Americans spend about $4000 dollars on food each year for a family of four. A big percentage of that is fresh fruit and vegetables, which tend to be more expensive than canned or frozen versions and are certainly more expensive than junk food. Unfortunately we throw out about 470 pounds of produce each year. Here's some easy ways to keep your produce fresh. 

We dump on average 43 billon dollars worth of food each year. Wasting produce is a waste of money, not to mention that they are almost always wrapped in plastic bags or containers, which are bad for the environment.

One easy way to avoid wasting food each year is focusing on how to store your produce correctly. Here are some simple tips:

  • Cynthia Russell, Getty Images
    Cynthia Russell, Getty Images

    Proper Storage

    The worst thing to do is to seal fruits and vegetables in an airtight bag. Do not store fruits and vegetables together. Leave refrigerated produce unwashed in its original packaging or wrapped loosely in a plastic bag

  • Jupiterimages/Thinkstock

    For Vegetables

    You want to remove the ties and rubber bands and trim any of the leafy ends before storing, to prevent veggies from drying out. Pack vegetables loosely in the refrigerator. The closer they are, the quicker they will rot.

    Make sure the vegetables are in a bag with holes punched in it to allow good airflow. Leafy greens can be washed before storing by soaking them in a sink full of water. Soft herbs and mushrooms, on the other hand, should be washed right before they are used.

  • Beata Becla/Thinkstock
    Beata Becla/Thinkstock

    For Fruits

    If left out on the counter, avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, melons, apples, and pears will continue to ripen. However,  bell peppers, grapes, all citrus and berries will deteriorate, so they should be refrigerated. Bananas will ripen very quickly and will speed the ripening of any nearby fruits.

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