Keep Produce Fresh Longer

One of my favourite parts of summer is the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available from the grocery store, farmer’s market and my own garden. I have a tendency to stock up when something I really love, like peaches or green beans, is in season. In the past, this meant I often ended up having to throw some of these yummies away because I couldn’t eat it all before it started going bad. (And when I say “throwing away,” I mean throwing into my composter, so it wasn’t TOTALLY wasted. But still…)

But a few years ago, I found these cool ExtraLife Produce Saver Disks and now I rarely have this problem.

At first I thought they would be another one of those “As Seen on TV”-type things that not only sound too good to be true but turn out to be, in fact, not true. But they really do work and they’ve been great for both saving me money and helping me maintain a clean conscience.

Some fruits, like apples and bananas, produce a gas called ethylene, which allows them to keep ripening after they’ve been picked. This is why if you have an unripe banana and you put it in a closed paper bag, it will ripen faster because the gas is concentrated around it. The problem is other fruits and vegetables are also sensitive to the gas and if they’re stored near the gas-producing fruit, they’ll quickly start to rot.

Here’s a great article from the Vegetarian Times explaining how the process works and which foods should and should not be stored near each other. (It also has lots of other great tips liking keeping a cooler in the car to prevent produce from heating up if you’re going to have to make stops after grocery shopping so definitely check it out!)

Spoiled Rotten – How to Store Fruits and Vegetables

But, if you’re like me, you might want to just throw one of these disks into each of your crispers instead. They contain a filter that absorbs the ethylene gas, keeping the produce lasting longer. (I also keep one in the main section of the fridge because my crispers normally can’t handle all the fruits and vegetables I buy! 🙂

The disks last three months so it’s easy to time the changeover with the seasons. My next set will be going in in a few days.

You can also get a reusable produce preserver that has a disposable insert so you’re not throwing away as much plastic.

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Elizabeth Kricfalusi

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