How Do I Store Produce So That It Stays Fresh For Longer?

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There's nothing worse than buying a bunch of fresh produce, only to have it spoil more quickly than you can eat it!

Luckily, there are ways to store your produce that can give it a longer shelf life. Helen Gurrera, President of Citarella — one of New York's oldest gourmet markets! — has all the info you need.

The first thing you should know is that as they ripen, some types of fruit release something called ethylene, Helen says. This can cause other produce to spoil more quickly and even rot, so it's important to keep items that produce ethylene separate from other fruits and vegetables when storing your groceries.

Apples, bananas, pears and tomatoes are a few types of fruit that produce ethylene as they ripen, Helen explains. You want to keep them away from your leafy greens especially, she says, to prevent greens from wilting. If you want to chill your apples or pears, put them in a separate drawer away from lettuce and other leafy greens.

Mushrooms, avocados, peaches and plums also produce ethylene, so keep them away from other veggies to make your produce last longer!

Bananas and tomatoes should never be kept in the refrigerator, Helen continues. Neither should onions or potatoes, and those should also be stored in a cool, dark place.

Rachael suggests taking your produce out of those plastic bags and storing it in paper instead, so more air is able to get to them. This can help stop fruits and veggies from getting gummy — and who likes that?!

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