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Proper Food Storage: The Ultimate Guide (Part I)

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1. Vegetables

Greens Take off bands holding the greens together. Store in an airtight container with a damp cloth. Spinach should be stored in an open container in your refrigerator’s vegetable crisper.

Onions, Garlic Shallots, Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes Store in a cool, dark & dry place, like a cabinet. Don’t stack onions — they like air circulation. Potatoes can be stored in a paper bag.

Beets, Radishes & Turnips Cut off any greens before storing (see above for how to store the greens). Keep them in an open container with a moist towel in the crisper.

Cucumber, Zucchini & Broccoli Wrap a moist towel around them and store in the crisper.

Asparagus No need to refrigerate if you’re using them within a week. Keep them upright in a glass filled with room temperature water.

Avocado Keep in a paper bag on the counter.

Carrots Keep in an airtight container wrapped in a damp towel.

Mushrooms Take off any plastic wrapping and transfer loose mushrooms to a paper bag. You can also wrap them in a damp towel and store in the fridge. And remember — never wash before storing!

Sweet Corn Don’t store it — sweet corn should be eaten as soon as possible.

Sweet Peppers If you’re using within a few days, keep them on the countertop. If not, keep them loose in the crisper.

Tomatoes Keep them on the counter. Nothing turns a terrific tomato into a terrible tomato quite like refrigeration.

See Also: 18 Quick, Easy & Interesting Breakfasts

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Read more: Basics, Conscious Consumer, Conservation, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Green, Green Kitchen Tips, Health, Health & Safety, Home, Household Hints, Raw, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Soups & Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian, , ,

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.

79 comments

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2:19AM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

Thanks, I don't buy that much and use the simple advice of storing it the way the store does.

9:41PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Thanks.

9:41PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Thanks.

8:12PM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

Knew these but thanks, our food lasts a decent amount of time usually

9:15AM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

I knew some of these but not all. I wish it had been on one page so I could have printed it out. Thanks.

8:23AM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

Great info!

8:19AM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

Thank you for the info!

2:18PM PDT on Aug 11, 2012

Common sense but it is useful information.

11:38AM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

Marianne B: Just like Maureen C. said, it's the smell. Other food (like milk in an open container) tastes a bit like onions afterwards. Bananas "contaminate" other food too!

11:31AM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

I never use a wet cloth, just put the veggies in the fridge as they are. I'll try it though.

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