Food waste is difficult to curb. Fruit and vegetable peels are the biggest contributors to this but another large contributor is food that has gone bad. To prevent and prolong the life of your veggies, you might think that storing these in the refrigerator is the best way to do so. However, if you’ve ever had to toss out fruits and vegetables because it began to turn mushy and spoiled before you were able to use in a dish, even when it was refrigerated, you might be storing your vegetables for too long or worse, incorrectly.
That’s because there are many vegetables that don’t need or like cold weather to make it last. Not only that, any bruised areas of the vegetable could speed up the process as well.
So, before you toss these fresh vegetables in the chiller, crisper, or the shelves of your refrigerator, take a look at our checklist so that you don’t accidentally make these vegetables go bad faster:
1 Camote (Sweet Potatoes and Yams)
Pantry Storage: 2 weeks
Like potatoes, these root crops need to be stored in a dry and cool place. Allow air to circulate amongst the camote to promote dryness, especially the bruised spots, and prevent wetness. For best results, use within 3 days of purchase.
Pantry Storage: 2 months
Usually stored with the onions, garlic can last quite a long while without refrigeration as long as the bulbs are kept cool and dry. Garlic will begin to dry out, especially once peeled of its protective paper-like outer skin, if not used soon after purchase, so these should be used within the storage period as much as possible.
3 Kalabasa (Squash)
Pantry Storage: 3 months
The tough outer skin and flesh of the kalabasa will keep it from becoming soft and start to spoil before you’re ready. However, this is only good when the kalabasa is still whole. Once sliced into, storage will be cut drastically so refrigeration will be required once you’ve gotten a slice.
Pantry Storage: 2 months
Onions, whether red, white, or yellow, all have a protective coating to stave off molds. As with the garlic, store in a dry area where little moisture can catch hold on the onion peel.
Pantry Storage: 1 month
If you’ve ever bought the bunch of sibuyas Tagalog and worried you may never use up the entire bunch within days, don’t despair. These bunches will stay fresh for as long as a month. Just check the condition of your sibuyas as the days go by after buying so that any that begin to go bad are immediately removed from the rest of the bunch. We
Pantry Storage: 2 to 5 weeks
Potatoes can develop not only eyes when stored for too long, but it can develop green spots when exposed to light and turn mushy when left wet. These root crops should be stored in a cool, dry area so none of the spuds go bad before its time.
Want green-tinged tomatoes to get riper sooner? Store these at room temperature until just ripened then use as needed. Once ripened, you’ll want to keep any you won’t be using within the day in the refrigerator to keep these from ripening further and becoming too mushy to use for anything else but in soups.