How To Store Your Fruit & Veg To Reduce Food Waste

By Ellie Smith

3 months ago

Simple ways to reduce food waste in your fridge


We’ve all been there: you do a big shop on Sunday and jam pack the fridge with fruit and veg, only to discover half of it unused and wilted the following week. Clearly, overbuying will lead to wastage – and, indeed, it’s estimated that 70 percent of food waste happens in our homes. Yet by storing fruit and vegetables properly, we can ensure we make the most out of it – and enjoy fresher, tastier ingredients. Here are some top tips from eco-minded grocer Abel & Cole, to tie in with Food Waste Action Week.

How Can We Extend The Life Of Fruit & Veg?

Vibrant orange harvested pumpkins in wood box for sale on country market in Oxford, United Kingdom

Squash

Mashed potato, spaghetti, butternut, red onion

Where: Fridge/ kitchen counter

Top tips: Keep thick-skinned squashes out on the kitchen counter. Delicate squashes like butternut and pattipan can be kept in the fridge. 

Root Veg

Potatoes, carrots, beetroot, parsnips

Where: Fridge

Top tips: Put heavier veggies in the salad crisper at the bottom of the fridge. Remove from their paper bags to stop them from drying out as quickly.

Mushrooms

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Mushrooms

Where: Fridge

Top tips: Store mushrooms in their card punnets in your fridge. If left unused, they can dry out but will still be good to cook with.

Tomatoes

Where: Cool, shaded spot

Top tips: Tomatoes don’t belong in the fridge. Enjoy red, slightly soft tomatoes as soon as possible. If they’re firm, pop them somewhere cool to ripen.

Citrus

Oranges, lemons, limes, clementines, grapefruit

Where: Fridge

Top tips: Green skins don’t affect the taste of your citrus. They’re just a sign of the season. Bring your fruit to room temperature before enjoying.

Legumes

Broad, runner and French beans, garden peas

Where: Fridge

Top tips: Remove from paper and put in a plastic bag. If you’re short on space, pod them into an airtight container.

Blueberries

Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries

Where: Fridge

Top tips: Enjoy your berries straight out of the punnet. If you put them in the fridge, make sure they’re front and centre, so they don’t get missed.

Greens

Lettuce, rocket, salad, spinach

Where: Fridge

Top tips: Tear leaves off whole lettuces and store in a container with a lid. Your leaves will last longer, ready to use when you need. Keep heavy items from squashing your salad. Enjoy as soon as possible.

Bananas

Where: Fruit bowl

Top tips: Bananas belong in your fruit bowl at room temperature. If they’re still green, they’ll ripen faster in a paper bag where it’s warm.

Soft herbs

Basil, dill, parsley, chervil, coriander

Where: Top of fridge door

Top tips: Soft herbs can be cold sensitive, especially basil. Keep in the warmest part of your fridge – the top of the door.

Mediterranean vegetables

Aubergines, peppers, courgettes

Where: Fridge

Top tips: Enjoy Med veg sooner rather than later. Don’t let them go forgotten at the back of your fridge.

Avocado oil

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Tender fruits

Pears, melons, peaches, nectarines, avocados, cherries, mangoes

Where: Fridge/ fruit bowl

Top tips: Test ripeness with a gentle squeeze. If they give a little, eat straight away or store in the fridge. If firm, pop them into your fruit bowl to soften up. Place next to bananas, to help ripen faster.

Miscellaneous

Apples, grapes, cucumber, celery, broccoli, carrot

Where: Fridge

Top tips: Keep these from wilting and wrinkling by storing in the fridge. Give broccoli florets a good wash before use.

Storing fruit and vegetable tips from Abel & Cole, buy fruit and vegetables at abelandcole.co.uk