How to Make Produce Last with Proper Washing and Storage

Fresh produce in a green bowl on a wooden table.

Make Produce Last and Get the Most Out Of It

There’s nothing worse than buying fresh, delicious produce, only for it to go bad faster than you can eat it. Being forced to throw away the produce you were excited to eat hurts not only your conscience but your wallet, too. Even with their shorter shelf life than processed foods, taking advantage of the health benefits of many types of produce is a great idea. While all produce will go bad eventually, there are some tips and tricks you can use to make produce last as long as possible.

Picking the Best Produce

make produce last

In order to ensure your produce stays fresh, you first have to set yourself up for success. When it comes to leafy greens, including broccoli, you’ll want to make sure they are rich green in color and that they are absent of any yellowing or limpness, which both indicate the produce may be overly ripe. There should be no yellow or brown spots, and no fuzzy white or black spots that indicate mold beginning to form. 

To check for the ripeness of potatoes, rub your finger over the skin. If the potato is ripe, the skin should not rub off under your finger. For any type of produce, a rotten smell should always be a sign that it is time to part ways. 

Cauliflower is unique in that its coloring is different from other produce. To tell if cauliflower is ripe, you should examine its size, color, and feel. The cauliflower should be white or off-white in color, 6-8 inches around, and should feel smooth, compact, and firm. 

Best Practices for Washing and Storage

make produce last

You picked up some great-looking leafy greens at the grocery store, but now what? You’ll want to make sure to refrigerate this bad mama-jamas without washing to make this produce last. The extra moisture from rinsing the produce results in excess moisture, which is known to cause leafy greens to go bad quicker in the fridge. If picking produce with some wilting leaves was unavoidable, you’ll want to make sure to remove those before placing the produce in the fridge. After completing these steps, store your leafy greens in the refrigerator in an airtight bag or plastic container.

To give potatoes the best chance at a long life, do not refrigerate them. Make sure they are stored in a cool, dark place and if possible that they are in an environment with high humidity. Ensure that there is air circulation and do not store them near heat-producing appliances such as ovens and microwaves. 

Once again, cauliflower is a weird little guy. While to make produce like cauliflower last, it should be stored in the refrigerator, the best way to ensure its longevity is in a loose or open-top bag.

Cauliflower needs air circulation, so it is best not to knot or zip up the bag. Additionally, the cauliflower should be kept as moisture-free as possible. 

Make Produce Last Longer with Smith’s Farm

Fresh, delicious, and sustainably grown veggies are our specialty at Smith’s Farm! Order fresh produce, like broccoli, potatoes, and cauliflower, and practice keeping it fresh. Learn more about how you can order Smith’s Farm vegetables straight to your door.