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5 Tips for Keeping Vegetables Fresh

Mind the Ethylene

Compatibility is a term we hear thrown around a lot in the context of dating: How compatible are two possible romantic partners? But it turns out that some fruits and vegetables are so incompatible that they wouldn't even want to hang out if they were the last pieces of produce on Earth. They wouldn't be paired by an online dating service, and they certainly shouldn't keep close quarters in your refrigerator.

Vegetables can be incompatible with other produce because of ethylene gas, which causes ripening. Fruits give off this gas, while vegetables are extremely sensitive to it. By putting all your produce together, you may be speeding up the demise of the sensitive vegetables. In the immortal words of the Offspring, "you gotta keep 'em separated."

Here are some ethylene-producing fruits:

  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Nectarines
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes

And here are a few ethylene-sensitive veggies:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers
  • Squash