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How Long Does Fresh Produce Last? Our Guide Will Tell You

Produce isn’t cheap, which makes it all the more painful when half of it goes bad before you ever get to eat it. What makes it more frustrating is that some fruits and vegetables seem to retain their freshness forever, while others wilt the second you get them home. 

The key to understanding the life cycle of your weekly fresh produce haul is thinking about its moisture content. A berry is going to go bad much faster than an apple because berries are mostly water. Berries are also often packed tightly together, just begging mold to swoop in and make your delicious summer treat its new snack. 

High moisture fruits and vegetables are going to go bad faster than their lower-moisture counterparts, which is why you’ve probably thrown a half-eaten bag of spinach away in the last month. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Knowing how quickly certain foods will go bad and how to store them will help you make a plan for your produce purchases, and, best of all, save you money. 

Fresh for: 1 to 3 Days

1. Asparagus

If you’re a meal planner, try to incorporate asparagus into your prep between two to three days after purchase. Although fresh asparagus can keep up to five days in your fridge, the ends tend to dry out and the tops become soft and lose their color fairly quickly, which means you’ll be able to use less and less of the veg. 

You can extend the life of your asparagus by cutting off the ends and storing the stalks upright in a jar with one to two inches of water. Place a plastic bag loosely over the top, and your asparagus could last for up to a week. 

2. Berries 

All you want is a handful of fresh berries, so you buy them and feast on half the container… and the next day, the rest are covered in mold. Unfortunately, once berries have gone bad, there isn’t much to be done, but better storage could extend the life of your summer treat. 

Taking them out of their packaging and putting them in a paper towel lined container big enough to store the berries on the bottom without stacking will help. When berries get too crowded, moisture gets stuck between them, which is when mold can become an issue. 

You should also keep your berry haul in the fridge, ideally without a lid. And if you’re serious about making your berries last longer, check out this article from the New York Times about how a hot water treatment could extend their freshness for days and potentially even reverse mold growth. 

3. Fresh Leafy Greens

Fresh greens like spinach, lettuce and kale have a relatively short shelf life at three to five days, so if you’re planning to use them in a salad, do it fast. Otherwise, that satisfying crunch will turn wilted fast. 

The plastic bags that spinach, kale and lettuce are often sold in are moisture traps. Kale tends to be the heartier of the three due to its low moisture content. Spinach and lettuce on the other hand have a high moisture content. They also lack any sort of a protective covering, like a peel. Combined with how they are typically processed and packaged, your favorite salad ingredient could pose greater instances of foodborne illnesses

So, first things first, get them out of the packaging. Storing leafy greens in airtight containers with a layer of paper towels can keep your veggies fresh for up to a week. Keep an eye on it, though. If you see a couple leaves losing their freshness, take them out so the rest stay fresh. 

Pro Tip

Check out our post on how to store your spinach so it lasts longer. 

4. Peaches 

Peaches are another sensitive fruit. They’re best stored in the refrigerator, but don’t often stay fresh for more than four days. 

The key here is to keep them away from other fruits and ethylene-producing vegetables like green beans and broccoli. Ethylene is a chemical produced when fruits and certain vegetables start to go bad, and it actually speeds up the ripening process in nearby produce as well. 

Pro Tip

Did your peaches end up overripe anyway? Try one of these 15 recipes to make use of them.

Fresh for: 3 to 6 Days

5. Avocados

Bet you didn’t expect to see avocados this far down the list. While it’s true avocados will go bad quickly if purchased when perfectly ripe, slightly unripe avocados can last on your counter for up to four days. 

Once they hit peak ripeness, though, stick them in your fridge to keep them fresh enough to eat for another two to three days.  

Pro Tip

If you missed the brief window of peak ripeness, don’t worry! These 11 recipes will help you make use of those overripe avocados. 

6. Bananas 

Bananas can last between three days to a week when stored on your counter. Make sure they’re in a cool, well-ventilated space. If they’re packaged in plastic, remove it. 

As with most fruits, it’s also important to keep your bananas away from other fruits or even already unripe bananas. 

Just like peaches, bananas produce and are sensitive to ethylene, so keeping them away from other fruits will help the bananas last longer and keep your other fruits from going bad faster. As a result, tossing your fresh fruit in a basket as soon as you get back from the store might not be your best bet. 

Pro Tip

Don’t toss your overripe bananas! These 15 recipes will turn them from mush into magic.

7. Broccoli

Broccoli is slightly heartier than leafy relatives like spinach and kale. However, just like spinach and kale, broccoli is susceptible to moisture. It usually keeps well in the fridge for three to five days, but could stay fresh for up to a week if stored with a paper towel in an airtight plastic bag. 

Storing broccoli in a plastic bag has the added bonus of decreasing the likelihood it will be exposed to that pesky chemical ethylene, which will decrease broccoli’s shelf life. 

8. Green Beans

Like broccoli, green beans are a veg that will hang in there longer than most greens. It’s got a shelf life of between three and five days, but make sure they are stored with a paper towel in an airtight bag. They could stay fresh up to a week if stored like this.

9. Tomatoes 

First things first: Get your tomatoes out of the fridge. Unless they are fully ripe, tomatoes should be stored at room temperature, not stacked on top of each other and out of direct sunlight. They will usually keep for a week this way. 

As with avocados, you can stick them in the fridge once they’ve hit peak ripeness, but not for more than one or two days. Otherwise you’ll compromise their taste and texture. 

Fresh for: A Week or Longer

10. Apples 

Apples win the prize for the longest lasting fruit of those listed. Although apples can lose their freshness within a week if stored at room temperature, they’ll stay good for up to six weeks in your refrigerator’s produce box, especially if not crowded with other produce. 

11. Carrots 

Another hearty addition to your grocery list, unpeeled fresh carrots and baby carrots can last up to a month. Carrots are among the vegetables that last the longest. 

Watch for mold, but if kept in the crisper drawer in your fridge, carrots can pretty much take care of themselves.

12. Cauliflower

This vegetable won’t quit. Because of its low moisture content, it can stay fresh in your fridge for up to two weeks. It’s best to remove the plastic if you see moisture collecting, especially near the stem. 

13. Potatoes 

Potatoes can last up to two months if stored in a cool place and away from sunlight. Your pantry is the perfect spot. 

14. Squash 

It depends on the squash, but most will last between one to three months. If they start to get mushy or show signs of mold, it’s time to throw them out. Squash also doesn’t need to be refrigerated and will last just as long stored in a clean, cool, dark place like a pantry. 

Anna Brugmann is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

My Life with an Alcoholic Parent (and 6 Addiction Myths)


“Be the person who transgresses the hertz. If you two are evaluated, espouse comprehension. If you two are repudiated, pick agreement. If you were shamed, select tendernes. Be the person you needed when you were suffer , not the person who hurt you. Vow to be better than what broke you–to soothe instead of becoming bitter so you can act from your stomach , not your pain.”~ Lori Deschene

Take a moment to look around where you are right now. Look at the person or persons bordering you, whether you’re in its term of office, a waiting room, or the line at the post office.

Statistically, one out of every eight American adults in your space is suffering with a substance abuse disorder.

This person could be your next-door neighbor, your family doctor, your teach, or a co-worker.

Out of more than 15 million people struggling, less than 8 percent reportedly have received therapy, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Television evidences and movies often pass us to believe that the people who suffer from addiction are the homeless, jobless people on the street who request for coin to feed their habit.

In some circumstances, this unfortunately is true, but I’ve learned that addiction can also be found in the people around you in your day-to-day life. Addiction doesn’t care which zip code you live in or what skin color you have. It doesn’t matter how much money “youve got in” your bank account or what kind of position you hold within a company.

I was around five or six year when I firstly recognized that my dad had a problem. I didn’t know what the word ” craving” meant; however, I knew his actions built me feel that our category was different than others.

It would be summertime and I would experience neighbors sitting outside laughing together and barbecuing, and being that it was starting to get late in the day, my dad had already drank a few too many and would be inside for the night.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that a part of children in the U.S. growing quite in households where there is substance abuse.

Growing up with a mother who has an addiction isn’t easy. You realize them transform into a different person before your eyes. Within hours. You wonder why they choose to spend time with the addiction instead of with you.

You can cry, scream, and throw your bedroom door to try to make a point of how much it hurts you, but it never seems to be enough. And it doesn’t mean this person doesn’t kindnes or care about you, although it can shape you feel that way.

At a young age, I remember knowledge the ups and downs of a parent with an addiction. Each daylight would be different than the last. Some daylights he would joke and laugh, and others, we would do anything to avoid him because we knew he’d take out on us the load of whatever “hes been” carrying that day.

My dad was considered a” functioning alcoholic .” I don’t echo him ever missing one day of wield, even when he had the influenza or after spraining his ankle.

By trade, he was a carpenter and scaffolder, and to this day, he is the hardest working man I’ve ever known. He’d wake up before the sunbathe to to be working so he could provide for us. He led above and beyond to care, love, and protect us, but after a certain time of day, we knew that would all come to an end.

The classic picture of an alcoholic is someone who sips too much and whose life is falling apart because of it. But that’s not always actuality.

A functioning alcoholic might not play the path you would expect them to act. They might be responsible and productive. They could even be a high achiever and in a position of power. In fact, their success might extend people to forget their drinking.

Alcohol and drugs steal away the person you love. They strip you of day you should be spending with them. They turn them into someone else–a person who says and does hurtful things. And in turn, you might say unkind things back. Not because you want to, but because you simply don’t know what else to do. You begin thinking of what you can do to turn this person around. What will fix them stop?

I grew up with a parent who had an addiction to numbing his feelings.

There were goes where reference is would open up briefly about the rigors “hes had” knew growing up and how hurt and furiou they determined him feel. Rather than forgiving those who’d effected him tendernes, to free himself of what he saved bottled up inside, he would drink to relieve it.

It hurts to see someone you cherish hurting. It hurts to not know what to do to help them.

My dad never admitted to having a problem. Not formerly. Not even when we ran the cans of beer we’d noted down the settle and he became excessively angry.

Admitting to having a problem is the first step, and the next would be to make a change. And it wasn’t something he believed he could do.

Sometimes it feels easier to stay the same than do what’s needed to rid yourself of the addiction. You feel’ safe’ where you are, and you can easily justify maintaining the status quo. My dad had a job, their own families, a nice dwelling. In his judgment, why would he need to change? That wasn’t what rock bottom looks like. So everything must have been penalty how it was.

I recently heard a storey by Kirk Franklin 😛 TAGEND

” Two twinned boys were raised by an alcoholic leader. One grew up to be an alcoholic and when asked what happened he said,’ I watched my father.’ The other grew up and never drank in their own lives. When he asked what happened he said,’ I watched my father.’ Two boys, same papa, two different perspectives. Your perspective in life will be evaluated by your fate .”

I was a young girl when I has understood that I had two selects when it came to my dad’s addiction: to forgive or to hold onto the hurt, as I identified him do. I encountered what it looked like to hold on to anger and acrimony, so I decided that no matter what my papa might say or do, I would show forgiveness.

This wasn’t easy because at the end of the day, you time want that person to stop, but I chose to focus on the dad I had when he wasn’t under the influence of alcohol. The dad who are capable of kill hoops with me in the backyard, who would fill the petroleum up in my car without asking if I needed it, who would remain letters I wrote to him in the pocket of his jeans years after I had given them to him.

I’ve learned that it is our decision to create the life we want to live and the mindset we want to have. I could have held on to the unkind things my dad had said or how he refused to get help. But I believe we have the power to overcome any circumstance by focusing on what face-lifts us up rather than what attracts us down.

” I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become .”~ Carl Jung

Today I am choosing to share my story with you as a nature to status my father, who saved himself in a cage for his part life. Was it out of fear of judgment or discomfort? I’m not sure. But I do know for the last twenty-nine years, I’ve been situation to do the same.

The stigma related to addiction campaigns us to feel shame. And I have felt shame for having a parent who had this disease. We continue our floors inside because we are afraid of how people will end us or our loved one. But in reality, it’s sharing that sets us free–free to make changes in the life of someone else who is struggling.

Today is the day I open the door to my own cage, after practically thirty years, to set myself free and break the hertz. I to be expected that my legend will connect with someone who needs it–a person who, like me, has hidden their past late inside and propagandizes forward , not realizing the superpower and fortitude found in release.

I also are to be able to removed some light on what it’s like to struggle with addiction, based on my findings of my father, because I believe we’re better able to help the people we affection when we let go of these common stories 😛 TAGEND Addicts can stop if they want to.

Research shows that long-term substance use reforms brain chemistry. These alters can cause intense desires, impulse controller problems, and the compulsion to continue to use. Due to these chemical deepens, it is very difficult for a true admirer to cease solely by firmnes and determination.

Addiction merely affects those who are weak, uneducated, or have low-spirited ethics.

Addiction does not discriminate. It alters parties of all ages, ethnicities, cultures, religions, communities, and socioeconomic rankings. Addiction is not a result of low mores, though often addicts behave in ways that violate their personal notions and appraises. Addiction is an equal rights disease.

Addiction is an illness, so there is nothing you can do about it.

If your doctor told you that you had cancer, would you not begin the necessary treatment and attain the necessary lifestyle modifies? Addiction isn’t much different if you believe in the research that suggests that addiction is a disease of the brain.

Just because you have the disease of addiction doesn’t mean you throw in the towel. Research shows that the brain damage resulting from substance use can sometimes be changed through abstention, therapy, and other forms of treatment.

Addict who relapse are hopeless.

Addiction is a chronic illnes. Addicts are most prone to relapse in the first few months of being clean-living and sober. A relapse does not constitute failure.Processing the events bordering a recurrence is feasible to healthy and aid in preventing future relapses.

Booze and drug use cause addiction.

There are several factors that contribute to a person becoming addicted. While alcohol and drugs may provoke a essence operation difficulty for some, there are those who can drink alcohol and experimentation with drug use and never become addicted. Factors that contribute include environment, feeling health, mental health, and genetic predisposition.

Addict should be condoned from negative behaviors.

Some may believe since craving is a disease, addicts should not be held accountable for their actions. This is not true. An junkie may not be responsible for their sicknes, but they are responsible for their choices and their recovery.

It’s easy to referee and praise what we don’t understand. You don’t have to walk a mile in an addict’s shoes to understand addiction and addictive behaviors. You just have to educate yourself and want to help so you can break the round of hurting. And remember: whether you’re an addict or you love one, there’s nothing to be ashamed of, and you are not alone.


About Ashley Sword

Ashley Sword is the founder of For the Good, a site that was created to share uplifting letters as a means of filling beings up in a deeper, meaningful route. She’s currently organizing For the Good workshops and occurrences across the country. If you’re interested in partnering, click here to connect.

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