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 in a cardboard box in the fridge.
  • Bananas: These sweet friends are sensitive to chilled environments – keep at room temperature. Also store separate from fruit like apples, kiwifruit, and plums, they will cause the bananas to soften.
  • Beets: Wash, cut tops off, and place in an open container with a wet towel on top.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Citrus: fruits such as oranges, tangerines, tangelos, lemons, and limes will do fine for up to a week in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight. But you can lengthen their lives by storing them in the fridge in a mesh or perforated plastic bag.
  • Kohlrabi: Store in a cool, dark place, with plenty of circulating air. Should keep for 1-2 weeks at home.
  • Lettuce: Keep damp in air tight container or bag and store in crisper drawer.  Do not wash until ready to eat.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Pears: Will keep for a few weeks on a cool counter, but fine in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening put an apple in with them.
  • 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.
  • Spinach: Store loose in an open container in the crisper, cool as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.
  • Strawberries: Don’t wash strawberries until you’re ready to eat. This is important for two reasons. Strawberries are like sponges, so once wet, they soak up every bit of moisture, making them more likely to get mushy and spoil faster. Also, wet berries are more apt to get moldy. Also leave the stems on as long as possible. Keeping the stems on until you’re about to eat the strawberries will prolong their shelf life. And don’t let one bad berry spoil the whole bunch. If you notice any moldy berries in the container, remove them immediately. Mold spreads easily! If you don’t plan to eat your strawberries the day you bring them home, the best place for them is in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. It helps to maintain humidity and keep the berries from losing moisture and becoming dry. Remove the berries from their original container, and store them whole and unwashed in a partially-closed container lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture, preferably in a single layer so they don’t get crushed. They should last up to five to seven days. You can also slice and freeze for longer storage.

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.