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If freshly bought bananas, melons, or greens rot quickly in your kitchen, you're probably storing your produce incorrectly.
Some fruits (and a few vegetables) emit a gas called ethylene, which breaks down chlorophyll, the chemical that keeps plants green and helps them make energy.
Fruits - Vegetables - Lots - Ethylene - Wither
Some fruits and vegetables make lots of ethylene, some wither in its presence, and some are unaffected.
Here's where to store produce to prevent rot and decay.
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If you've ever bought bananas, avocados, apples, or greens only to find them rotting the next day, take note: You could be storing the wrong fruits and veggies together.
Fruits - Chemical - Ethylene - Ethylene - Loss
Many fruits produce a barely detectable chemical called ethylene as they ripen. Too much ethylene can lead to a loss of chlorophyll, the pigment that makes plants (and their bounty) green and allows them to convert light into energy. When chlorophyll breaks down, leafy greens turn yellow or brown.
The more ripe an ethylene-producing fruit or vegetable is, the more gas it produces. If certain produce items are nearby, the gas will lead them to ripen more quickly as well. (Even some fruits and veggies that don't naturally produce ethylene may have been sprayed with the chemical to make them ripen faster.)
Fruits - Veggies - List - Produce - Items
To help you figure out which fruits and veggies to keep apart, we've compiled a list of produce items that you should store on their own, foods to keep away from other fast-ripening produce, and fruits and veggies that you can store virtually anywhere.
Store ethylene producers...
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