Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy
Non-Toxic Biological Approaches to the Theories,
Treatments and Prevention of Cancer

Our 53rd Year

Be Kind to Your Produce

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans throw out 14 % of the food they buy – NOT including leftover food scraped from plates. The loss is largely a result of food spoilage due to incorrect storage, so here are a few tips for getting more bang from your fruit and vegetable bucks:

  • Apples – Store them on the counter. After 7 days, move any uneaten apples to the refrigerator. In the fridge or out, don’t store near most other uncovered fruits or vegetables – the ethylene gases produced by apples can ruin them (making carrots bitter, for example). The exception: if you want to ripen plums, pears and other fruits quickly, put an apple nearby for a day or so.
  • Artichoke – Refrigerate whole for up to 2 weeks.
  • Asparagus – Store them upright in the refrigerator in a plastic bag in an inch of water, or with a damp towel wrapped around the base. They’ll stay fresh 3 to 4 days that way.
  • Avocados – Ripen on the counter. Can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days once ripe.
  • Bananas – Store on the counter. Refrigerate only when ripe – they’ll last for another 2 days or so, though, if you peel and freeze them in a freezer bag, they’ll last for months and be easily accessible to toss into smoothies.
  • Beets – Remove green tops an inch or two above the crown. Refrigerate beets in a plastic bag to prevent moisture loss, which leads to wilting. They’ll last 7 to 10 days. Refrigerate greens separately, also in a plastic bag.
  • Berries – Refrigerate berries, unwashed and in their original container. Blueberries and strawberries should keep for 5 to 7 days; more fragile raspberries and blackberries up to 2 days.
  • Broccoli – Refrigerate in a sealed plastic bag. Will keep for 3 to 5 days.
  • Carrots – Refrigerate in a sealed plastic bag for up to 3 weeks.
  • Cauliflower – Refrigerate stem side down in a sealed plastic bag. Will last 3 to 5 days.
  • Celery – Refrigerate 1 to 2 weeks in a sealed bag. Keep it in the front of the refrigerator, where it’s less apt to freeze.
  • Citrus fruits – Store oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit on the counter. They can last up to 2 weeks.
  • Corn – Refrigerate ears still in the husk. They’ll last up to 2 days.
  • Cucumbers – Refrigerate, either in the crisper or in a plastic bag elsewhere in the fridge. They’ll last 4 to 5 days.
  • Garlic – Store in the pantry, or any similar location away from heat and light. Will last up to 4 months.
  • Green beans – Refrigerate in a plastic bag for 3 to 4 days.
  • Green onions – Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
  • Herbs – Fresh herbs can last 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator. “When I use fresh herbs and store them in my refrigerator at home, I keep them in air-tight containers with a damp paper towel on the top and bottom,” says Raymond Southern, the executive chef at The Back Bay Hotel in Boston. “This keeps them fresh.”
  • Leafy greens – Refrigerate unwashed. Full heads will last 5 to 7 days that way, instead of 3 to 4 days for a thoroughly washed one. Avoid storing in the same drawer as apples, pears or bananas, which release ethylene gases that act as a natural ripening agent.
  • Mushrooms – Take out of the package and store in a paper bag in the refrigerator, or place on a tray and cover with a wet paper towel. Eat within 2 to 3 days.
  • Onions – Stored in the pantry, away from light and heat, they’ll last 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Peaches – Let them ripen on the counter in a paper bag punched with holes, away from sunlight. Keep peaches (as well as plums and nectarines) on the counter until ripe, and then refrigerate. They’ll last another 3 to 4 days.
  • Pears – Store on the counter, ideally, in a bowl with bananas and apples, and then refrigerate after ripening. They’ll be good for another 3 to 4 days.
  • Peas – Refrigerated in a plastic bag perforated with holes, they’ll last 3 to 5 days.
  • Peppers – Refrigerated, they’ll last 4 to 5 days.
  • Potatoes – Store them in the pantry away from sunlight and heat, and they’ll last 2 to 3 months.
  • Radishes – Refrigerate. Eat within 10 to 14 days.
  • Summer squash – Refrigerate in a perforated plastic bag. Use within 4 to 5 days.
  • Tomatoes – Spread them out on the counter out of direct sunlight for even ripening. After ripening, store stem side down in the refrigerator and they’ll last 2 to 3 days.
  • Tropical fruit – Mangoes, papayas, pineapples and kiwifruit should be ripened on the counter. Some people ripen mangoes in a paper bag in a cool place, and then refrigerate them for another 2 to 5 days.
  • Watermelon – Whole melon kept at room temperature on the counter lasts up to 2 weeks. Once cut, refrigerate and eat within a day or 2 for peak freshness.
  • Winter squashes – Store on the counter for up to 2 weeks.