There’s nothing quite as sad as pulling out produce and seeing it’s gone from fresh and crispy to sad and droopy. Food waste is a huge problem in the United States, and the bulk of that waste happens in our homes. In the US, an average person wastes 238 pounds of food per year (21 percent of the food they buy!), costing them $1,800 per year. If that isn’t enough to convince you, food waste also has a serious impact on the environment.
To help save our planet and save you some money, here are 7 ways to keep your vegetables fresh longer.
Buy only as much as you need. Plan your meals out ahead of time so you don’t buy more than you can use.
Store washed and dried vegetables in glass containers in your fridge. Wash your veggies with apple cider vinegar (dilute 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar per 1 cup of water and soak for about 5 minutes), rinse well and make sure vegetables are completely dry before storing in the fridge.
Remove the green tops of radishes and carrots. Store radishes in a plastic bag with a paper towel inside to absorb moisture and store carrots in a container filled with water. Keep both in the fridge.
If you prepare too much lettuce for your salad, store leaves in a bowl with a paper towel on top, then seal with plastic wrap. Since the towel absorbs moisture, it prevents leaves from turning soggy. Replace the towel when it becomes damp.
Keep produce that produces ethylene (tomatoes, melons, avocados, kiwis) away from ethylene-sensitive foods (broccoli, lettuce, carrots, apples).
While most veggies do well in the fridge, avoid placing potatoes, onions and tomatoes into cold temperatures. Store these in a cool, dry area instead.
If you realize you over-bought on produce, freeze your veggies before they have the chance to go bad. You can freeze bell peppers, broccoli, green beans, cucumbers, onions, eggplant, cabbage, mushrooms, and more: just make sure to blanch them in hot water before you put them in the freezer to help them keep their color and nutrients.