How to Keep Your Food Fresh

We’ve all been there. You spend copious time and money selecting delicious produce, only to find them in various states of decay in your fridge. The freshness of certain fruits and vegetables is dependent on how and where you store them. Learn how to keep your favorite foods fresher longer.

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These helpful tips will help you keep your produce fresh.

Store apples in a cool zone away from strong-smelling foods, so they won't absorb odors. If the refrigerator is jammed, you can also store apples in a cool, dark place.

Store beets in the crisper; lop off greens before refrigerating and use them in a salad or cook them as you would spinach and other greens.

Store broccoli and celery in the crisper.

Store cherries, unwashed, in a plastic bag in a warmer zone of the refrigerator.

Store corn with the husks on, in a warmer zone of the refrigerator.

Store grapes in a cool zone, unwashed and in a plastic bag or a plastic clamshell container. Pick out any spoiled grapes; one bad one can spoil the bunch.

Store green beans in an airtight container in a moderate zone. Don't snap off ends until they're ready to be used.

Store leafy greens in a salad spinner (if you have one and have room in the fridge) after washing, or in the crisper. Otherwise, keep washed greens in a plastic bag lined with a clean cloth or paper towels; loosely tie the top of bag to retain moisture.

Store melons, once they've ripened, in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. Wash the outside of a melon before cutting into it to avoid the spread of bacteria.

Store mushrooms, unwashed, in a paper bag in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. Never store them in plastic, which traps moisture and leads to slime. 

Store peppers in a plastic bag in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. Leave them whole and unwashed.

Store yellow squash and zucchini in a plastic bag in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. Leave them unwashed, and use within 2 or 3 days of purchase.<br><br>

<i>Courtesy of Consumer Reports</i>

An excellent source of both vitamin C and magnesium, cucumbers should be stored on the counter to maximize their shelf life; refrigerating cucumbers will turn them yellow and watery. For best results, cucumbers should be kept in the pantry, stored safely in a plastic bag. 

Lemons are rich in vitamin C, one of the most powerful antioxidants around. To get the most out of your lemons, start by purchasing lemons with thin skins – they have the most juice. When you get home, keep them in the refrigerator; by storing them in a plastic bag in your refrigerator you can keep your lemons fresh for up to 3 weeks!

People who eat onions regularly have higher bone density and a lower risk for some cancers. If you want to reap these benefits, don’t store your onions in the refrigerator! Cool temperatures turn their starch to sugar. You can keep onions for up to a month by storing them in a hanging wire basket where they can aerate. 

Tomatoes have a shelf life of only a couple of days that can be maximized by storing them out of direct sunlight on your kitchen counter. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can get more time out of your tomatoes by keeping them in the fridge; when stored in the refrigerator, the water in tomatoes expands, destroying this fruit’s texture and taste.