There are few things worse than having to throw away food that has spoiled. This is not just a waste of resources; it is also a waste of time and money. In most houses, fruits and vegetables are in need of either quick consumption or quick storage. However, there are certain things you can do to mitigate the amount to food you throw away on garbage day. Here are some tips that can help you keep your fruits and vegetables fresher longer: Tip #1: Keep your fruits dry. When you get home from the grocery store, you might like to wash your fruits and vegetables to make sure they are clean and ready to be used. However, when you do this, make sure you put the pieces of fruit and vegetable into clean, dry bags. Moisture causes plant matter to rot faster and in just a few days, mold could be growing on your food. Take extra care about moisture. Some grocery stores spray their produce to keep it looking fresh, so it might be wet when you put it into your produce bag in the first place.
Make sure it is dry for storage. Tip #2: Keep your fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. Some fruits and vegetables do not need to be stored in the refrigerator. However, doing so can help them stay fresher for a longer period of time. The cold temperature of the refrigerator helps to slow the aging process and usually the air inside your produce drawer is dry even if your house is a bit humid. If it is recommended that the produce you have purchase not be kept in a refrigerator, keep it instead in a cool, dark location instead of out in the open air. Tip #3: Don't purchase more than you need at once.
One of the best ways to avoid food spoiling in your refrigerator is to simply avoid buying more than you need at any given time. Many people like to do all of their shopping for the month during once trip. While that is great for most things, such as cleaning products or soda, it can be really bad for fruits and vegetables. These items rot quickly, so you are better off buying them in small quantities and picking up more on an as-needed basis. Even if you see a good deal with fruits and vegetables on sale, it is usually more cost effective to just by the smaller quantity and avoiding having to throw your rotting produce away at the end of the week. Tip #4: Shop at farmer's markets. While it is definitely more convenient to shop for your produce at a grocery store, if you shop at farmer's markets, you are going to get foods which are fresher. Farmers who take their produce to farmer's markets may have even picked the fruits and vegetables that very morning! When you shop at a grocery story, you have no way of knowing how old that produce already is.
They might not have gotten it locally, which may indicate that, accounting for shipping time, the fruits and vegetables are already over a week old. When you shop at a farmer's market, you will almost always be getting produce that has been picked fresh from the tree, vine, or stalk within the last day or two. Plus you will be supporting the local community! Tip #5: Don't pack your produce into containers. Have you ever noticed that, most times, the produce at the bottom of the bin is moldy? This happens frequently due to the weight and the pressure of the produce on top of it. Loosely setting your oranges an apples on the table in a basket might not be a big deal, but if your produce drawer is stuffed full, that pressure on the fruits on the bottom of the pile is creating soft spots, and they will rot more quickly. Instead, make sure that your produce has lots of room and, if possible, is stored on a single layer. At the very least, make sure that heavier items are on the bottom!
While you can definitely invest in Green Bags and other products that can help keep your fruits and vegetables fresher for a longer amount of time, it is important to take other steps as well to avoid problems with spoiling. By changing just a few of your produce habits, you can make sure that you are not wasting time, money, and food as often as possible. Remember, doing your part to help the household save money on fruits and vegetables can really help decrease you overall food budget every month!