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Did you ever wonder why your lettuce turns brown, or your carrots go limp and why your tomatoes taste like cardboard?
Your refrigerator should be set between 34-40 F (1-4 C). Disease-carrying bacteria thrives above 40 and below 40 will cause vegetables to freeze.
Most refrigerators have special compartments or “crisper drawers” to store fruits and vegetables, often with humidity controls. An open setting lets out moist air - which is good for vegetables that like it drier like onions, garlic, and winter squash. A closed setting keeps moist air in, which is good for vegetables that like high humidity such as leafy greens, cucumbers, root vegetables, celery, and peppers.
If you have more than one crisper try to group vegetables by their temperature and humidity needs. Crisper drawers are most effective when they’re at least two-thirds full.
Don’t wash your vegetables before refrigerating - wash before eating.
Remove tops from beets, carrots, parsnips, and radishes before storing.
Keep ethylene-emitting and odor-emitting foods bagged. Some foods that emit ethylene include: apples, avocados, bananas, pears, peaches, plums, cantaloupes, honey dew melons, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Foods that absorb ethylene include: leafy greens, beans, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, peas, peppers, and potatoes.
Apples produce odors absorbed by cabbage, carrots and onions
Pears produce odors absorbed by cabbage, celery, carrots, onions, and potatoes.
Onions and scallions produce odors absorbed by apples, celery, corn, grapes, leafy greens, mushrooms, pears and rhubarb.
Some vegetables lose moisture quickly and should be stored in plastic bags, containers, or wrap or paper bags. Perforated plastic or paper bags are best. Vegetables that should be bagged include: beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, lettuce, leafy greens, radishes, scallions and turnips.
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