How to keep your veggies and fruit fresh!

This sticker ⬇︎ was handed to me in the supermarket. It is an advice about keeping your fresh products in the fridge or not. Even though it is in Dutch I think it is clear to anyone that the pictures on the left (the green section) should be in the fridge, the pictures on the right, (the red section) should not.

I also happened to read an article the other day about how the same subject: how to best store your fruits and vegetables and keep them fresh as long as possible.

Enough reason for me to share with you my personal findings with regards to this subject.

Because I think that these advices are too general and also are not to be mixed up with rules. It all really depends on where you live, meaning which climate you are in and also on how high is your average room temperature. For instance, if you live in area’s were the temperature can go up to 40℃ in summer your eggplant will not survive very long on your counter top, neither will your cucumber.

Now everybody here in the Netherlands knows that you should not keep your tomatoes in the fridge, they will lose their taste. But in the warmer countries they do keep them in the fridge, in fact they keep all their fruits and veggies in the fridge; avocado’s, peppers, cucumbers, lemons, everything except banana’s. I have a friend who lives in a country with a very warm climate and she even keeps nuts stored in the fridge, in closed jars.

I am lucky to have a cellar which is in general pretty cool, so an excellent place to store my potatoes, pumpkins, apples, oranges, onions and carrots, provided that they are not kept in closed-off plastic bags. I placed some wooden crates on the cellar floor with some newspapers on the bottom of the crates and that works like a charm. But in summer even my cellar will be too warm for lemons, oranges and carrots.

For those of you who depend on a fridge keep in mind that when you store your products in there you have to be aware that closed-off plastic bags will smother your veggies and fruits. So best take it our of the plastic, or make wholes in the bags so it can breathe.

Even a better option yet is to use paper bags instead. I tried to buy those last week, but could not find any in the supermarkets and had to special order them in a health food store.

The article I read did learn me something interesting though. You all probably have experienced once , like I certainly have, that if you keep avocado’s and banana’s together they will ripen sooner. Nothing new there. …What was new to me though is that some fruits and veggies contain ethylene, the “fruit-ripening gas”. It is a natural emission to help ripen fruit and will speed ripening and spoilage in nearby products. So if you want to speed up the ripening, keep those products together, if you want to slow it down make sure to keep them apart from the ethylene sensitive fruits. The following fruits contain lots of this ethylene: avocados, peaches, apples, cantaloupes, honeydew, bananas, tomatoes, pears, and plums. Examples of fruits and vegetables that are sensitive to ethyline are:apples, melons, potatoes, and mangoes ( if you want to learn more about this check http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/the-best-tips-for-storing-your-produce/)

It goes without saying that bruised/damaged fruit and vegetables will keep less long than perfect super fresh fruits and vegetables. To prevent having to throw away wilted products, do not buy too much at the same time and make sure you stick to the rule: first in, first out. Think twice though before you throw away your unappealing looking products, is it really inedible? Maybe you can use it in your soup, or smoothies?

Since fruits and vegetables do not go by any rule what so ever, I think it is best to follow your own common sense and do what best works for you. Like so many other things in life!