Nothing makes us feel worse in the kitchen than throwing away fresh produce that has gone bad in the refrigerator. But there are things you can do to slow down the process that leads to food spoilage. Depending on the fruit or vegetable, there may be better ways of storing them so they will last longer. To help you reduce food waste in your kitchen, we have put together a few helpful hacks to keep them fresh for longer.
Material required: Brown paper bags, Vinegar, Mason jars
Wash your produce thoroughly before storing: You can keep off mould by washing certain fruits and vegetables with a solution of water and vinegar. Just mix one part white vinegar with three parts water, dip your fruits and vegetables, and then wash them gently but thoroughly. Vinegar not only prevents mould buildup and rotting, but also helps get rid of pesticides on conventionally grown produce and fruit, and kills bacteria that could be clinging on your vegetables. After washing, rinse thoroughly with clean water and pat dry before storing.
Dip herbs in water: Just like cut flowers, herbs do not survive for long if not placed in water. Store herbs such as cilantro and basil with their stalks immersed in water in a jar. You can invest in some mason jars so that you can always put your fresh herbs in water before storing them in the counters or refrigerator.
Plastic is a big no for mushrooms: Mushrooms will immediately start developing brown spots and shrinking because of the moisture trapped inside plastic packaging. Mushrooms stay fresh longer if stored in a dry and breathable packaging such as brown paper bags. This kind of paper absorbs moisture just like paper towels and allows better circulation of air, unlike plastic bags. Likewise, do not pack your mushrooms in glass containers, the fridge produce bins, Tupperware or any other container designed to trap in moisture.
What to and not to keep together: It is not wise to store all your fresh produce together. Some produce cause others to spoil more quickly because they emit ethylene ‘ripening’ gas. For instance, do not store apples and cherries or blueberries together; the berries and cherries will spoil faster. If you store your potatoes and onions together, the potatoes are prone to rotting or sprouting faster. On the contrary, if potatoes are paired with apples, the potatoes stay intact and fresh for longer. One fruit to keep away from the rest of your farm fresh produce is the banana. Bananas emit a lot of ethylene gas. The gas will not only cause them to ripen and spoil quicker, but also, ruin any other fresh produce around banana.