For many of us, storing food is easy. We go to the store, purchase our items and then stuff them into the refrigerator. Often times, we will put our vegetables in plastic bags or containers before storing them in the fridge. This is a common practice due to lack of knowledge about the foods we are eating. Many of the fruits and vegetables that we eat do not need to be refrigerated. Some, actually last longer if they are not refrigerated!
Beth Terry is a woman on a mission. She blogs about ways to reduce the use of plastic in our lives and she wrote an excellent blog post on the best way to store fruits and vegetables. She provides the crucial information on how best to store these items.
Here’s an except from her site:
How to Store Vegetables Without Plastic
Always remove any tight bands from your vegetables or at least loosen them to allow them to breath.
Asparagus‐ place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (Will keep for a week outside the fridge)
Arugula‐ arugula, like lettuce, should not stay wet! Dunk in cold water and spin or lay flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.
Broccoli‐ place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.
Carrots‐ cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.
Celery‐ does best when simply places in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter.
Corn‐ leave unhusked in an open container if you must, but corn really is best the day it’s picked.
Cucumber‐ wrapped in a moist towel in the fridge. If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.
Greens‐ remove any bands, twist ties, etc. most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth‐ to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard even do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.
Green beans‐ they like humidity, but not wetness. A damp cloth draped over an open or loosely closed container.
Lettuce‐ keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.
Onion‐ store in a cool, dark and dry, place‐ good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them.
Potatoes‐ (like garlic and onions) store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry; a paper bag also works well.
Snap peas‐ refrigerate in an open container
Spinach‐ store loose in an open container in the crisper, cool as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.
Spring onions‐ Remove any band or tie and place in the crisper.
Tomatoes‐ Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple.
Zucchini‐ does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.
She has advice on many other vegetables and fruits on her blog, check it out here.