How to Store Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

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Did you know that apples should be stored at room temperature for the first seven days and then go into the refrigerator? That ginger should be stored only at room temp? Preventing food waste is a topic getting a lot of attention thanks to a new documentary, Just Eat It. Estimates are that 40% of all food ends up in the dumpster.

UC Davis has an incredible resource for preventing food waste in our homes in the form of a pdf you can print out and post on your refrigerator. We’ve linked to it before, but it’s worth repeating: Storing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Better Taste.

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  1. This pdf is a good idea, but i’m note agree for the strawberries.
    Don’t you think they loose their taste after a day in a fridge?
    Isa from the “gariguette” country

  2. Maybe apples from the tree should be stored on the counter. However, apples that have been in cold storage, like the back of the store cooler, should immediately be refrigerated or they will start to go off, and they will become mellow and grainy and soft. If you ever notice the cracks in the blossom end of an apple, you are seeing an apple that was kept in cold storage and then moved to a warmer environment.

    I was complaining to the produce manager about getting so many mellow apples. He explained this to me. He had been in produce for 35 years and was produce manager for 20 years.

    A mellow/soft apple is nasty. So, I asked many questions as I grumbled to the produce manager. He showed me how to pick out a hard apple. Of course, if the blossom end is still green, that is even better, but a cracked blossom end is the worst thing.

    So, if an apple never sees cold storage, it may be left on the counter.

  3. Not a fruit or vegitable but I am also a fan of keeping a butter dish out at room temp. As long as you go through a stick within a reasonable amount of time it makes using it and cooking with it so much easier.

  4. My best tip is for fresh herbs—I’ve found that storing them with the stems in a jar with a little water in the bottom, all covered with a plastic big held to the jar with a rubber band, works much much better than anything else. Basil lasts a good week or two this way in my fridge, and hardier things like thyme keep practically indefinitely, ie until all eaten.

  5. Fresh herbs are best stored on the plant. Leftovers get hung upside down to become dried herbs.

    Atleast around here where most herbs seem to grow like weeds.

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