Preserving Your Fresh Produce

Posted on Wednesday, 12 June 2024 under Stories Featured

Summer is just around the corner, and one of the best parts of this season is having access to fresh local produce at farmers markets. Buying more fresh produce, however, can often lead to overripe fruit that goes unused and ends up in the compost.

In this post, we will discuss how to store your fresh produce to avoid unnecessary waste and get the most out of your farmers market finds.

Before we get into how to store your fresh produce, it is good to understand the shelf life of different fruits and vegetables. Read Shelf Life by Love Food Hate Waste, to see a list of common fruits and vegetables and understand how long they typically last.

Washing Your Produce

Washing your produce is an important step to preserving your produce and keeping yourself safe. Some things should be washed and dried immediately before storage, like leafy greens but some things should be washed right before you plan on eating them, like berries. Read How to Wash Fruits and Vegetables Effectively So They’re Safe to Eat by Better Homes & Gardens to understand how to clean different types of produce.

Using the Fridge

It can be tempting to just put your produce wherever it can fit in the fridge, but it is important to store it where the temperature is right. That is why a crisper is typically the best place to keep your produce fresh. Read The Right Way to Use Your Refrigerator’s Crisper Drawer by Martha Stewart, to better understand how a crisper works, how to use the temperature settings and why you should be keeping your produce in one.

Using the Right Container

Part of the battle of preserving your food is using an effective storage container. Typically, something that is more airtight will prevent your produce from drying out and browning, especially when it has been cut. Some containers have a raised bottom with drainage that can help with moisture run-off. There are many different kinds of containers that can work for your produce, but just make sure it has a good seal and is food-safe.

Keeping Produce at Room Temperature

There are some types of produce that are better off being stored on your counter, in your pantry or elsewhere in your home. Read Fruits and Veggies That Don’t Need to Be Refrigerated by Misfits Market to understand what fruits and vegetables do not need to be stored in a refrigerator.

Using the Freezer

Storing produce in the freezer is a great storage option when you get a little carried away at the farmers market. Keeping your berries frozen to use in smoothies or baked goods and certain vegetables frozen to incorporate later in stir fry or stews are great ways to reduce unnecessary waste and can really help with meals when you are in a pinch and do not have time to head to the store. Read A-Z FRUIT & VEGGIE FREEZER GUIDE by Fraîche Table to learn what produce can be stored in a freezer and how to prepare it properly for the freezer.

We hope some of these ideas can help you preserve your produce and reduce unnecessary waste. Remember, the biggest way to reduce unnecessary food waste is to avoid purchasing more than you can eat.