, you will find your greens turning yellow and limp in just a few days.
Separate produce that emits ethylene from produce that is ethylene-sensitive:
- High (this should read low…) ethylene-gas emitting produce: apples, nectarines, apricots, papayas, avocados, passion fruit, cantaloupe, peahces, cherimoyas and pears
- Keep these foods away from high ethylene-gas emitting produce: bananas (ripe), broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce and other leafy greens, parsley, peas, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes and watermelon
- Refrigerate apples, apricots, canteloupe, figs, and honeydew
- Don’t refrigerate avocados, unripe bananas, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes
Click through to read the entire post but the full list of tricks are…
- Separate produce that emits ethylene from produce that is ethylene-sensitive
- Eat more perishable items first.
- Some fruit and vegetables should never be refrigerated, or should not be refrigerated until fully ripe!
- Use perforated plastic bags for air circulation and to prevent produce drying out
- Fresh herbs like to be stored in water
- To prevent root veg wilting cut off their tops before regfrigeration.
- Use paper towels in produce bags to absorb extra water
- Never soak mushrooms in water.
There’s some really good tips here the original post elaborates on the tricks. And I really like the info about the ripening agent ethylene as this adds some substance to Old Wive’s Tales about banana’s spoiling your apples. Great stuff. I want my produce to last as long as possible, particularly the organic stuff which hasn’t, of course, been sprayed.
Organic does not last as long as regular fruit and veg!