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Most people, when bringing home ripe, fresh or nearly-ripe products from the market, immediately throw it into their refrigerator. Later on, they wonder why their produce has gone moldy or wilted after one a few days. Mostly, the popular storage practices are to blame.

Let’s have a close look at few guidelines to store fruit and vegetables in a better way:

* You should store vegetables and fruits separately. Some fruits generate enormous amount of ethylene gas, which boosts the ripening process by acting as a ripening hormone. This can hasten spoilage in the vicinity.

* Don’t clean your produce until you are ready to use it. Washing vegetables and fruits before you store them makes them more likely to spoil, because excessive dampness encourages bacteria growth.

* Vegetables and fruits need to breathe. So poke few holes I the plastic bags you’ve chosen to store them in, or you can keep them in reusable mesh bags. Avoid using airtight plastic bag for storing veggies and also don’t pack them tightly together, either; they need some space for air circulation or they’ll spoil faster.

Here’s a list of fruits and veggies you’ve probably been storing incorrectly:

1. Onions are best stored at room temperature on a counter top. Not next to potatoes or not in a fridge.

2. Always store garlic in an open container at a room temperature.

3. Always store potatoes in a cool, dark place. Don’t keep them in a refrigerator, where moisture and cold can turn their starches into sugars. Instead, store them in a paper bag for best results. Keep them away from onions or other fruits that produce ethylene gas, which can make them sprout.

4. Trim off all leafage from your carrots when you bring them home, and keep them in an unsealed zip-loc bag in the crisper drawer. Carrots that have been cut should be submerged in water in a airtight container.

5. A simple trick to store asparagus to trim a half-inch off the end of its stalks and them stand them up in a glass of water in the refrigerator. This can keep them fresh for weeks.

6. Cucumbers do well in cold temperatures. That said, if they’re to be stored in a fridge, they can stay edible for four to five days. Cucumbers, like potatoes, should be kept away from ethylene gas from fruits such as melons, bananas, and tomatoes.

7. Tomatoes should be kept out of fridge on a countertop. Cold breaks their cell structure, making them mushy. It might help moisture from collecting around the stem and causing damage. A delicate, thin-skinned tomatoes will have different result than thick-skinned varieties available in the supermarket. Once tomatoes ripen at a room temperature, you can eat them at peak flavor or you can freeze them for use later in cooking.

8. Break a bunch of bananas and warp stems in a small plastic wrap. This can reduce emission of ethylene gas and bananas will also ripen more slowly. Once bananas are fully ripe, you can place them in the fridge will actually stop the ripening process and may let it last longer.

9. Always wrap celery with aluminum foil and store it like carrot submerged in some water in a covered box.

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