Produce Lasts Longer Using My Refrigerator Rotation Method
Produce Lasts Longer Using My Refrigerator Rotation Method
Today we are going to talk about produce. How important are fruits and vegetables? Well, we hear about how good and actually essential it is to eat 5-9 cups of fruits and vegetables a day to maintain good health. So that is the focus of our conversation today-make organic produce lasts longer-refrigerator rotation method!
It is possible to buy organic produce and it last up to two weeks in your refrigerator. They will last just as long as non-organic produce. I decided to write this conversation for two reasons….to save you money and I honestly have not read or heard of anyone else talking about organizing their organic produce.
If you have considered eating more plant-based meals and are considering buying organic produce, then this is the method for you! The fact is that organic produce needs care. It needs attention. Not a lot, but primarily what I have found is that it needs air to last longer.
Air prohibits the growth of bacteria. This I learned this from a retired Army nurse. A year ago, I was bitten by a neighbors dog while trying to rescue a Pit Bull from mauling their Chihuahua. We went to the Emergency Care Center down the street to get treatment. She told me to leave the wound covered loosely with gauze wrap. She specifically asked me not to bandage it and to let air in so that it would not get infected.
Now you ask what the heck this has to do with produce. Everything!!!! Let’s use organic spinach as an example. How many times have you gone the store with the best intentions and came home with a large tub of organic spinach and put it right into the fridge? Only to find in three days when you went to pull it out of the fridge to find it wilted, flaccid and rotten. Poo…. What your spinach needed was AIR!!!!
Let’s start with the hard truth! You have to budget time into your day to care for your organic produce. If you go the grocery store and stock up on fresh produce and come home and what happens. For most hard-working, well-meaning folks, they put everything straight into the fridge. And then three to four days later……
What needs to happen, in order to save money, make your produce last, reduce waste and make flavorful healthy plant-based meals is to budget time after your grocery shopping to wash everything right then and now!!!!! Oh not a lecture again… Yes…
It is crucial that all of your produce get opened, inspected, washed and put into the fridge right after you get home. It may take some planning on your part. In other words, plan your grocery shopping so that you have one hour after you get home to wash your produce. Not just put it into the fridge.
I have to say, I save tons of time using Walmart’s Online Grocery Shopping service. It’s so convenient. I place my online grocery order, someone shops for me and then I pick it up. Not only is it affordable but they also have outstanding organic produce. And the person that shops for me picks out gorgeous produce. Then I pick it up and Walmart prohibits tipping. Another savings. Trust me, I tip. But when I tried the first time I used their service, the Walmart customer service representative told me “No thank you. I appreciate the gesture, but they pay me enough”.
I save two hours using their online grocery shopping service. Thus, I have plenty of time to get home and wash all of my produce. Now this may sound interesting, but I love to open all of my produce and inspect it. It is valuable to me. It feeds my family and my soul. I cook a lot of plant-based meals and my “plants” need to be exceptional. That way, my meals are exceptional.
A simple trick I use each time I wash my produce….put the trimmings into a freezer bag and freeze it. Make homemade vegetable broth.
Now time for the scoop! What is this rotation method? Well, here it is: ➡
Plastic bags-Greens, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, scallions, etc….
Paper bag or cloth bags to promote air flow-mushrooms
Baskets lined with cloth-potatoes and onions
Counter-tomatoes, bananas and citrus
Left out in open in the fridge-peppers, citrus. Note: I have a special citrus bin in my fridge. It is climate controlled to 47 degrees. If you do not have a special bin in the fridge for citrus, it’s best to store it on the counter.
Ok, your produce has been in the fridge, on the counter or in a bowl or basket for a day or two. It’s time to check and rotate them. Particularly the greens. It takes me 3 minutes to rotate all of my produce. I take the greens out and grab the top of the bag, flip it and shake to move all of the leaves around. The trick is to grab just the very top so the bag has excess air like a balloon. So when you flip it over and shake, all of the leaves rotate and get air. Do this with all of your produce in bags.
For produce that are in bowls, on the counter or in baskets, I gently turn them over to promote air flow. This is particularly true for tomatoes and citrus. I find my potatoes and onions can sit 4 to 5 days without rotating them.
Now, it is not unusual for my organic produce to last up to two weeks and stay fresh using my rotation method. My tomatoes and bananas last three to four days on the counter. It you drink smoothies, throw your brown bananas in the freezer. I also make banana bread using frozen brown bananas. One of my favorite recipes for banana bread comes from King Arthur.
So now you see why we buy organic produce. It is healthier, nutrient dense and easy to keep fresh if you rotate it. Of course the method can be used with non-organic produce as well. It’s simply your preference.
So my challenge to you is pay attention to your fresh produce and rotate it regularly. You will reduce waste, eat healthier and reduce your grocery bill. I would love to hear how this rotation method works for you and if you have other ideas or comments about how you organizing your food. Comment below and zip me a message. Well, until this time next week! Thanks for stopping by! And don’t forget to sign up for my monthly newsletters so you don’t miss out on more valuable time-saving tips in home organization.
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