I love finding easy ways to make little shifts that make a big difference from the environment. I don't have the space for a compost box, and I do love indulging in a long shower every now and again, but finding a supersimple way to store food without plastic? I'm game. While we consider plastic as positive, plastic is not a biodegradable. And while it can be recycled, many stations are asking us to abstain from tossing plastic bags in our bins. You'll be surprised how easy it is to make a few easy switches that will really help the Earth, without making your life any more difficult. Keep reading for an abbreviated list of the way to store some favorite Fall produce without plastic.
- Store apples on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer periods of time, place them in a cardboard box in the fridge.
- Place avocados in a paper bag at room temp. If you want to soften them, place an apple in the bag with them.
- Cauliflower will last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but tastes best the day after it's bought.
- Eggplant does fine if it's left out in a cool room. Don't wash it until you're ready to use it; eggplant doesn't like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage, place it loosely in the crisper.
- Figs don’t like humidity! Don't put these fruits in closed containers. Although a paper bag works to absorb excess moisture, you can place figs, unstacked, on a plate in the fridge for up to a week.
- For leafy greens, remove any bands or twist ties. Most greens need to be kept in an air-tight container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.
- Keep herbs in a closed container in the fridge for up to a week; any longer might encourage mold.
- Okra don’t care for humidity, either, so store them with a dry towel in an airtight container. However, the pods are best eaten shortly after purchase.
- Wash peppers right before you plan on eating them. Store them in a cool room for a few days, or put them in a crisper if you need longer storage.
- Pomegranates don't require refrigeration. Instead, keep them up to a month on a cool counter.
- Store shelling beans in an open container in the fridge. If you're not eating them ASAP, some recommend freezing them.
- House sweet potatoes in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate them; these guys don't like the cold.
- Tomatoes don't need chilling, either! Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. Just like avocados, if you're looking to speed up the ripeness, put them in a paper bag with an apple.
- Zucchini does fine for a few days if it's left out on a cool counter (even after it's cut). Wrap it in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.
For the rest of the plastic-free methods to store produce, be sure to check out the Ecology Center's Berkeley Farmers Market List. Is this how you've been storing your Fall produce?
Source: Flickr User northhillsraleigh