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Fruits and Vegetables In View, Better for You

by Lindsey Sexton - August 31, 2022

varieties of tomatoes on countertop

You’ve heard the phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Well, how about we put a fresh take on that old saying? It’s time to put those fruits and veggies, “in view and better for you,” front and center on your kitchen counter and in your fridge.

Pantry items such as cereal, chips, bread, and cookies often get left out on the kitchen cabinet. Constantly seeing these items, leads to you eating more of these items because they are always in your line of sight. They’re also easier to access than your fruits and vegetables which are often kept hidden away in the refrigerator.

To make it easier to resist the temptation of packaged foods, store your cereal, chips, bread, and cookies behind closed doors of your kitchen cabinet and store your produce in a more visible location such as your countertop or the easy to see shelf in your refrigerator. You’ll be more likely to use them up and less likely to let them lay waste in the bottom of the crisper drawer.

Where should I keep fruits and vegetables?

Fruits and vegetables are often kept in 1 of 3 places, on the counter, in a cabinet or pantry, or in the refrigerator. One important note to make here is to be sure to store counter-top items away from the sink and prep areas to prevent cross-contamination. Check out our chart below for more specific storage recommendations of some common fruits and vegetables.

red and green apple


In a bag with holes in the refrigerator separate from other produce - Once picked, apples continue to ripen and get softer. However, their sweetness remains the same as the day they were picked. Apples can cause other produce to rot if stored next to them.

bunch of bananas


On the counter store loose and away from light, heat, moisture, and other produce. The ethylene gas emitted by bananas can quickly ruin any produce stored next to it.

bunch of purple grapes


Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator and wash only prior to eating. Before storing, remove and damaged or rotting grapes to protect the rest.

uncut watermelon


Store loose on the counter up to 1 week or in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks. Melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew) do not sweeten as they sit, though they continue to ripen and soften.

orange fruit with stem and leaf


Store loose on the countertop for 1-5 days or in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks. Oranges do not become sweeter once they are picked.

head of broccoli with stem


Store in refrigerator crisper drawer in a plastic bag with holes or wrapped in a damp towel.

bunch of carrots with trimmed green tops


Store in a bag in the refrigerator for several weeks. Trim green tops off before storing.

single yellow onion


Store loose or in a mesh bag in a cool, dry cupboard or pantry away from potatoes.

pyramid of yellow potatoes


Store in a cool, dark place with good ventilation away from onions and garlic. Properly stored potatoes will remain fresh up to 1 month.

a nearly red ripe tomato with green stem and top


Ripen on counter out of direct sunlight, then store loose in fridge. Ripe tomatoes will usually keep 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Wash tomatoes just before slicing. For best flavor, bring tomatoes to room temperature before serving.

ripe green zucchini squash

Summer Squash

Store summer squash, unwashed, in plastic bags in crisper drawer of refrigerator. Wash squash just before cutting. The storage life of summer squash is brief, use within 2 to 3 days.

two fresh sweet potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Store loose in a cool, dry, dark pantry or cupboard up to two months or at room temperature for up to a week.