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.
  • Bananas: Keep at room temperature, separate from other fruits
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cabbage: Keep it wrapped and store it in the crisper section of your refrigerator. Remove core when preparing.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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.
  • Lettuce: Keep damp in air tight container or bag and store in crisper drawer.  Do not wash until ready to eat.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sweet Pie Pumpkins: Harvested fruit should be stored with good ventilation (at least one air exchange per day) at 50 to 55oF and 50 to 75% relative humidity. Standard refrigeration temperatures (35 to 45oF) may cause chilling injuries and shorten shelf life. Storage at high temperature may result in excessive loss of weight, color, and culinary qualities, while high humidity may promote rots. Storage life is typically 2 to 3 months without significant loss in quality.
  • Sunchokes: Raw sunchokes should be stored in a cool, dry, and 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. Raw sunchokes can be stored for one to three weeks. Cooked sunchokes should be refrigerated and consumed within two days. Canning and freezing are not recommended due to discoloration and deterioration of texture.
  • 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. 

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.