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Kitchen Hacks: Extend the Life of Five Summer Produce Faves

Written by
Kerri Stenson
Published on
July 21, 2023 at 6:43:50 PM PDT July 21, 2023 at 6:43:50 PM PDTst, July 21, 2023 at 6:43:50 PM PDT

With food waste at an all time high in the US, we are constantly looking for creative ways to preserve the shelf life of our perishables. And since we are in the thick of summer, we have a lot of produce to protect! Thankfully there is no shortage of ideas and we tracked down some of the easiest and most practical tips to share.


Tomatoes are one of summer’s ultimate delights! But they tend to ripen quickly. The easiest storage solution for a longer life is to store them stem-side down! For another option to extend their life, try taping over the stem area — preferably with non toxic tape


Berries can go from sweet and delightful to moldy and shriveled, sometimes faster than we can eat them! Paper towels come in handy here as the recommendation is to place a paper towel over the top of them and then turn the whole container upside down so the moisture can seep into the towel, versus the berries, giving them some extra time to shine. 


Avocados are one of our favorite foods — not so much when they turn brown though! We uncovered a few tips for extending their life from placing them in water in the fridge (which has now been debunked as an unhealthy practice) to wrapping them in plastic, (which works, but then you are using plastic!). So the easiest way to add a few days to their life is to place them in the fridge when they just become ripe and then enjoy their deliciousness on demand for a few extra days!


Bananas are considered one of the most wasted foods! They start to age the moment they are picked because they release ethylene gas (aka, the fruit ripening hormone) from their stems. We learned to slow this aging by wrapping the stems in one or more wet paper towels, either all together or individually, which “stems” (haha) this process. Just change the towels every few days and make your bananas last!


Lettuce is another produce item that is very high on the often wasted list. Fortunately, there are some simple tricks to extend its life. The key is to store the lettuce in a manner that lets it retain its moisture, therefore avoiding the wilt! The one we like best is to wrap the lettuce in aluminum foil. Not only does it keep the lettuce fresh, but you can reuse the foil once the lettuce has been eaten!