This is a copy of an article from The Dollar Stretcher newsletter – I’m posting it here (unchanged) because it has some good tips on what to put in the fridge versus on the counter….

Keeping Produce Fresh
by Leanne Ely, CNC
Don’t let it spoil before you taste it

One place you can really get nailed on is buying fresh
produce. Produce will only keep so long so you absolutely have
to have a plan to use it up. If all you do is buy it and let
it sit in your fridge, you might as well start flushing five-
dollar bills down the toilet!

But still the question remains, how do you keep your produce
fresh? That’s a great question and the answer varies according
to what you have. Let’s tackle the most common fruits and
veggies, shall we?

First up, some things you need to know. There is a certain
chemical compound called ethylene that is released as produce
ripens. This ripening action builds up in a closed plastic bag
so the gas makes your food break down quicker. What I do is
keep the bags open to avoid that too quick ripening factor. If
you take it out of the bags, it will dry out so opening the
bag really helps to preserve it. Check the packaging you
bought your produce in. Often times, these bags have little
holes in them to allow the ethylene to release without drying
out.

Secondly, there are things that should be refrigerated and
there are others that should not. Here is a list of stuff to
store in your pantry:

– Onions
– Potatoes
– Garlic
– Shallots
– Hard winter squashes
– Sweet potatoes

Keeping these guys away from the light will help prolong their
shelf life and stop your potatoes and onions from sprouting.

Here is a list of stuff to stick in the fridge:

– Apples
– Cherries
– Grapes
– Melons (unless you’re trying to ripen up on the countertop)
– Corn
– Berries (don’t wash until ready to use)
– Grapes
– Peas
– Any citrus
– Artichokes
– Asparagus (cut the ends off and place them in a glass of
water, plastic over the top)
– Lettuces
– Spinach
– Eggplant
– Cucumbers
– Mushrooms
– Peppers
– Leeks
– Greens
– Cauliflower and broccoli
– Cabbage
– Carrots
– Beets
– Any fresh herbs
– Radishes
– Green onions or scallions
– Zucchini and summer squash
– Turnips
– Green beans
– Celery

The thinner the skin on the fruit or vegetable, the sooner it
needs to be used.

Here is a list of stuff that can start on your counter then
can go into the fridge if necessary, but you need to be aware
that it can get too cold and end up somewhat bruised or ruined
by the fridge:

– Avocados
– Bananas
– Tomatoes
– Peaches
– Papaya
– Apricots
– Plums
– Pineapple
– Pears
– Nectarines
– Mangos
– Kiwi

There you go with everything you wanted to know about keeping
produce but were afraid to ask! This simple guide should help
you start storing and using your produce wisely without the
spoilage. Enjoy!
____________________

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