Keenly Kristin

Tips to make produce last longer

I was not compensated for writing this post. BerryBreeze provided a product sample to facilitate my post on how to make produce last longer. My opinions are 100% honest and 100% mine.

Sometimes I wonder if my fridge is where produce goes to die. It feels like I wind up throwing away more than I use. That’s so wasteful — and so expensive. When I shop, I tend to think in terms of, “Will I wind up throwing this away?” The very idea would be outrageous to my grandparents, who lived through the Depression and probably never threw away a piece of fruit in their lives.

So why is that behavior so acceptable to us? It made me wonder if there was something I could do, to keep produce fresh longer. It turns out, there is. You’d think there’s no “trick” to make produce last longer, right? I mean, buy it, put it in the fridge — which, on its own, is a pretty remarkable way to make produce last longer — and you’re done, right?

No. Not right. It turns out there are things I can do to prevent produce spoilage.

  • Potatoes, tomatoes, and onions don’t belong in the fridge. Honest!
  • Wrap celery in aluminum foil prior to storing it in the veggie crisper.
  • Broccoli, carrots, and lettuce should be dried and placed in separate baggies and stored in the crisper as soon as possible. These vegetables start spoiling as soon as they’re picked.
  • Avoid washing berries until you’re ready to eat them. Wetness encourages mold growth!
  • Citrus fruits should be stored in mesh or perforated plastic bags in the fridge.

I should also get to know the ethylene producers from your ethylene non-producers — and keep that produce separate. Ethylene is a gas released by some fruits and vegetables that can cause other produce to become spotted and soft, and go bad.

Ethylene producers:

  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupes
  • Honeydew melons
  • Kiwis
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes

Produce that is sensitive to ethylene gas (ethylene non-producers)

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplants
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce and other greens
  • Potatoes
  • Summer squash
  • Watermelons

Wow. That’s a lot to remember just to make produce last longer, is it not? I haven’t got a prayer when it comes to keeping track what should and shouldn’t be in the fridge, or what should and shouldn’t be together, and so on. Guess how I can make this easier?


BerryBreeze is a battery-operated machine that uses clean, activated oxygen (O3) to kill bacteria, mold, and germs — and eliminate odors. The O3 that BerryBreeze produces effectively oxidizes chemicals, while also neutralizing ammonia and ethylene gas. Ah, there’s that pesky ethylene gas. Do you know what that means? I don’t have to keep green beans away from kiwis, or lettuce away from honeydew melons.

The BerryBreeze sits on the top shelf of your fridge, filling it with activated oxygen so your food stays fresh 2-3 times longer than they would without the BerryBreeze.

Hang on. You’re probably thinking, “Is this really necessary? So what if I throw away the last bit of lettuce or a couple strawberries? Is it that big of a deal?”

I hear ya. When I threw away three apples — three — a few weeks ago, I wasn’t happy but I didn’t think it was the end of the world. Then I realized that I had also thrown away more than half a bag of grapes, salad greens, and part of an onion. That’s a bit much, and that’s just off the top of my head. And, in the summer? Good grief! Plus, there’s lunchmeat and cheeses and meat and, well, you get the idea. That’s a lot of wasted food. So, yeah, you could say that I’d be interested in figuring out how to make produce last longer.

According to a 2012 National Resources Defense Council report, the “average” American wastes approximately 40% of all edible fresh food. Americans waste more than — I hope you’re sitting down — 33 million tons of food each year. Wow, 33 million tons. That unbelievable amount of wasted food represents the largest component of our municipal solid waste. It also represents a significant portion (it’s actually the largest source) of our methane emissions. Yikes.

BerryBreeze actually sanitizes your fridge by naturally neutralizing undesirable mold, yeast, fungus, bacteria, microorganisms, germs, and viruses! As a result, your fruits, vegetables, and other food will last 2-3 times longer. Plus, your food will maintain its freshness and nutritional value. When you make produce last longer — as well as other food — you’ll save an estimated $2,200 each year. That’s $165 billion a year for all Americans.

But that’s not all! BerryBreeze eliminates all unwanted odors, tastes, and smells from your refrigerator and your food. Geez, I started out wanting to know how to make produce last longer…and I found out how to save money, be good to the environment, and keep my fridge smelling good. I’d call that a win.