7 clever tips to make produce last longer

open avocado
CC BY 2.0 Jaanus Silla

Letting veggies and fruit go bad isn’t just a bummer for our budgets, it’s also a problem for the planet. According to the World Resources Institute, 25 percent of calories grown around the globe for human consumption don't get eaten. That’s a big waste of resources like water, fertilizer and energy needed for transportation.

The good news is that reducing food waste in our own homes not only helps the environment, it also saves us money. Here are some less common and clever tips for getting your produce to last longer.

1. Store avocados with some onion slices

Avocados and onions make for great guacamole, but did you know these two are a good team before you eat them? Be sure to keep the pit too.

2. Make an herb bouquet

Basil, parsley and cilantro like to get their feet wet. Care for these herbs just like cut flowers: trim the stems, keep them at room temperature and change the water frequently. Plus, they’re so pretty!

3. Chop off the carrot tops

Carrot greens are actually edible, but if you leave them intact in the fridge it will make your carrots limp. Before storing in the fridge, separate the root from the greens.

4. Don’t store potatoes with onions

This tip comes from the cooks over at The Kitchn. Apparently, onions release gas that can speed the spoilage of spuds. Potatoes do best in a cool, dry place away from light, such as a pantry or closet. The fridge is ok, but it can add a sweet flavor to potatoes.

5. Keep celery in water

To keep celery crisp for longer, cut off the bottom and store it upright in a jar or pitcher of water the refrigerator. Keep in mind that limp celery is still great in soup, stuffing or juice.

6. Don’t put asparagus in the fridge

This tip comes from an archive post by Ramon Gonzales. It turns out, asparagus doesn’t need refrigeration. Instead, store it at room temperature. Stand the stalks upright in a glass or bowl of water, loosely arranged. This can keep asparagus for up to a week.

7. Preempt mold on your berries

Even if you don’t see any mold, Jerry James Stone recommends using vinegar to get rid of any spores preemptively. However, getting the berries dry is very important too—store them in a paper bag in the fridge when you’re done.

Of course, rot happens. If your produce takes a turn for the moldy, the compost is still a much better option than the trash.

7 clever tips to make produce last longer
Letting veggies and fruit go bad isn’t just a bummer for our budgets, but it’s also a problem for the planet.

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