Vegetables can decay quickly when not stored properly. That is why it is crucial to learn how to keep them fresh longer. Reduce your food waste with these helpful tips.

Vegetables are delicious and nutritious. But sometimes it is frustrating to keep them at home because they wilt quickly. Losing their delightful flavors, crisp, and nutritious contents. Worse, they can end up in the bin because they rot just before you had time to cook them. It’s a waste of food and money. However, keeping vegetables fresh long is actually not that difficult. You only need to learn how to store them properly.

There are three reasons for veggies to lose their freshness. (1) When the environment is dry. (2) When there is excess moisture. And (3) When they are expose to ethylene gas which is release by some veggies and fruits.

Moisture is critical to retain vegetables freshness. This is because their water contents evaporate into the air causing them to dry out and rot. That is why it is crucial to keep them in an environment that is humid enough to prevent them from drying. But not humid enough to cause excess moisture which can also lead to rotting.

It is important to keep away fruit-vegetables from leafy ones as many fruit-veggies release ethylene gas which make greens wilt and rot quickly. Ethylene gas is a natural element of some fruits and fruit-vegetables to promote ripening. Examples of ethylene emission produce are: bananas, tomatoes, apricots, prunes, and avocados. Ethylene sensitives on the other hand are: leafy veggies, carrots, potatoes, cauliflowers, broccolis, cucumbers, and radishes. There is also produce that is both not ethylene emitting and ethylene sensitive. They are: ginger, garlic, cherries, pomegranates, and corn to name a few.

The key to keeping vegetables fresh for more than 2 weeks is storing them properly. First, determine what should be refrigerated and what should not. Although most veggies are good to store in the fridge to lengthen their freshness, some are better to keep at room temperature. For instance, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlics, tomatoes, and pumpkins.

Potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, and garlics can last for up to 3 months when store in a cool, dry, and dark place. Whereas, they will only last for up to 2 or 3 weeks when in the fridge. Moreover, refrigerating these root crops can cause them to sprout which can affect their taste negatively. Pumpkins and squash are better kept in a cool and dry spot in your house as putting them in the fridge will cause them to rot quickly. Tomatoes should be at room temperature until they are ripe before putting them in the fridge.

For vegetables that go in the refrigerator, it is important to separate them in airtight containers to prevent exposing ethylene sensitive vegetables from ethylene producing ones. You may use jars or plastic boxes for this method. It is helpful to put paper towel at the bottom of containers to absorb any excess moisture inside. Alternatively, you can wrap veggies with a paper towel or even an old newspaper then put them inside a Ziplock or a plastic bag. It is helpful to store each veggie to different containers especially when you are not sure of their ethylene sensitivities.

To get the best result in keeping your vegetables fresh longer, pick the freshest produce as possible. I hope you find this article helpful in reducing food waste in your household.

Author's Bio: 

Isabella Whitmore is a happy wife and a chef who enjoys sharing helpful tips about cooking and household. She works at, wherein she writes about different types of electric kettles to help people find the right kettle for them.