Office: University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 2301 S. University Avenue Little Rock, AR 72204
Fruits and Vegetables In View, Better for You
by Lindsey Sexton - August 31, 2022
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Store in refrigerator crisper drawer in a plastic bag with holes or wrapped in a damp
Store in a bag in the refrigerator for several weeks. Trim green tops off before storing.
Store loose or in a mesh bag in a cool, dry cupboard or pantry away from 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.
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.
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.
Store loose in a cool, dry, dark pantry or cupboard up to two months or at room temperature
for up to a week.