Thursday, July 12

Storing Fruits and Veggies with out the use of plastic

Using real textiles to buy and possibly store our veggies and fruits in. We have a new learning curve because as a culture we have been using plastic bags for so long. Here are some tricks from Berkeley Farmers Market to help us learn how to take care of and not waste our food. According to the U.S. environmental protection agency, Americans throw away 31.6 million tons of food every year just because it goes bad in the home.  Because I am constantly a work in progress, my ideal would be to have three or four air tight shallow long containers that fit my fridge nicely ( preferably glass or stainless steel ). I hope you find this helpful.

HOW TO STORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, TIPS AND TRICKS TO EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR PRODUCE WITH OUT PLASTIC.


FRUIT

Apples ‐ 
store 
on 
a 
cool
 counter 
or 
shelf
 for
 up
 to 
two
 weeks.
 For 
longer
 storage 
in
 a

card board
 box 
in 
the 
fridge.

 
Citrus ‐ 
store 
in 
a
 cool
 place, 
with 
good
 air flow, 
never 
in 
an
 air‐tight
 container.
 
Apricots ‐ 
on 
a
 cool
 counter 
to
p at room 
temperature 
or 
fridge 
if 
fully 
ripe
. 
Cherries ‐ store 
in 
an 
air tight 
container.
 Don’t
 wash
 cherries 
until 
ready
 to
 eat,
 any 
added
 moisture 
encourages 
mold.
 Berries­
 Don’t
 forget,
 they’re 
fragile.
 When 
storing
 be
 careful
 not 
to 
stack 
too 
many
 high,
 a
 single 
layer
 if
 possible.
 A 
paper
 bag
 works
 well,
 only
 wash
 before
 you
 plan 
on 
eating
 them.

 
Dates ‐ dryer
 dates
 ( like 
Deglet
 Noor )
 are 
fine 
stored 
out
 on 
the 
counter 
in
 a 
bowl
 or 
the
 
paper 
bag
 they 
were 
bought 
in.

 Moist
 dates 
( like 
Medjool ) 
need
 a
 bit 
of 
refrigeration 
if
 they’re 
going
 to 
be 
stored
 over 
a 
week, 
either 
in 
cloth 
or 
a 
paper 
bag ‐
 as 
long
 as 
it’s
 porous
to 
keeping 
the
 moisture 
away 
from
 the 
skin 
of
 the
 dates.

Figs ‐ 
Don’t 
like 
humidity,
 so,
 no 
closed 
containers. 
A 
paper 
bag 
works 
to
 absorb 
excess
 moisture, 
but
 a
 plate
 works
 best 
in 
the 
fridge 
up 
to 
a
 week
 un‐stacked.

Melons ‐
 uncut 
in 
a 
cool 
dry 
place,
 out 
of 
the 
sun 
up
 to 
a 
couple
 weeks.
 Cut
 melons 
should 
be
 in the 
fridge,
 an 
open
 container
 is
 fine.

Nectarines ‐ 
( similar 
to 
apricots ) 
store 
in 
the 
fridge 
is 
okay 
if 
ripe, 
but
 best 
taken
 out
 a 
day
 or 
two 
be fore 
you 
plan 
on 
eating 
them
 so
 they
 soften 
to 
room
 temperature.
 Peaches 

( and 
most 
stone
 fruit )‐
 refrigerate 
only 
when 
fully 
ripe.
 More 
firm 
fruit 
will 
ripen 
on 
the 
counter.
 
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.
 
Persimmon ‐ Fuyu ‐ ( shorter / pumpkin 
shaped ): 
store 
at 
room 
temperature.
 
Hachiya ‐ 
( longer / pointed 
end ):
 room 
temperature 
until
 completely 
mushy.
 The
 astringentness 
of
 them 
only
 subsides
 when 
they 
are 
completely 
ripe.

To
 hasten
 the
 ripening
process 
place 
in 
a
 paper 
bag
 with
 a 
few
 apples
 for 
a 
week, 
check
 now
 and
 then, 
but
 don’t
stack‐they 
get
 very
 fragile 
when 
really 
ripe.

Pomegranates ‐
 keep 
up
 to 
a
 month
 stored
 on 
a
 cool 
counter.
  
Strawberries ‐ 
Don’t 
like 
to
 be 
wet.
 Do 
best 
in 
a 
paper
 bag 
in 
the 
fridge 
for
 up 
to 
a
 week‐ check
 the 
bag 
for
 moisture
 every 
other
 day.

 

 

 
VEGGIES: 
 
Always 
remove 
any 
tight
 bands 
from
 your
 vegetables 
or
 at 
least 
loosen 
them 
to
 allow 
them
to 
breath.


Artichokes ‐
 place 
in 
an 
airtight 
container
 sealed,
 with 
light
 moisture.
 
Asparagus ‐ 
place 
them
 loosely 
in 
a 
glass 
or
 bowl 
up right
 with 
water
 at 
room 
temperature.
 ( will
 keep 
for 
a 
week 
out side 
the 
fridge )
 
Avocados ‐ 
place 
in
 a 
paper
 bag 
at 
room 
temp.

To 
speed
 up 
their ripening‐
place
 an apple
 in
 the
 bag 
with
 them.
 
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.
 
Basil‐ 
is 
difficult 
to 
store
 well.
 Basil 
does
 not 
like 
the 
cold, 
or
 to 
be 
wet
 for 
that 
matter.
The
 
best
 method 
here 
is 
an 
air tight 
container /jar 
loosely
 packed
 with
 a 
small
 damp

piece 
of 
paper 
inside‐left 
out 
on 
a 
cool
 counter.
 

Beans,
 shelling‐
open 
container
 in 
the 
fridge,
 eat 
ASAP. 
Some 
recommend
 freezing
 them
if
 not
 going 
to 
eat 
right
 away
.
Beets ‐
 cut 
the
 tops 
off
 to 
keep 
beets
 firm, 
( be 
sure 
to 
keep
 the
 greens! ) by 
leaving 
any
 top
 on
 root 
vegetables
 draws
 moisture 
from 
the 
root,
 making 
them
 loose
 flavor 
and
 firmness.
 Beets 
should
 be 
washed
 and
 kept 
in
 and
 open
 container
 with
 a
 wet 
towel 
on 
top.
 Beet
greens‐
place 
in
 an 
air tight 
container 
with
 a 
little 
moisture.
 
Broccoli ‐ 
place 
in 
an 
open
 container 
in 
the 
fridge 
or 
wrap 
in
 a
 damp 
towel
 before 
placing 
in
 the 
fridge.
 
Broccoli
 Rabe ‐
 left 
in 
an 
open 
container 
in
 the 
crisper, 
but
 best 
used
 as
 soon 
as
 possible.

Brussels
 Sprouts ‐ 
If
 bought
 on
 the 
stalk 
leave
 them
 on
 that
 stalk. 
Put 
the 
stalk 
in
 the 
fridge
 or
 leave 
it 
on 
a
 cold 
place.
 If 
they’re 
bought 
loose 
store 
them 
in 
an 
open
 container
 with
 a
 damp
 towel
 on
 top.

 
Cabbage ‐ 
left
 out
 on
 a
 cool 
counter
 is
 fine 
up 
to 
a 
week,
 in
 the
 crisper 
other wise.

 Peel
 off
 outer 
leaves 
if
 they
 start
 to 
wilt. 
Cabbage 
might 
begin 
to 
loose 
its 
moisture 
after 
a
 week
, 
so,
 best 
used
 as
 soon
 as 
possible.
 
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.

 
Cauliflower ‐
 will 
last
 a
while 
in 
a 
closed 
container 
in
 the 
fridge, 
but
 they 
say
 cauliflower 
has
 the 
best
 flavor 
the 
day
 it’s 
bought.
 
Celery ‐
 does
 best
 when 
simply
 placed 
in
 a
 cup
 or 
bowl
 of
 shallow
 water
 on 
the 
counter.
 
Celery 
root / Celeriac ‐
 wrap
 the 
root
 in 
a
 damp
 towel
 and
 place 
in
 the 
crisper.
 
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
 with in
 a 
day 
or
 two 
after 
buying
 them 
they
 should 
be 
fine
 left
 out 
in 
a
 cool
 room.
 
Eggplant ‐ 
does 
fine 
left 
out 
in 
a
 cool 
room.
 Don’t 
wash 
it, 
egg plant
 doesn’t 
like 
any
 extra
 moisture 
around 
it s
leaves.
 For
 longer
 storage‐
place 
loose, 
in 
the 
crisper.
 
Fava 
beans ‐
 place 
in 
an 
air 
tight 
container.
 
Fennel ‐
 if 
used
 with in 
a
 couple 
days
 after 
it’s 
bought
 fennel
 can 
be 
left
 out 
on 
the 
counter,
 up right 
in
 a 
cup
 or
 bowl 
of
 water
 ( like
 celery ). 
If
 wanting 
to 
keep 
longer
 than
 a 
few
 days 
place 
in
 the 
fridge 
in 
a
 closed
 container 
with 
a 
little 
water.
 
Garlic ‐
 store 
in 
a 
cool,
 dark,
 place.
 Green 
garlic ‐ an 
airtight 
container 
in 
the 
fridge 
or 
left 
out 
for 
a 
day
 or 
two 
is 
fine,
 best
 before
 dried 
out.

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.

 
Green
 Tomatoes ‐ 
store 
in 
a 
cool
 room 
away 
from 
the 
sun 
to 
keep 
them 
green 
and 
use
 quickly 
or 
they 
will 
begin 
to 
color.
 
Herbs - ­
a 
closed
 container
 in
 the 
fridge 
to
 kept
 up
 to 
a
 week.
 Any 
longer 
might 
encourage
 mold.

Lettuce ‐
 keep
 damp 
in 
an 
airtight 
container 
in 
the 
fridge.
 
Leeks ‐ leave 
in 
an 
open 
container 
in
 the 
crisper 
wrapped 
in
 a 
damp
 cloth
 or
 in 
a
 shallow
cup
 of
 water 
on 
the 
counter 
( just
 so 
the 
very 
bottom 
of
 the
 stem 
has
 water ).
 
Okra ‐ 
doesn’t 
like 
humidity. 
So
 a 
dry 
towel
 in 
an 
air tight 
container.
 Doesn’t 
store 
that
 well,
 best 
eaten 
quickly 
after
 purchase
.
Onion ‐ 
store 
in 
a 
cool,
 dark
 and
 dry,
 place‐
good 
air
circulation 
is 
best,
 so
 don’t
 stack 
them.
 
Parsnips ‐ an 
open
 container 
in 
the 
crisper, 
or, 
like 
a
 carrot, 
wrapped 
in 
a 
damp 
cloth 
in
 the
 fridge.
 
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.
 
Radicchio ‐
 place 
in 
the 
fridge 
in
 an
 open
 container
 with 
a
 damp
 cloth
 on
 top.
 
Radishes ‐ 
remove 
the 
greens 
(store
 separately) 
so 
they
 don’t
 draw 
out
 excess 
moisture
 from 
the 
roots 
and
 place 
them 
in 
a
 open 
container
 in
 the 
fridge 
with
 a 
wet
 towel
 placed
 on
top.
 
Rhubarb ‐ wrap 
in 
a
 damp 
towel 
and
 place 
in
 an 
open 
container
 in 
the
 refrigerator.

 
Rutabagas ‐
 in 
an 
ideal
 situation
 a 
cool,
 dark,
 humid
 root
 cellar 
or 
a
 closed
 container 
in
 the
 crisper 
to 
keep 
their
 moisture 
in.

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.
 
Summer 
Squash ‐
 does 
fine 
for 
a 
few 
days 
if 
left 
out 
on 
a 
cool 
counter,
 even
 after cut.
 
Sweet 
peppers ‐ 
Only 
wash 
them
 right
 before
 you
 plan
 on 
eating 
them
 as 
wetness
decreases
 storage 
time.
 Store 
in 
a 
cool
 room
 to
 use 
in 
a 
couple
 a 
days,
 place 
in
 the 
crisper
if
 longer 
storage 
needed.
 
Sweet
 Potatoes ‐ 
Store 
in 
a 
cool,
 dark,
 well ‐ ventilated
 place.
 Never 
refrigerate‐‐sweet
 potatoes
 don’t
 like
 the
 cold.
 
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.
 
Turnips ‐
 remove
 the 
greens 
(store 
separately)
 same 
as 
radishes 
and 
beets, 
store
 them
in 
an
 open
 container 
with 
a 
moist
 cloth.
 
Winter
 squash ‐ store 
in 
a
 cool,
 dark,
 well
 ventilated 
place.
 Many
 growers 
say 
winter
 
squashes 
get 
sweeter
 if
 they’re
 stored
 for 
a 
week 
or 
so 
before
 eaten.
 
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.


4 comments:

NICOMADE said...

molly, have you seen this video (below)? it's right up your alley :)

http://www.bagitmovie.com/

Molly de Vries said...

Yes, i love that movie and think that guy is adorable. Thanks for checking in! I hope your well. I love your blog, one of the few I follow!

Pearlie Mcilvaine said...

These are very specific and almost all kinds of fruits and vegetables are here! Thanks for this wonderful information; it will truly help in minimizing the number of wasted food at home. An annual average of 31.6 million tons of wasted food is pretty disturbing, so this kind of storing tips is indeed very useful to decrease that number.

Edward Thirlwall said...

This is a great article for people who insist on a reduced plastic lifestyle. It’s a throwback to the time when vegetables were wrapped in newspaper and placed in the storage container. Of course many vegetables bought from the supermarket are already wrapped in plastic anyway but to those who do their grocery shopping at the local grocer, a reusable bag would be great. Ask the grocer not to wrap your vegetables in plastic but to simple tie them up and put them in your reusable bag. Then followed the tips above before storing the vegetables.