Food & Nutrition

20 Produce Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making

Perusing the produce aisle is a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but facing spoiled, contaminated, and limp fruits and veggies down the road is a major buzz kill. Here are the biggest mistakes you’re making with produce—and the best ways to avoid them.

Refrigerating all produce

Open fridge full of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy food background, organic nutrition, health care, dieting conceptAnna Om/Shutterstock

Though it’s tempting to come home from the market and dump everything in the fridge, some produce belongs on the countertop. Refrigeration can compromise the texture and flavor of certain fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes, for instance, don’t get a chance to ripen properly at low temperatures and can get mealy. Melons can lose antioxidants and other nutrients in the fridge, according to the USDA. Onions can get mushy and even develop mold when refrigerated. And that’s just for starters. Here are more foods you’re spoiling by putting in the fridge.

Always buying fruit underripe

A group of ripe peaches in a bowlPNPImages/Shutterstock

Despite the common misconception, not all fruits continue to ripen once you get them home. Though it’s true that bananas, figs, and peaches come into their own a few days after harvest, strawberries, raspberries, and pineapples do not. The ones that continue to ripen are called climacteric; they continue to emit ethylene gas which helps the fruit to reach maturity. The non-ripeners are non-climacteric, meaning they just age without maturing. Reference this handy chart to see which produce to pick ripe and which to pick a bit prematurely.

Storing fruit in the same bowl

Closeup of fresh bananas, pears, apples and grapes on a wood tableDarryl Brooks/Shutterstock

It may look pretty to arrange your apples, bananas, and grapes together, but a mixed fruit bowl will spoil faster. Some fruits (the climacterics) can actually cause others in close proximity to spoil faster, thanks to their ethylene. The fruits to keep in isolation include apples, bananas, kiwis, mangoes, and peaches. Here are 12 more fresh foods that should never be stored together.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Reader's Digest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *