How to Keep Produce Fresh

Keeping your produce fresh is a necessity in today’s current market climate. Produce, along with just about every other consumer good, is going up in price. Since produce has such a short shelf life, keeping produce as fresh as it can be for as long as possible is vital to saving money and keeping down food costs.

Keeping produce fresh – Are you using your crisper drawer properly?

Most people know to store certain vegetables in their refrigerator, but never give a second thought to using their crisper drawer properly. The crisper drawer has a lever which can be moved to control airflow into the drawer. Some vegetables store better with the lever closed, which keeps the vegetables inside moister. Examples of vegetables that should be stored with the crisper drawer lever closed are leafy greens, such as lettuce, celery, cucumbers, root vegetables and peppers. Vegetables that should be stored with the lever open, which allows vegetables to breathe, are onions and garlic, as well as a winter squash. Be sure to verify that your refrigerator is running in the optimal temperature zone, which is 34 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping your refrigerator temperature setting any higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit increases the chances of bacterial growth.

Keeping produce fresh – store produce separately when possible

Certain fruits and vegetables should not be stored together because of odor absorption. An example is apples, which absorb the odors of vegetables such as cabbage and carrots. Likewise, pears emit odors absorbed by cabbage, celery, potatoes and many other root vegetables. Storing an onion near your apples will cause your apples to absorb onion odors. The simplest way to avoid odor contamination and to keep your produce fresh is to store your vegetables and fruits separately. Do not place them all in the same drawer in your refrigerator.

Keeping produce fresh – Handle with care

Fruits and vegetables should be handled with great care. Bruising them increases the chance of bacteria invading the fruit and causing the produce to rot. Whether you pick your own or choose produce from the grocery store shelves, pay attention to how it is handled and pass by any produce that is bruised or damaged in any way. Look for fruits and vegetables with their skin intact. Buying good quality fruits and vegetables will keep them fresh longer.

Keeping produce fresh – Use Debbie Meyer Green Bags

Many fruits and some vegetables emit a gas called ethylene. Certain vegetables are sensitive to this gas and exposure can cause the vegetables to turn brown in spots and to yellow, as in the case of broccoli. Minimizing exposure to ethylene gas can keep your produce fresh longer. Debbie Meyer markets a green bag designed to absorb the ethylene gas emitted by fruits and vegetables that occurs naturally during ripening. Debbie Meyer green bags are available on the Internet via various websites, including Amazon, or you could try your local Target store and avoid paying shipping. They cost about $10.00.

There are many cheap and easy things that you can do to keep produce fresh longer. With rising food costs, rotten produce is a waste of money that many American families can ill afford. Taking these steps should ensure that your produce will stay fresh and reduce spoilage, and thus wasted money.

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