We love reducing food waste!  One of the best ways to do this is storing fruits and veggies properly.  The best place to store all produce is in your belly.  The second best place for each item is listed here…

  • Apples: Store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer storage, keep in a cardboard box in the fridge.
  • Apricots: If ripe, place in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • Arugula: Keep dry and refrigerate in a plastic bag with a dry paper towel for up to two weeks.
  • Asparagus: Uncooked asparagus will stay fresh for three to four days in the refrigerator in a container with stems wading upright in an inch of water .
  • Avocados: Place in a paper bag (to speed up ripening, stick in apple) at room temp.
  • Bananas: Keep at room temperature, separate from other fruits
  • Beets: Wash, cut tops off, and place in an open container with a wet towel on top.
  • Bell Peppers: Store in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper of refrigerator.
    – Green peppers will usually stay fresh longer than orange or red peppers.
    – To freeze: slice or chop peppers, spread in a single layer on cookie tray and freeze, then promptly place in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags and return to freezer.
  • Berries: Place in a shallow, airtight container with a paper towel in the bottom to absorb excess moisture. Store in the fridge for up to a week.
    – Don’t forget, they’re fragile! When storing be careful not to stack too many high, a single layer if possible.
    -Immediately discard any soft or over-ripe berries. They will cause nearby berries to spoil faster.
    -Only wash when you are ready to eat them.
    – To freeze: wash berries and pat dry, and store in an airtight container in the freezer.
  • Bitter Melon: Store on the counter for a few days, then transfer to a loose bag in the fridge for 5 more days. Don’t wash or cut until ready to eat.
  • Bok Choy: Refrigerate in a plastic bag and do not wash until you use
  • Broccoli: Store broccoli unwashed in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days.
  • Brussels Sprouts: Keep unwashed and untrimmed Brussels sprouts in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator, contained in a plastic bag for up to 10 days.
    To freeze: steam them first for three to five minutes. Store in the freezer for up to one year.
  • Cabbage: Keep it wrapped and store it in the crisper section of your refrigerator. Remove core when preparing.
  • Cantaloupe: Store uncut in a cool dry place, out of the sun up to a couple weeks.
  • Carrots: The key to long-lasting carrots is storing them in a sealed container covered with a water bath (it really does work!)
    – Will keep in the fridge this way for 1 – 2 weeks and maintain crispness.
    – If consuming within a few days, can store in the crisper wrapped in a damp paper towel.
    – Cut the tops off to keep carrots firm (be sure to keep the greens!)
    – Leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them loose flavor and firmness.
  • Cauliflower: These beauties will last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but they say cauliflower has the best flavor the day it’s bought.
  • Celery: Rinse, place in a plastic bag, and keep in the refrigerator’s humid vegetable bin, and it will last about two weeks. Keep away from coldest parts of refrigerator. 
  • Chard: Remove any bands or ties and refrigerate, in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer. Wash before using.
    To freeze: Wash thoroughly & cut off stems. Blanch (plunge into boiling water) for 2 minutes and chill quickly in ice cold water. Drain off excess moisture, package in airtight containers and freeze immediately.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Place tomatoes in a paper bag or ventilated plastic container and store in a cool place, away from sunlight.
    – Most ripe tomatoes should be eaten within 2-3 days of receiving.
    – Unripe tomatoes can last up to 5-7 days.
    – Once completely ripe, can store in the fridge for up to 4-5 more days, though they may lose some of their flavor.
  • Cilantro: Try one of these three methods:
    1) cilantro in a jar on the counter with water
    2) cilantro in a jar in the refrigerator with a bag over the leaves
    3) cilantro with the stems trimmed in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Citrus: Includes fruits such as oranges, tangerines, tangelos, grapefruit, etc. Limes & lemons have their own storage tips.
    If ripe and ready to eat, only keep them stored at room temperature for three to four days at most. If still slightly green, they can be left out for roughly a week. Refrigerate if you aren’t planning to eat in the first 3-4 days.
  • Collard Greens: Store collard greens in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator, but don’t wash them until ready to consume. To revive collard greens, submerge wilted greens in cold water and store in refrigerator overnight.
  • Corn: Place ears of corn in your refrigerator as soon as possible. Use within 1 to 2 days.
    – For optimal freshness, leave the husk on until you are ready to prepare the corn.
    – Do not wash the husks or corn before storing them
    – Keep the temperature at or below 40 degrees.
  • Cucumbers: Wrapped in a moist towel in the fridge.
    – If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.
  • Eggplant: Use as soon as possible, preferable within a day.
    – Wrap in a paper towel, and place in a perforated plastic bag before storing in the crisper drawer.
    – Eggplant is quite perishable and will not store long.
    – Handle eggplants gingerly, as they bruise easily.
  • Fennel: Wrap head in plastic wrap and keep in the crisper section of the refrigerator for five to seven days. Cut stems from bulb and store separately in a sealed plastic bag. 
  • Figs: If you leave them on the countertop, eat within one day. Store in fridge for up to 5 days. Wash just before eating. 
  • Fresh Herbs: Remove any ties or bands before doing one of the following:
    – You can treat herbs like a bouquet and place them in water and set them out on a table.
    – You can also wrap them in a paper towel and store in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge.
    – All herbs can also be dried: simply separate the stems, lay them out on a dry surface and turn every few days until crisp.
  • Garlic: Store in cool, dark, place
  • Ginger: Store the whole, unpeeled ginger root in a resealable plastic bag, with the air pushed out, in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
    – If part of the ginger has been cut or peeled, be sure to blot it dry with a paper towel before storing.
  • Grapes: Try to keep grapes in the coldest part of the fridge in a perforated plastic bag for up to one week or more.
    – Only wash right before eating, moisture causes mushy skin and bacterial growth.
  • Green Beans: Store unwashed fresh beans in a reusable container or plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper. Whole beans using this storage tip keep for about seven days. 
    – To freeze: Rinse your green beans in cool water and then drain. Cut the ends then store.
  • Green Onion: Try one of these three tips:
    1. Place your green onions in a jar, and fill with an inch or two of water (just enough to cover the roots). Then, place the jar on the windowsill in your kitchen. Your onions will not only stay fresh, but continue to grow. Change or add water every couple days, as needed.
    2. Place your green onions in a jar with a bit of water (just like #1). Then, cover them with a plastic bag, and store them in the refrigerator. Replace the water every couple days.
    3. Wrap your green onions in a slightly damp paper towel. Then, place them inside a plastic bag or storage container. Remoisten the paper towel, if it dries out; replace it, if it because too wet.
  • Heirloom Tomatoes: They are best when NOT refrigerated unless, they have been cooked, cut or fully ripe. 
    – Place them on the countertop, stem down, and they can last for up to two weeks.
    – To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple or banana.
    – Ripe tomatoes will hold at room temperature for two or three days.
    – You can then refrigerate the ripe tomatoes to keep from spoiling.
    – They will taste better if you bring them to room temperature before eating.
  • Hot Peppers: Store immediately in the crisper drawer for two or three weeks. They have oils that burn your eyes and skin so use caution!
  • Jalapeños: Sliced jalapeños are best stored in the fridge, while whole jalapenos can keep in the fridge or at room temperature.
    – Store whole peppers at room temperature if using them within two to three days. Stored properly, whole jalapeños will keep for up to one week in the fridge.
    Cut jalapeños, stored properly, will last around five days. Store whole peppers in a loosely closed paper bag.
    – For sliced or minced peppers, store in an airtight plastic container or resealable plastic bag. Add a piece of paper towel to the container to absorb excess moisture if storing for more than a couple of days
  • Jerusalem Artichokes: Should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from light.
    – They may also be stored in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator, wrapped in paper towels to absorb humidity, and sealed in a plastic bag.
  • Kale: Wrap in a paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
    – Do not cut stems or wash until use.
  • Kiwi: keep at room temp until ripe (soft), then store in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
  • Kohlrabi: Store in a cool, dark place, with plenty of circulating air. Should keep for 1-2 weeks at home.
  • Leeks: Remove any rubber bands and any damaged leaves and store in plastic bags in the crisper section of the refrigerator for up to five days.
    – Store away from odor-sensitive foods such as corn and mushrooms, which will absorb the odor of the onions.
  • Lettuce: Keep damp in air tight container or bag and store in crisper drawer.  Do not wash until ready to eat.
  • Lemongrass: Store good-quality, cut lemongrass in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 weeks.
    – Freezing: They will freeze indefinitely. Although a little perfume and freshness may be lost, the unique flavor remains—and the grass is easier to cut.
    – Drying: You can snip stalks into small pieces and dry them. Store in airtight jars, then use as is, or grind to a powder before incorporating into a dish.
  • Lemons: Place lemons inside of an airtight, sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator. This will dramatically improve shelf-life, lasting several weeks.
  • Mangoes: You want to keep mangoes out on the counter until they are soft to the touch. Best flavor if consumed before refrigeration. Once ripe, place in plastic bag and refrigerate for up to one week. 
  • Micro Greens: Store them in a plastic bag or air-tight container in the refrigerator for about 5-7 days. Only wash before consuming.
  • Muscadines: Store on the countertop for a few days, then store them in perforated container in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Mushrooms: The best way to store mushrooms is to keep them in the refrigerator in a loosely closed paper bag. Fresh for about one week. 
    – Dried mushrooms should be stored in a tightly sealed container in either the refrigerator or freezer where they will stay fresh for six months to one year.
  • Mustard Greens: Refrigerate in a plastic bag with all air out for about three to four days.
  • Okra: These guys don’t like humidity… A dry towel in an air tight container will do, but only for about 2 days after purchase. Enjoy quickly!
  • Onions: Dry bulb onions should be kept in a cool, dry, well ventilated place.
    – Do not store whole onions in plastic bags. Lack of air movement will reduce their storage life.
    – Sweet onions (spring/summer) have a higher water content than storage onions (fall/winter), making them more susceptible to bruising, and a shorter shelf life than storage varieties.
    – One way to extend the shelf life of a sweet or high water content onion is to wrap each one in paper towels or newspaper and place them in the refrigerator to keep them cool and dry.
    If you peel it: Whole peeled onions should be properly refrigerated at 40°F or below.
    – Chopped or sliced onions can be stored in a sealed container in your refrigerator at the proper temperature of 40°F or below for 7 to 10 days
  • Peaches: If your peaches need to ripen a bit more, do not place them in the fridge.
    – You can place them in a bowl on the counter, or if you want them to ripen quickly, you can store them in a brown paper bag.
    – Once ripe, can store in fridge for up to one week.
    – For maximum flavor, remove from fridge and set out until at room temperature before eating.
  • Pears: Will keep for a few weeks on a cool counter, but fine in a paper bag. For expedited ripening, put an apple with the pears.
  • Persimmons: Will continue to ripen after harvested. Store at room temperature.
    – Refrigerating them will result in chill damage quite quickly.
    – They are best enjoyed when crisp!
  • Pink-Eyed Peas: Store dry pink-eyed peas in a cool, dry place off the floor.
    – High temperatures cause hardening of the pink-eyed peas; high humidity may cause mold.
  • Pluots/Plums: Leave on counter top until ripe, then place in fridge for up to 5 days.
    – To hasten ripening, store loosely in a closed paper bag at room temperature.
    – They bruise easy, so avoid storing them stacked on top of one another.
  • Pole Beans: Store unwashed fresh beans in a reusable container or plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper. Whole beans keep for about seven days.
    – To freeze: Rinse your green beans in cool water and then drain. Cut the ends then store.
  • Potatoes: Store in cool, dark and dry place, such as a box in a dark corner of the pantry; a paper bag also works well.
  • Pomegranate: Store pomegranates at room temperature for up to 3 weeks or refrigerate for up to 2 months.
    – Pomegranates should have soft, leathery skin that gives slightly when pressed; avoid fruit with shriveled skin.
    – Pomegranate seeds and juice can be frozen for up to 6 months.
  • Portobello Mushrooms: Place fresh portobellos in paper bags or wrap them in paper towels for storage in the refrigerator.
    – Plastic wrapping can trap in moisture and should be avoided.
    – Portobello mushrooms kept in the refrigerator should be used within a week
  • Radishes: Trim and place them in the refrigerator crisper drawer, loosely sealed in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel.
    – Leave about 1/2- 1 inch of the stem intact. Your vegetables will look like they’ve all had buzz cuts.
    – Put the greens in a loosely sealed plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week. They should be totally dry. Don’t wash them until you are ready to use them.
  • Shallots: Store in a cool (but not cold 65-70 degrees), dark and dry, place‐ good air circulation. Don’t use plastic bags or put near potatoes.
  • Spinach: Store loose in an open container in the crisper, cool as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.
  • Star Fruit: Store ripe fruit at room temperature for two to three days or unwashed, and refrigerated, in a plastic bag for up to one to two weeks. Turn the non-ripe fruit often, until yellow in color and ripe with light brown ribs. 
  • Sweet Potatoes: Store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry; a paper bag also works well.
  • Summer Squash: Store unwashed in a plastic bag, and only wash just before eating. Use squash within 3-5 days. 
  • Tat Soi: Keeping them fresh: DO NOT store greens on the counter top unrefrigerated, or just throw them on a shelf in the fridge! They will surely wilt and go bad quickly.
    – Wrap lettuce or greens in a dry paper towel and place in plastic bag in the fridge. The paper towel will absorb any excess moisture that makes the lettuce rot and will keep it fresher for much longer.
    – Revive the wilted: If your greens DO start to wilt, here’s a simple, easy way to revive them… Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes and immerse the greens in the water for several minutes. Remove the greens from the bowl and they will be perked up and crisp again. Drain carefully on towels, or run individual leaves through a salad spinner to remove the moisture. Eat immediately.
  • Tomatoes: They are best when NOT refrigerated unless, they have been cooked, cut or fully ripe. 
    – Place them on the countertop, stem down, and they can last for up to two weeks.
    – To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple or banana.
    – Ripe tomatoes will hold at room temperature for two or three days. You can then refrigerate the ripe tomatoes to keep from spoiling.
    – They will taste better if you bring them to room temperature before eating.
  • Turmeric: Fresh, unpeeled turmeric will keep in the refrigerator for two to three weeks. To store, wipe dry and wrap in a clean paper towel in a plastic bag. When ready to use, cut off just what you need. Rewrap remainder and refrigerate. 
  • Turnips: Refrigerate the roots unwashed in a plastic bag. Keeps for 1-2 weeks. 
  • Turnip Greens: Stored in a plastic bag in the fridge.
    – Turnip greens are the edible leaves of the turnip root. They resemble mustard greens in flavor.
  • Watermelon: Watermelon can continue to ripen on the counter for up to 3-5 days after purchase. Once ripe, cut and store in plastic container for up to one more week. 
  • Winter Squash: Winter squash should not be refrigerated unless cut.
    – Stored at 50°F to 55°F away from light in a well ventilated spot with low humidity, it will keep for up to three months.
    – Cut squash will keep 4 to 7 days when wrapped tightly and refrigerated.
    -Freshly harvested winter squash can be bland, but will improve after storing for 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Zucchini: Store zucchini, unwashed, in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer of  refrigerator up to 5 days. If wiliting, use immediately. 
    – Cooked zucchini should be covered, refrigerated and used within two days.
    – To freeze zucchini, slice into rounds, boil for two minutes, plunge into cold water, drain, and seal in airtight containers or baggies. Frozen zucchini may be kept up to one year.

Good to know…

Fresh Harvest food storage information is drawn from multiple sources. A primary source is the food safety research conducted by U.S. government agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.