The Best Way to Store Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

There’s nothing more disheartening than gleefully taking that big, juicy, fire engine red tomato out of the fridge, only to discover it tastes like…nothing.

If only you hadn’t stuck that beautiful heirloom fruit in the fridge. As it turns out, refrigeration wrecks the flavor of tomatoes by damaging the membranes inside the fruit, giving them a bland flavor and mealy texture that could ruin an otherwise flawless BLT.

Don’t let a farmers market bounty go to waste by storing it improperly. As long as you know how long and where to store each fruit and veggie, you’ll get the most out of every market trip and all but eliminate food waste.

Most fresh fruits and vegetables keep best when they’re stored in the refrigerator. Generally speaking, fresh produce should be eaten within a few days of being purchased to enjoy the freshest flavor and the most nutrients!

However, a few fruits and vegetables (aka bananas and tomatoes) actually last longer and retain a better flavor when they’re stored at room temperature. To maximize your fridge and counter space, and get the most out of each farmers market run, follow this guide for storing fresh fruits and vegetables.

Best stored in the refrigerator

- Any fresh-cut items, such as fruit or pre-cut salads (eat immediately)
- Berries (eat as soon as possible, storing them for no longer than one week)
- Pears (eat within 3 to 4 days)
- Plums (eat within 3 to 4 days)
- Pineapple (eat within 3 to 5 days)
- Melons (eat within one week)
- Grapes (eat within one week)
- Apples (eat within three weeks)
- Citrus fruits (eat within three weeks)
- Rhubarb (eat within four weeks)
- Pumpkins (eat within two or three months)

- Herbs (eat within a few days)
- Peas (eat within 3 to 5 days)
- Beets (eat within 3 to 5 days)
- Broccoli (eat within 3 to 5 days)
- Lettuce and other greens (eat within 3 to 5 days)
- Summer squash (eat within 4 to 5 days)
- Asparagus (eat within 5 days)
- Artichokes (eat within one week)
- Peppers (eat within one week)
- Okra (eat within one week)
- Cucumbers (eat within one week)
- Eggplant (eat within one week)
- Cauliflower (eat within one week)
- Cabbage (eat within two weeks)
- Celery (eat within two weeks)
- Corn on the cob (eat within two weeks)
- Spinach (eat within two weeks)
- Radishes (eat within four weeks)
- Carrots (eat within six weeks)
- Parsnips (eat within two to six months)

Best stored on the kitchen counter

-  Bananas (until ripe)
- Tomatoes (until ripe, then up to a week)
- Most unripe fruits like stone fruit, mango, pear, avocado (until ripe)

- Potatoes (store in a cool, dark place for up to two months)
- Onions (store in a cool, dark place for up to one month)
- Garlic (store in a cool, dark place for up to one month)
- Winter squash (store in a cool, dark place for one to two months)

If you must store fresh fruit outside of the refrigerator, most can be stored at room temperature until they’re ripe. The same goes for vegetables that should be stored at room temperature—they can be stored in the fridge, but will most likely lose some of their flavor.

If you’re really desperate for long term storage, try freezing your fresh fruits and vegetables. Most produce can last several months in the freezer.

Written by Annalise Mantz. Reposted with permission from Thrive Market.

More from Thrive Market
You’ll Be Dying to Taste These 5 Bizarre Fruits
Kitchen Hack: Preserving Fresh Fruit in the Freezer
Choosing Non-Toxic Produce



Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

Angela K.
Angela K3 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago


Julia Cabrera-Woscek

Nice compilation! Thanks!

Dimitris Dallis
Past Member 3 years ago

Do you have any tips for storing them outside fridge?
That's would be more useful - I think :)

Anon E.
Cela V3 years ago


Dorothy M.
Dorothy M3 years ago

After years of experiencing sad waste in the kitchen pantry, I got wise and moved it to the basement! I set up stainless steel rolling shelves and store bird seed / outdoor feed on the steps to one side, have a narrow stainless unit on the landing to hold tea and provide a place to mix bird seed, and I put fruit and veg (except citrus that still goes in the fridge) at the base of the stairs. The temperature stays a steady cool (and low humidity) all year round. It freed up the kitchen space immensely and cut back waste from spoiled items and moths to close to zero.

Felicia S.
Felicia S.3 years ago

I am a 4th year student at Ontario College of Art and Design University and currently doing my final project about ‘Design for the kitchen: Rethinking Behaviour Around Food’

Please help me to fill this survey

Feel free to email me if you have question or any comments

Thank you,

Shannon Milbourne

Thank you!

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.