How To Keep Fresh Produce Fresher For Longer

Let’s talk about food waste in Australia and – even more importantly – how to reduce it! Food waste in Australia is a pretty big deal. We’re not just talking about a few stray scraps here and there, and it has some really serious environmental and financial implications. Did you know that the Australian economy takes a hit of about $36.6 billion each year due to food waste? We’re tossing out around a whopping 7.6 million tonnes of food annually across the entire food chain. That works out to around 312 kg per person – that’s a lot of waste! 


It’s bad for all of us and the environment too. It costs the average household up to $2,500 each year and contributes to around 3% of Australia’s yearly greenhouse gas emissions. At the Australian Organic Food Co. it’s our mission to reduce food waste by utilising the ‘ugly’ or ‘wonky’ fruit and veggies that are denied by supermarkets and turning them into delicious organic soups, pasta sauces and juices. At home, we try to reduce food waste by following food storage recommendations to keep fresh produce fresher for longer. 


It’s actually a lot easier than you might think, and the impact? Huge! Follow our fresh produce guide on how to keep fresh produce fresher for longer, and watch the magic happen! That broccoli that used to turn soft and yellow within three days? Well, now it stays crisp and green for over a week!


Keeping Leafy Greens Fresher For Longer

Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and kale wilt quite quickly if they aren’t stored properly. To keep them fresh, first remove any damaged leaves, then wash them thoroughly, and gently pat them dry. Store them in a clean, airtight container lined with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. The same goes for any pre-washed salad mixes – remove any rotten leaves, rinse them off, pat them dry and store them in an airtight container with paper towels. You’ll have crisp lettuce leaves for much longer than the packaging suggests!


Keeping Berries Fresher For Longer

Berries are very delicate and prone to mold when exposed to moisture. The best way to extend their shelf-life is to first remove any spoiled berries before they can contaminate the rest. Then you’ll need to grab a bowl and mix up a vinegar bath by combining 1 cup of vinegar with 3 cups of water. Drop your berries in for a quick soak – the vinegar will kill any mold or bacteria. Then drain the berries in a colander and rinse them under cool running water. The next step might be the most important: dry them thoroughly. Once dry, place them in a clean container lined with paper towels with the lid slightly askew to avoid trapping any moisture. Follow these storage instructions and berries can stay fresh for up to two weeks!


Keeping Citrus Fruits Fresher For Longer

Low-maintenance citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes can be stored at room temperature for up to 7 days, but days become weeks when you follow these simple steps! Citrus need moisture but not too much, so the crisper drawer of your fridge is a citrus fruit friend. Store them here and they’ll keep for up to four weeks!


Keeping Root Vegetables Fresher For Longer

Root vegetables such as potatoes, and onions should be stored separately and in a cool and dry place. Avoid storing them in plastic bags, as they need proper ventilation to prevent moisture buildup. Instead, place them in a paper bag and keep them at the bottom of your pantry and they could last months! Carrots can be stored in a cool, dry place but where they really thrive is when they’re stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Submerge them in water (replacing the water every 4-5 days) for an even longer lifespan!


Keeping Broccoli Fresher For Longer

You won’t believe how fresh your broccoli stays when you follow these tips and it couldn’t be any easier either! Trim the stem and sit the broccoli it in a jar of water. Cover the top with a paper bag and place it in the fridge. You’ll have crisp, crunchy and GREEN broccoli for seven days and maybe even beyond!


Keeping Tomatoes Fresher For Longer

You’ve got to pay attention to tomatoes! They’re best stored at room temperature until they ripen but once ripe, they should be moved to the fridge to slow down the ripening process. For the best texture, store them at the front of the fridge where temperatures are slightly warmer.


Keeping Avocados Fresher For Longer

Just like tomatoes, avocados can be ripened at room temperature and then stored in the refrigerator to prolong their freshness. If you have a ripe avocado that you’re not ready to eat, store it in the fridge to prevent overripening.


Keeping Bananas Fresher For Longer

Bananas are best left at room temperature until they reach your desired level of ripeness. Once they are ripe, you can extend their freshness by storing them in the refrigerator. The skin may darken, but the fruit inside will stay fresh!


Keeping Apples Fresher For Longer

Apples can be stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator to maintain their crispness. To prevent them from absorbing odors from other foods, place them in a covered container or try using some reusable fabric produce bags!


Follow these fresh produce storage tips and you’ll notice the difference immediately! Your veggies will be crunchier, the colours more vibrant and the taste – incredible! Less food waste is a good thing for everyone so if you have any tips of your own, we’d love to hear them! Chat with us on Instagram or Facebook!