Green living

How to Properly Store Fruits and Vegetables

The advantages of a plant-based diet are undeniable, but if you are constantly throwing out spoiled produce, you may find yourself feeling frustrated at the waste. If you follow these guidelines to storing your fruits and veggies, you’ll have fresher produce for longer which means less waste.

Don’t Wash It Until You Need It

Even organic produce is sprayed with natural pesticides that keep bacteria and bugs at bay. Storing your produce unwashed will ensure it lasts longer. Washing fruits and veggies also exposes them to bacteria and they are more likely to rot. Store everything unwashed. When you are ready to use it, make sure you wash it properly.

From Consumer Reports:

“Submerging apples in a baking soda solution for two minutes removed more pesticides than a two-minute soak in the bleach solution or two minutes of rinsing in running tap water. But it took 12 to 15 minutes in the baking soda solution to completely get rid of the pesticides used in this study.”

The baking soda technique works when you mix 1 teaspoon of soda in 2 cups of water. Leave to soak for 15 minutes.

Contain It

Every time your fridge door opens, you are introducing new fungal spores and bacteria to your produce. If items already come in a plastic bag or clamshell, leave them in their packaging. It’s better to avoid single-use plastics so don’t put your veggies in plastic bags at the store. Instead, place them in reusable glass or plastic containers when you get home. They will last longer in the fridge if you protect them from contamination, so put as much as you can in containers.

Garlic and Potatoes

Hessian bags are the best way to store potatoes, sweet potatoes and garlic, take a look at Weirbags hessian bags. Hessian allows the produce to breathe while maintaining freshness. Your veggies will last much longer if you bag them properly. Hessian bags are reusable, are made from natural fibres and can be washed so they can be used over and over again and are more environmentally friendly.

If your potatoes are turning green its because they have been exposed to too much light.

Be sure to store your onions and garlic separately as they can cause potatoes and apples to ripen faster.

Additional Tips

Remove the tops from carrots, radishes and parsnips. Don’t wash, but store in a cool, dry place.

Leave the tops on beets and turnips until you are ready to use them.

Store your veggies in a cool, dry place out of direct sunshine. Pick a place where the temperature is as constant as possible. This means storing produce away from heating vents, radiators and AC vents.

Placing fruits and veggies in the crisper at the bottom of your fridge helps to preserve them for longer. Since cool air sinks, the bottom of your fridge is cooler and helps to prolong the life of your fresh foods.

Humidity is the enemy of fresh so if your crisper has a humidity control option, be sure to set it to minimum.


Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

Check out our Books!