Where should you store fresh fruits and vegetables?
CRISPER DRAWERS – YOUR VERY OWN SCIENCE PROJECT!
Winter is slowly meandering its way from the spotlight. Enter stage right….Spring and the arrival of Gardening Season! Your local grocer or farmer’s market’s produce area is an eye-popping, kaleidoscopic feast of mouth watering vegetables and fruits. You’ve got your cucumbers, zucchini, squash, broccoli, celery, peppers, apples, grapes, bananas, kiwi, oranges, strawberries, peaches….. ALL the produce just waiting to get in your belly!
Sunny days, family meals and crisp, fresh produce go hand-in-hand this time of year. But first, we need to make sure we are up to speed on how to care for all that leafy goodness to keep it fresh the optimal length of time. It can indeed be difficult to determine how long to refrigerate your produce and even where exactly it needs to go once inside the icebox. There are those amongst us who do not even realize there are crisper drawers specifically for produce. For most of us that do, well honestly, do we even know how to use the settings on them correctly? Some people toss a bit of everything in each drawer, others chose the color coded method. Seems reasonable, yes? Nope. Not so much for your produce.
Let’s chat about how the drawers actually work. It’s a very simple method, no need to break out the Notepads. We’ve created this fun little infographic for you! Most of them are adjustable between high and low settings that simply open or close the window in the drawer. If you set the window to completely open, you’re in business for low humidity. If it’s completely closed, the water vapor is held in and it’s a high humidity party up in there! That’s all well and good but what produce goes where, you ask?
Best advice is to put all the fruit and veggies that go bad quickly into the Low Humidity Drawer (window open); ones that are not overly sensitive to moisture loss and emit ethylene gas. FYI, ethylene is what causes changes in texture, softening, color, and other processes that are involved in the ripening process. The bunch listed below actually emit ethylene and, as most of us can appreciate, need open windows to let the gas out. So, leaving that window open allows the gases to escape and keeps the fruits and vegetables inside from prematurely rotting. Makes sense, yes?
Onto the High Humidity Drawer (window closed)…. this drawer will serve your leafy greens well. The moisture from the closed window keeps them fresher and crisper for a longer period of time. Remember we told you to put produce that emits ethylene in the Low Humidity Drawer with the open window? Well, you’ve got some sensitive fruits and veggies that need to stay away from same said gas AND are sensitive to loss of moisture, so they need to hang out in your closed door high humidity drawer. They are a little standoffish and like to be in their own little world.
Your crisper drawers will work optimally if you max them out at just two-thirds full. Do not cram them to the brim and shove the drawer shut! No leafy things need to be poking out. Buying only what you will eat and use for the week will help your home chef have the freshest veggies and fruit on hand. And don’t forget it’s always a good habit to keep the entire refrigerator clean. Even though your produce is inside your crisper drawers, residue and mold can speed up the spoil factor for ALL the food in the fridge. It will find a way!
Alright friends, now that we understand our crisper drawer humidity settings, talked about the effects of ethylene on your produce, and which drawer to stash the goods in…. get in that kitchen and start extending your fruit and vegetable shelf life. They’ll thank you. You’ll thank you. Class dismissed! But wait!… what about the meat drawer? Check back soon for a blog about that!
If you’re having issues with your refrigerator that will require a professional hand, please call our incredible staff at Guinco Service and get setup on our schedule today.
Thank you for letting our family help yours!