The Swag Guide to Storing Fruit and Vegetables Responsibly
With the constantly rising price of fruits and veggies, not to mention everything else, it is important to get the most from what you buy. Storing your fresh produce the best way possible will mean that your fruits and veggies will last longer, and you will save money.
1. Always use a decent refrigerator
This might seem simplistic, but the quality of your food and its longevity rely heavily on having a consistent environment. Broken or poor seals, or a dodgy refrigeration unit will mean that your food doesn’t have the optimal temperature at all time and with your fridge constantly fluctuating it will be working harder too cool the interior. This puts unnecessary strain on the motor that could mean costly repairs or replacement, and will contribute to a much higher energy bill. A fridge doesn’t have to be big an expensive or have a fancy water cooler and ice dispenser, it just needs an efficient motor and strong seals.
2. Know what produce can be mixed, and what cannot
For the very best results, always store avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, pears, plums, and tomatoes in a different Swag from your apples, broccoli, carrots, leafy greens, and watermelon. The best way to keep these fruit and veggies fresh is to ensure these groups don’t sit right next to each other as the first group produce ethylene gas as they ripen and can prematurely ripen foods that are sensitive to it. However, The Swag will still generate great results even if everything is in one bag as The Swag is permeable and the gases are able to dissipate.
3. Wash your produce before storing
Preferably wash all fruit and veggies with a dash of white vinegar to remove pesticides, dirt and mould. Cut off all dead or dying ends and place them into clean, dry, moderately dampened Swags and they’ll stay so much fresher for longer (unless otherwise specified below)
4. Keep potatoes and onions room temperature
Potatoes and onions shouldn’t be kept in the fridge as this can ruin their flavour. Instead, put them in a dry Swag in a cool, dry place (preferably apart) with minimal sun exposure such as a pantry or kitchen cupboard. Adding an apple to your Swag every now and then will keep potatoes from sprouting.
5. Know how to ripen right
To ripen bananas or avocados, store them in a dry Swag on the counter, bench-top or warm position in your kitchen. Above the fridge is always a dry, warm place for ripening fruits. Store pears, peaches, plums, kiwis, mangoes, apricots, avocados & melons in The Swag until the day before you’re ready to eat them. Then, pop them into a warm dry place in a fruit bowl, or alongside your bananas, tomatoes and avocados in a dry Swag, in a warm place. Once they're ripe, move them to back into the Swags in the fridge (before they start to rot). If you put bananas into the Swag in the fridge, the peels will turn dark brown.
6. Keep your greens clean and dry
Store salad green leaves and fresh herbs in a dry(ish) small Swag. Fill your Swag with loose leaves, then go outside and swing the Swag around (like you would swing a billy of tea) to get rid of all the excess water! Make sure you're holding it closed so all of the lettuce doesn't fall out. Then place this Swag on top of all of your other Swags so it doesn't get squashed!
7. Extend the life of your citrus
You can lengthen the lives of citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes, by storing them in the fridge in The Swag. However, they will also do fine for about a week in a dry swag in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight.
8. Let your celery breathe
With celery, cut away all dead dying bit and ends. Place in a long damp Swag with any other long veggies such as leeks and spring onions. They will all breathe, hydrate and stay fresher longer this way. If you need to keep your longer shaped produce in the fridge (because it won’t fit in the crisper) then apply a lot more water to the Swag, as it will dry out quicker in the general fridge space. It’s preferable that you wash the veggies with a dash of white vinegar to remove pesticides, dirt and mould. Place them into clean, moderately dampened Swags. They'll stay fresh for much longer.
9. Plant your pineapples upside down
Store your pineapples upside down on a plate with the leafy top cut off. This will help redistribute the sugars that have sunken to the bottom during shipping. It will keep much longer this well.
10. Know what to keep cool
Produce such as carrots, lettuce, and broccoli should be removed from plastic and placed into damp Swags in your fridge as soon as you get them home. They start to spoil as soon as they're picked, so the faster you can get them into your Swags the better. Also, wash them with a dash of white vinegar to remove pesticides, dirt and mould. Then, place them into clean, dry, moderately dampened Swags.
11. Be 'bery' careful with your berries
Avoid washing berries until right before you're ready to eat them. Wetness encourages mould growth, and excessive moisture will increase the rate at which they rot. If you’re really keen, clean your berries, fruits, and greens in a mixture of 10 parts water and one part white vinegar. This remove excess dirt and even pesticides and prevent mould. Berries are mostly sold in cartons with air holes in them. So, nestle your cartons close to and AROUND your Swags that are in your fridge. The berries will last much longer due to the environment that The Swags create around them. They will stay protected too.
12. Or, take the 'all-at-once' approach
If you like to wash, dry, and cut your fruits and veggies all at once - wash them with a dash of white vinegar to remove pesticides, dirt and mould. Place them into clean, dry, moderately dampened Swags to keep them fresher longer.
13. Wield the power of lemon
To keep your cut apples and avocados, or guacamole from turning brown, give them a little spray with lemon juice.
14. Leave nothing to waste
If you have trouble remembering to use up your veggies, store them in plain sight in reusable produce bags that mimic the function of your fridge. The Swag’s colour coding trim will help you use your older produce first making sure you don’t waste any precious fruit and veggies.
15. Remove the chance of rotting
Make sure you remove rotten produce from the vicinity of all other produce immediately, as one rotten anything can spoil the entire bunch.
16. Create circulation
Don’t overstock the fridge as this leads to poor air circulation and means your delicate fruits and veggies in the fridge aren’t at the right temperature.
17. Handle your herbs with care
As a last resort, dry or freeze your herbs to make them last even longer. Bunch your herbs together loosely using some string. Hang the bunches in your kitchen and use them as they naturally dry.
18. Avoid contamination
Be sure to keep meat and fresh produce separate in the fridge. This is a basic tenet of kitchen safety and will decrease the likelihood of cross-contamination.
19. Avoid toxin exposure
Many plastics contain harmful chemicals that can increase spoilage. So, we recommend using The Swag to keep your fruit and veggies fresh 100% naturally with zero toxins.
20. Don't store near the door
The temperature around the door of the fridge is going to fluctuate the most. This makes it better to keep your produce in the middle or your bottom drawers at a consistent temperature.
21. Wield the power of white vinegar
Use white vinegar as a natural disinfectant for your fridge, crisper and fridge seals where a lot of mould is often hiding.
As a bonus (just because we like you) here are 2 BIG money saving tips:
- Plastic Kills!
If I sealed you in a plastic bag what would happen? You’d die – right! Sealing your fruit and veggies in plastic bags or containers actually kills them faster. That’s because you’re living and breathing. So is our fresh produce and if you want it to stay alive, happy and nutrient rich for much longer, then you have to give it air and water. That's why the Swag is the revolutionary way of storing fresh produce.
- Buy Only What You Need!
Millions of dollars per year of food is thrown away because people couldn’t eat it in time. Always plan your meals in advance so that you can buy the ingredients you need for that week. The Swag will give you back the extra days or even weeks you need to cook your fresh produce. You will also save money because you’ll be confident that you can now buy in bulk and not end up throwing most of it away.