I confess: despite the warnings that we should avoid plastic food containers, I have continued to store most of my fruits and vegetables in plastic zip-top bags. They keep produce crisp, take up little additional space in the refrigerator, and can be washed and reused to reduce waste. However, the desire to go completely plastic-free (for both health and environmental reasons) has been nagging at me, so I was interested to see this guide from Washington's Green Grocer and the Berkeley Farmer's Market on How to Store Vegetables/Fruit Without Plastic. The guide includes 60 fruits and vegetables from artichokes to zucchini. Some of these, like onions and potatoes, I already keep outside the refrigerator and away from plastic, but I was particularly interested in tips for produce like arugula ("Place in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture") and green beans ("They like humidity, but not wetness. A damp cloth draped over an open or loosely closed container"). Who knew that so many foods could be stored in open containers?
The guide doesn't offer specific suggestions for containers, but these glass ones come to mind. One problem with containers, however, is they take up more refrigerator space. I was thinking of storing some fruits and vegetables loose in the crisper drawers, covered with a towel, until I remembered that the drawers themselves are made of plastic!
Do you have any experience or tips for storing produce without plastic?
Emily Ho is a Los Angeles-based writer, recipe developer, and educator on topics such as food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. She is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and Food Swap Network. Learn more at Roots & Marvel Read more from Emily »