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How to Keep Produce Fresher, Longer

Have you ever noticed that sometimes your produce doesn’t stay as fresh as it has when you’ve bought it before – like maybe your bananas went bad way faster this week than last week? Well, there’s a reason for that and it (very likely) has nothing to do with the chemicals Big Agro may or may not be spraying on your fruits and veggies. No, it has to do with a chemical that occurs naturally in some produce called <em>ethylene</em>. Some produce gives it off and some produce is very sensitive to it. Add to that the fact that some items spoil more quickly than others and you come to realize your groceries are basically freshness time bombs that can be set off prematurely if not handled the right way. So, what’s the right way? <strong>Ethylene Releasers</strong> First, know which types of produce release ethylene: apples, apricots, avocados, cantaloupe, figs, honeydew, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, tomatoes and unripe bananas. WARNING: Take note about the unripe bananas. Unripe bananas release ethylene and ripe bananas are very sensitive to ethylene. Conclusion: An unripe banana can accelerate the degradation of a ripe banana. <strong>Ethylene Sensitivity  </strong> Now, avoid <a title="Food Storage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/food-storage_3825.html" target="_blank">storing</a> the above produce with these items: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, leafy greens, peas, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, watermelon and, as previously mentioned, ripe bananas. Unfortunately, there is no good way to organize these various items in an easy-to-remember fashion, so we’ve placed them in a table that you can cut out and put on your fridge: <table class="producefresher_table" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="producefresherh" valign="middle" width="319" height="20">Ethylene Releasers</td> <td class="producefresherh" style="border-right: 0px;" valign="middle" width="319" height="20">Ethylene Sensitivity</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="319">Apples</td> <td style="border-right: 0px;" valign="top" width="319">Broccoli</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="319">Apricots</td> <td style="border-right: 0px;" valign="top" width="319">Brussels sprouts</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="319">Avocados</td> <td style="border-right: 0px;" valign="top" width="319">Cabbage</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="319">Cantaloupe</td> <td style="border-right: 0px;" valign="top" width="319">Carrots</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="319">Figs</td> <td style="border-right: 0px;" valign="top" width="319">Cauliflower</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="319">Honeydew</td> <td style="border-right: 0px;" valign="top" width="319">Cucumbers</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="319">Nectarines</td> <td style="border-right: 0px;" valign="top" width="319">Eggplant</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="319">Peaches</td> <td style="border-right: 0px;" valign="top" width="319">Leafy greens</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="319">Pears</td> <td style="border-right: 0px;" valign="top" width="319">Peas</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="319">Plums</td> <td style="border-right: 0px;" valign="top" width="319">Peppers</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="319">Tomatoes</td> <td style="border-right: 0px;" valign="top" width="319">Squash</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="319">Bananas (unripe)</td> <td style="border-right: 0px;" valign="top" width="319">Bananas (ripe)</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> invites you to cut out this handy chart to help you remember how to most effectively separate and store your produce.
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