Quick Reminder: Why You Should Store Some Fruits and Vegetables Separately

published Jan 24, 2013
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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

When I bring home a shopping bag full of fresh produce, there is some that goes onto a tray on the countertop and some that goes into the refrigerator’s produce bins. And that’s about where my divisions stop. But when I found that bananas were hastening the ripening of nearby avocados (which is sometimes unwanted!), I decided to look further into produce storage and adjacencies to avoid. Here’s what I found:

Some fruits and veggies produce a lot of a gas called ethylene as they ripen. Others are particularly sensitive to ethylene. So keep those away from each other. Or, conversely, put one close to another if you’re attempting to hasten ripening.

Ethylene-producing: (in alphabetical order)
– apples
– apricots
– avocados
– ripened bananas
– cantaloupe
– figs
– honeydew
– kiwi
– mangoes
– nectarines
– papayas
– passion fruit
– peaches
– pears
– persimmons
– plantains
– plums
– prunes
– quince
– tomatoes

– unripe bananas
– green beans
– Belgian endive
– broccoli
– Brussels sprouts
– cabbage
– carrots
– cauliflower
– chard
– cucumbers
– eggplant
– leafy greens
– okra
– parsley
– peas
– peppers
– spinach
– squash
– sweet potatoes
– watercress
– watermelon

For a simple reminder, the ethylene producers are mostly fruits and the ethylene sensitive produce is mostly vegetables. The exceptions are watermelon and unripe bananas.

More on Fruit + Vegetable Storage
A Guide to Storing Fruits and Vegetables
• A Guide to Storing Fruits and Vegetables Without Plastic
The Proper Way To Use Your Refrigerator Humidity Drawers
• Are There Any Foods That Should Never Be Stored in the Fridge?

Via: Subzero