/ Source: Prevention
For the best deals on summer's bounty, head to your local farmers market. You'll save big on in-season fruits and veggies and find just-picked crops that are more nutritious than their store-bought counterparts. The problem: With the abundance comes spoilage. Here are some surprising storage secrets for stretching the life of perishable produce.
Store longer dos and don’ts
- Do: Ripen on your countertop for about a week, which nearly doubles the melon's lycopene and beta-carotene levels, according to a USDA study. Pop it in the fridge a day before eating.
- Don’t: Store it near other fruits; watermelon is easily damaged by ethylene, a gas released by fruits that speeds up deterioration.
- Do: Store in their original ventilated plastic bag, remove bruised or damaged fruit, and wrap the rest in paper towel to absorb excess moisture that promotes mold growth.
- Don’t: Wash until right before eating; doing so in advance encourages mold development.
- Do: Wrap in paper towels to absorb moisture, and place in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer.
- Don’t: Refrigerate basil, which is damaged by the cold; stand it in water on a sunny windowsill.
- Do: Store cherry and grape tomatoes in their original containers in the refrigerator. Ripen large varieties on the counter — cold temperatures halt color, flavor, and nutrient development. Once bright red, store them in the fridge.
- Don’t: Place ripe tomatoes near vegetables, as they give off ethylene.
- Do: Store in their original clamshell containers, which increase ventilation. Remove bruised or moldy berries from the batch; they'll speed up decay among the rest.
- Don’t: Wash berries prior to storage for the same reason as grapes.
- Do: Pat them dry before storing, as excess moisture contributes to decay. Wrap in paper towels, place in a plastic bag, and store in the crisper.
- Don’t: Keep them in close proximity to ethylene-emitting fruits like tomatoes.