If you have ever opened your refrigerator or cupboard door to take out some fruit or vegetables to prepare only to find that they’ve started to decay, then you’re not alone. Australians waste tonnes of fruit and veg each year by letting it expire before consuming it. What many people don’t know is that there are natural ways to prolong the lifespan of your fruit and vegetables in storage. Below we have outlined some of our favourite tips for keeping your fruit and veg fresher for longer:
Where possible, it’s great to shop for fresh produce locally for a number of reasons. Firstly, you’re supporting your local farmers and community, and contributing to the success of your local area. Secondly, it means that your produce is likely much fresher and hasn’t been travelling or stored in a warehouse for days before being put on shelves in front of you.
Squeezing all your fresh fruit and vegetables in on top of each other is big no-no if you want to keep them fresh for as long as possible. Fresh produce still needs to breathe after it’s been cut or harvested, so keep this in mind when storing it in your crisper drawers, cupboards or fruit bowl. One-layer deep is the recommended amount so don’t pile it high if you want it to last longer.
Separate, Separate, Separate
Its recommended not to store fruit and vegetables together at all if possible and certainly don’t store very ripe vegetables with those still a few days off being ripe. The reason for this is that some foods produce a gas called ethylene when they ripen which can affect other fruit and veg around it, causing it to ripen or go spotty very quickly. Bananas are particularly bad ethylene offenders!
Maintain Your Fridge
If fridges aren’t kept clean or regularly maintained, they can hasten the process of fruit and veg expiring. A build-up of ice for example can spoil food like salad as it absorbs the moisture and freezes. Make sure your fridge is at an optimum temperature for storing fruit and vegetables, and keep it clean, to reduce both pockets of ice and lack of breathing space for your fresh produce.
Say No to Plastic
Storing fresh fruit and vegetables is not only bad for the environment, its also a sure-fire way to speed up the decay of your food. Your food such as fresh fruit and veg needs to breathe, and airtight plastic bags don’t allow for this whatsoever. This is one of the reasons why we started The Swag! Our organic, breathable and natural food storage bags will help keep your produce fresh for up to 3 times longer. Check out our shop page for more information!