This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Rubbermaid®.

When I was asked to try out the new FreshWorks containers by Rubbermaid, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. I’ve seen gimmicky products before that all claim to help your produce last longer. But do they really work? I’m not quite sure about the others, but I did want to give these a try because we go through a lot of fruits and vegetables — especially fruit. So how can I keep fruit fresh longer?

So by a lot, I mean I think my husband may have foraged for berries in another life because he is always coming home with more every time he leaves the house, even if we still haven’t used all of our previous berries. He eats a lot of them, and so do my kids, so they don’t usually go bad… but sometimes they do. Which is why I’m really hoping that these containers that claim to keep fruit fresh longer really do just that. 

Why Produce Goes Bad – A Background

Just in case you were curious as to what is going on behind the scenes, so to speak, a little background on what is happening to your fruit and veggies (skip to the next section if this bores you).

As some fruits and vegetables ripen, they release ethylene, a gas that can cause other produce to become spotted, soft, or mealy. To prevent this, keep ethylene-sensitive fruits and vegetables separate from varieties that emit the gas. (Real Simple)

Most fruits and vegetables go bad because of damage caused by microorganisms such as bacteria and mold, enzymatic processes or bruising. Microorganisms speed produce deterioration through structural decay. Microorganisms such as bacteria and molds release their own enzymes as they grow, speeding up the spoiling process. Enzymes, which occur naturally in live fruits and vegetables, are part of the natural aging process. Enzymatic browning leads to discoloration and, later, spoilage. Bruising physically alters the exterior of your fruits and vegetables, which trigger enzymatic reactions. (Livestrong)

How To Keep Fruit Fresh Longer (and Veggies)

FreshWorks

One easy trick to help keep fruit fresh longer (and veggies too) is to keep ethylene-producing foods separate from those that are Ethylene-sensitive. Here is a list of fruits and veggies you’ll want to keep separated.

Ethylene-producing   Ethylene-sensitive
Apples   Unripe Bananas
Apricots   Green Beans
Avocados   Belgian Endive
Ripening Bananas   Broccoli
Cantaloupe   Brussel Sprouts
Cherimoyas   Cabbage
Figs   Carrots
Honeydew   Cauliflower
Kiwifruit   Chard
Mamey Sapote   Cucumbers
Mangoes   Eggplant
Mangosteen   Leafy Greens
Nectarines   Lettuce
Papayas   Okra
Passion Fruit   Parsley
Peaches   Peas
Pears   Peppers
Persimmons   Spinach
Plantains   Squash
Plums   Sweet Potatoes
Tomatoes    

An easy way to keep your fruits and veggies separate, and lasting longer, is by using the Rubbermaid FreshWorks line of produce savers. Using the FreshWorks containers can keep produce fresh up to 80% longer*.

One thing to note, you should not store fruits and veggies in an air-tight container as the total lack of respiration will actually speed decay. The FreshWorks containers are designed to prevent this.


Unripe Fruit

Store unripe fruits and veggies like pears, peaches, plums, avocados, and bananas on the counter. Once they’ve ripened, move them to the refrigerator. 

Salad Greens

Store salad greens and fresh herbs in bags filled with a little air and sealed tightly.

Citrus Fruits

Fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, will do fine in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight (for up to a week). Lengthen their lives by storing in the fridge in a mesh bag. 

Easy Spoiling Veggies

Produce such as carrots, lettuce, and broccoli start to spoil the moment they are picked. Place these in separate containers or baggies in your crisper in the fridge, but make sure they are dry as moisture can speed decay.

Don’t Wash

As tempting as it is to prep all your fruits and vegetables right away, avoid washing until right before you plan to eat because wetness can encourage mold growth. This has been part of our issue with berries until I realized my husband was always washing them!

Use the Crisper or Crisper-Like Containers

Your crisper is designed to allow for both low and high humidity situations, and this is a great place to keep those ethylene producing and ethylene sensitive fruits and vegetables separate. For a more detailed explanation of how they work, check out this explanation at reviewed.com.

Another option, especially if you are filling your drawers and still need to store more fruit or vegetables, is to use containers that provide the same function as your crisper drawer. The Rubbermaid FreshWorks containers are a great option.

Why Use FreshWorks Produce Saver?

  • Keeps Produce Fresher, Longer: FreshWorks is a food storage container that uses patented FreshVentTM technology to keep produce fresher up to 80% longer* than traditional produce packaging.  It uses a revolutionary built-in FreshVent™ lid, which naturally regulates the flow of oxygen and CO2, in and out of the container to create the optimal environment so produce stays nearly as fresh as the day it was picked. The CrispTrayTM at the bottom elevates produce away from moisture and promotes proper airflow to help reduce spoilage.
  • Reduces Waste: Many people find that their produce has spoiled after just a few days, leaving them no choice but to throw it away. FreshWorks extends the life of your produce, so you can eat your produce before it goes to waste.
  • Saves Money:  As a result of throwing away fresh produce, Americans waste $24 billion worth of produce every year, which is the equivalent of $192 per household.**  
  • Easy to Use: With FreshWorks Produce Saver, you can simply move produce from store packaging and into the FreshWorks containers before refrigerating to maintain freshness for up to 80% longer*.  The lid filter lasts a lifetime, no replacements needed.
  • Made in the USA of global components, BPA-free.
  • Available now in six sizes to hold all types of produce:
    • Lare Square (11.1 Cups): Perfect for Tomatoes
    • Long Rectangle (8.4 Cups): Great for asparagus or zucchini
    • Small Rectangle (4.0 Cups): Will keep your green beans fresh.
    • Small (2.5 Cups): Ideal for small berries.
    • Medium (6.3 Cups): Perfect for strawberries.  
    • Large (17.3 Cups): Optimal for leafy greens.

Here you can see my strawberries in the FreshWorks versus the store container.

Remove Spoiled Produce

If you notice any of your produce starting to spoil, remove it right away before it starts to spoil the rest of your stuff. What’s that saying? One rotten apple spoils the barrel.

 

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*Based on strawberries in FreshWorks™ containers vs. store packaging. Results may vary depending upon produce and use.
** Source: USDA 2014

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