How to Store Produce

July 4, 2020

We have all purchased the best produce only to open the fridge a few days later and find that the beautiful lettuce head has wilted. What gives? It’s not that the produce was bad - it’s that it needs specific methods to store.

Now, sometimes your produce does go bad because it’s old. When that happens to me, I make a point to limit how much I am purchasing, have a “clean out” day once a week, or create a list on the fridge (this is especially helpful for the freezer) of what’s in there to remind myself often (and, cross it out once you use it). 

The most important thing to remember is that green things need water to live, and perspire (or so it could be called). So, they need limited air flow, and moisture.

For most green things, especially lettuce:

- Remove them from the bag that they are in. 

- Gently rinse the produce.

- Place in a dry bag, with a damp paper towel. 

For herbs:

- For stems, remove them from their packaging and place the stems in a glass jar in the fridge (like flowers).  Do this with asparagus, also.

- For individual leaves, store them like lettuce in a fresh bag with a damp paper towel.

For root vegetables:

- Store them on your counter, in a dark dry place. Don’t place things like potatoes in wet bags or a too sunny place, they will want to start growing again!

- Do not store onions and potatoes together. 

- You can store onions in the fridge - they say it makes you tear up less cutting them. 

If your produce does start to wilt, consider freezing, canning, or drying it (or cooking it right away)!

Danielle Olson Jones

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