How You Store Your Fruits And Vegetables Might Be Causing Them To Spoil

Not all fruits and veggies are compatible.

As part of HuffPost’s “Reclaim” project, HuffPost Taste will focus the entire month of July on simple ways you can reduce food waste in your own home.

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If you’ve found that your fruits and vegetables spoil faster than you can eat them, chances are it’s your fault. There’s a right and a wrong way to store your produce and if you learn how to do it right you can avoid premature spoilage, prevent food waste and save yourself some dough.

It’s pretty simple really: not all fruits and veggies are compatible. Some produce emits ethylene gas, a natural plant hormone that helps fruit ripen. Other fruits and vegetables are sensitive to this gas, and will start to spoil before their time. If you’ve been storing your bananas with apples, or your eggplant with your tomatoes, this is happening to you.

It’s an easy enough problem to fix. You just need to know which do what. Fruits make up the bulk of the ethylene producers. They can be stored together, in a fruit bowl or the refrigerator drawer. Vegetables are generally ethylene-sensitive, though some fruits make it into this category, too.

Here’s a list of the common ethylene-producing fruits. These can all be stored together:

- apples
- apricots
- avocados
- ripe bananas
- cantaloupe
- honeydew
- kiwi
- mangoes
- nectarines
- papayas
- passion fruit
- peaches
- pears
- persimmons
- plantains
- plums
- tomatoes

Never store the above items with these ethylene-sensitive fruits and veggies:

- unripe bananas
- green beans
- Belgian endive
- broccoli
- Brussels sprouts
- cabbage
- carrots
- cauliflower
- chard
- cucumbers
- eggplant
- leafy greens
- okra
- parsley
- peas
- peppers
- spinach
- squash
- sweet potatoes
- watercress
- watermelon

Start storing your produce correctly, and see how much less food you waste!

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