Refrigerated apples last much longer than those left at room temperature. Apples emit ethylene, a naturally occurring gas that speeds ripening. To prevent apples from speeding up the ripening process of other items in your produce drawer, store them in a plastic bag. Conversely, if you want to speed up the ripening of bananas (or any other ethylene sensitive produce) you can place an apple in a bag with the bananas.
To maximize an apple's flavor, let it come to room temperature before eating it.
Apricots should be stored at room temperature until they are ripe. Once ripened should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They are very perishable!
Store unwashed artichokes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Use your artichokes right away for the best cooking results.
Trim the ends of fresh asparagus and stand them upright in a jar with about an inch of water in the bottom. Cover the asparagus and jar with a plastic bag and refrigerate.
Hard avocados ripen at room temperature in three to six days. To speed up the process, place them in a paper bag, preferably with an apple. Storing unripe avocados in the refrigerator will keep them from ripening. Keep your ripe avocados in the refrigerator and use within two to three days.
Keep bananas at room temperature until ripened. Once ripened, bananas can be refrigerated for 3-5 days. Over ripe bananas can be put in freezer in a plastic bag and used for smoothies (still frozen) or banana bread (thawed).
To store beetroot, place them in a plastic bag, and keep them refrigerated.
Beet greens are edible. If the beets arrived with the greens still attached, cut the leaves from the root, and store them separately. The greens will keep for a few days in a plastic bag put in the crisper section of the refrigerator.
Berries (Blueberries, Blackberries, Cranberries, Raspberries)
Store unwashed berries in the refrigerator. Use quickly, as fresh organic berries are not sprayed with anti-fungal agents. They spoil quickly! Cranberries, however, have a longer shelf life than other berries.
Place unwashed heads of bok choy in a loosely closed plastic bag and refrigerate. Bok choy is more perishable than other forms of cabbages, be sure to use it ASAP.
Refrigerate unwashed broccoli in plastic bag.
Refrigerate entire head in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper.
Capsicums are ethylene sensitive, so they should not be stored near ethylene-producing food such as pears or apples. Store Capsicum in plastic bags and they will keep up to five days in the refrigerator. Green Capsicums will keep slightly longer than the other, more ripe, varieties.
If your carrots arrive with greens, remove them and store in a plastic bag. The greens are edible. Refrigerate the unwashed carrots in a separate plastic bag.
Cauliflower keeps best in a plastic bag stored refrigerator crisper.
Celery should be refrigerated. Try wrapping the entire celery head in aluminum foil, then storing it in the fridge to keep it fresh.
Cherries are very perishable, and they should be refrigerated in a plastic bag. Before eating them, let them come to room temperature as the flavor is much better.
Corn is best eaten immediately. It can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days with the husk still intact.
Store cucumbers in the refrigerator.
Eggplant is easily damaged by severe cold, storing it in a plastic bag towards the door of the refrigerator seems to work well.
Fennel should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Use it promptly for the best flavor, and crisp texture!
Garlic stored under optimum conditions in a dark, cool, dry place with plenty of ventilation will last from several weeks to one year. Ideally, try to use fresh garlic within a few weeks and do not refrigerate it unless the garlic has been peeled or chopped.
Place unpeeled ginger in a sealable plastic bag and store in crisper for up to two weeks. If you need to store fresh ginger long-term, it can be frozen in an airtight container.
Grapefruit can be stored at room temperature if they are to be used within three to five days. They are juiciest when warm rather than chilled. For longer storage, they should be stored in the refrigerator crisper.
Before refrigerating grapes, be sure to remove any spoiled grapes with broken skins or browning spots.
Place green beans in a perforated plastic bag or paper bag and store them in the refrigerator crisper.
Greens (Chard, Collard, Dandelion, Kale, Mustard)
Chard, dandelion, and mustard greens can be stored in a plastic bag, in the coldest part of the refrigerator for a day or two, however they wilt quickly and should be cooked as soon as possible.
Store unwashed collard greens in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator.
Like chard, kale should be eaten as soon as possible. Kale stays fresh the best stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
If you need to store fresh herbs, trim the stems then place them into a jar with about an inch of water in the bottom. If you need to refrigerate the herbs, place a plastic bag over the herbs/jar and then refrigerate.
However, basil can be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for approximately one week; make sure the basil is relatively dry before placing in plastic bag. Basil can also be frozen for later use. Although it loses its bright green color, frozen basil still has great flavor and works well in sauces.
It is best to store kiwis in the refrigerator. To make them ripen faster you can keep them in a closed plastic bag together with an apple or pear.
Lemons & Limes
Keep lemons and limes in the refrigerator.
Refrigerate unwashed leaves in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer. Do not store lettuce with melons, apples, pears, or other ethylene gas-emitting fruits as they will cause the lettuce to turn brown.
Store mangoes at room temperature for even ripening. Ripe mangoes will keep for a couple days in the refrigerator. Haitian and Ataulfo mangoes will be soft and may have a wrinkly skin when they are ripe.
Ripe melons should be stored in the refrigerator. Unripe melons can be kept in a cool dark space until properly ripened. Cut melons should be wrapped tightly in plastic. Leave the seeds inside a cut melon until you're ready to eat it to help keep the moisture in the fruit.
Prepackaged mushrooms can be stored, unopened, in the refrigerator for about one week. Once opened, mushrooms should be moved to a paper bag and refrigerated.
Onions (Red, Yellow, Vidalia, Scallions, Leeks)
Store onions in a cool, dry, well ventilated place. If the onions show signs of sprouting, cut away the sprouts and use them immediately. Avoid storing onions and potatoes together, as the gases they each give off will cause the other to spoil.
Store scallions and leeks in loosely closed plastic bags in the refrigerator.
Oranges keep well in the refrigerator. Oranges can also be stored at room temperature, though they will not last as long. Oranges also yield more juice when stored at room temperature.
Pears actually ripen best once they are removed from the tree, and are usually picked before they reach their peak ripeness. Keep pears at room temperature for best flavor and even ripening. If you want to keep them a few days longer, store them in the refrigerator.
English peas, snow peas, and snap peas can be stored for a few days in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.
Pineapples ripen best at room temperature. Store them leaf side down, for even ripening. Once ripened pineapples can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple days.
Potatoes should be kept in a cool, dry place with good air circulation. If you choose to store potatoes in a plastic bag for more than a couple days make sure there are holes punched in the bag and that the bag isn't sealed. We recommend storing potatoes separately from onions. Most variaties should not be stored in the fridge.
Root Vegetables (Rutabagas, Turnips, Celery Root, etc.)
Store root veggies in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Store unwashed spinach in a loosely closed plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Sprouts (Bean, Alfalfa, Radish, etc.)
Refrigerate your sprouts in a loose plastic bag perforated with a few holes so that water doesn't condense. If your sprouts arrived in a plastic clam-shell container you can refrigerate them in the container. Try to use as soon quickly possible for the best flavor and texture.
Squash (Winter & Summer varieties)
Winter Squash refers to Acorn, Butternut, Kabocha, Pumpkin, and Spaghetti varieties to name a few. Winter squash can be stored for several months in a cool, dry environment.
The term Summer Squash encompasses zucchini, patty pan squash, crookneck squashes, and the most commonly associated squash is the yellow straightneck squash. Summer Squashes are much more perishable than their winter counterparts. Store them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator and use promptly.
Stone Fruit (Peaches, Nectarines, Plums)
Store ripe stone fruit in the refrigerator and use promptly!
Strawberries are extremely perishable and should be refrigerated immediately. Store unwashed strawberries in the refrigerator by stacking them on paper towels (between the layers as well), in a moisture-proof container. Eat them within 48-72 hours, or freeze them. Most berries freeze nicely, and will keep up to ten months in the freezer. To freeze berries, rinse gently and dry them in a colander or on paper towels. Then, put them on a sheet pan or tray in the freezer for one hour. Once frozen, store them in a freezer bag/container. This method will prevent them from sticking to one another and makes them easier to measure out for future needs.
Store sweet potatoes in a dark, dry, cool place. Use within one week if stored at room temperature. If refrigerated, their natural sugars will turn to starch and ruin the flavor.
Tangerines & Tangelos
Short-term, tangerines/tangelos will keep well at a cool room temperature. For longer-term storage, keep them in the refrigerator.
Tomatoes (Cherry, Grape, Plum, Roma, Salad)
Keep tomatoes at room temperature until ripened. Once ripened, tomatoes will last for a few days. Try to avoid refrigerating tomatoes whenever possible, as it severely affects their flavor.