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It happens all the time: You take a vegetable out of the fridge only to realize that it's gone bad — even though you just bought it. Over 40 percent of the food in the US goes to waste each year. One of the top reasons we're wasting food in our home is food storage. Here our friends How Does It Grow share three tips for how to properly store produce so it lasts longer.
Tip 1: Separate your fruits and vegetables
Don't toss your apples and broccoli in the same drawer! Certain fruits can give off ethylene, a chemical that speeds up ripening. Keep your fruits and veggies in separate crisper drawers so they don't go bad too quickly.
Tip 2: Keep certain veggies out of the fridge
It can be tempting to keep veggies in the cool fridge to keep them fresh longer, but some vegetables actually taste better when stored at room temp! To avoid mealy tomatoes, brown eggplants, or mushy cucumbers, keep these on the counter out of sunlight — not the refrigerator. Leafy greens, cruciferous veggies (like broccoli and cauliflower) and root veggies (like carrots and celery) are best kept in the moist and cool fridge.
Tip 3: Don't store onions and potatoes together
Onions, potatoes and garlic should be stored in a cool, dry place out of the sunlight. They've already been dried and cured to last longer, and a dark dry pantry is the perfect place to keep them. However, onions also produce ethylene, so unless you want your potatoes to start sprouting, keep them in separate baskets.
Using these tips will keep your produce tasting fresh — and save you money along the way!