While we’d love if all fruits and veggies could get along, these are some that shouldn’t be stored near each other.
When it comes to the ripening process and fresh produce, all fruits and veggies fall into one (or more) of three categories:
- Ethylene Producers: Produce that releases a harmless-to-you gas (called ethylene) as they ripen. Certain producers, like bananas, tomatoes, and peppers only start emitting ethylene once verging on overripe.
- Ethylene Sensitive: Fruits and veggies that are negatively affected by the ethylene gas emitted from ethylene producers.
- Not Ethylene Sensitive: Some fruits and veggies simply aren’t bothered at all, like cherries, oranges, and raspberries.
Avoid storing ethylene producers near anything that’s ethylene-sensitive. Why? Ethylene speeds up ripening—and rotting—process, effectively increasing the likelihood of spoilage and food waste.
Common Ethylene Producers:
- Bananas (ripe)
- Kiwi (ripe)
Ethylene Sensitive Produce:
- Bananas (unripe)
- Kiwi (unripe)
- Collard Greens
- Sweet Potatoes
It’s quite the paradox, we know, but some ethylene producers can also be ethylene sensitive. “One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch” really does hold true if said apples are stored in a bag or a closed container, effectively trapping the very gasses they give off, leading to speedier ripening.
So how does this play out in the kitchen? While we’d love if all fruits and veggies could get along, these are some of our favorite produce combos that shouldn’t be stored near each other:
- Apples and Avocados
- Bananas and Mangoes
- Tomatoes and Cucumbers
- Potatoes and Onions
- Broccoli and Peppers