There’s nothing worse than filling up your shopping cart with healthy produce on Sunday, just to find that everything has started to deteriorate by Tuesday.

So why does this happen so quickly? Well, it could be the way that you’re storing it…

Some fruits and veggies (tomatoes, bananas, avocados, etc.) ripen more quickly than others due to a gas that they produce called ethylene. On the other hand, some fruits and veggies do not produce the gas, but they are sensitive to it and should be kept away from ethylene-producing produce. Because of this, the sensitive foods should be stored away from the ethylene-producing foods. For instance, don’t store your avocados in the same bowl as your apples!

Here’s a quick and fast list on foods that produce ethylene, as well as foods that should be stored away from these fruits and veggies.

Ethylene Producin
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupes
  • Honeydew melons
  • Kiwis
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes
Ethylene Sensitive
  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplants
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce and other greens
  • Potatoes
  • Summer squash
  • Watermelons

Here are some additional tips and tricks on how to store your produce.


Apples‐ store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks.

Asparagus‐ place them loosely in a glass upright with water at the bottom and store in the fridge

Avocados‐ place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening‐ place an apple in the bag with them.

Bananas – Break up the bunch, as charming as it might look. Then wrap each stem in plastic wrap. You can place them in the fridge to slow down the ripening process.

Berries‐ Don’t like to be wet. Store them in the refrigerator, and only wash them before you are ready to eat them

Broccoli‐ place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.

Brussel Sprouts They last longer on the stem. Refrigerate the stem end in water and break off sprouts as needed. If you bought them as loose sprouts, refrigerate them unwashed and untrimmed in an unsealed zip-top bag in the crisper drawer

Carrots‐ cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture

Carrots and Celery (when chopped) – store in a glass container with a bit of water in it

Cilantro – place it in a jar with water. Rinse it before you’re ready to use it.

Citrus‐ store in a cool place, with good airflow, never in an air‐tight container.

Cucumbers: hate to be cold, only store them for 3 days in the fridge. Otherwise you can leave them on the counter

Potatoes‐ (like garlic and onions) store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry; a paper bag also works well.

Tomatoes‐ Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter


Categories: Nutrition

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