Organic produce is valuable. To prevent food waste, it is vital to minimize spoilage of your already purchased fruits and vegetables. The main culprits behind spoilage are ethylene gas and improper storage.
To best preserve vegetables, remove twist ties from leafy greens and trim off any loose or rotten ends. With cauliflower and root vegetables, it helps to cut away the brown or bruised spots. When using plastic produce bags, be sure that you have holes to keep some air circulation. Pack vegetables loosely in the refrigerator. A crowded refrigerator accelerates spoilage. Leafy greens can be washed before storing. Dry them before storing in the crisper. Mushrooms and herbs need not be washed until right before you use them. Different fruits have different needs. Stone fruits (except for cherries) will continue to ripen on the counter top. Avocados, mangos, melons, apples and pears will also continue to ripen if left out. Bell Peppers, grapes, berries and citrus will deteriorate when left at room temperature. Be sure to keep them refrigerated.
You can extend the life of berries by rinsing them in a mixture which is 25% vinegar and 75% water. Dry them completely with a towel and store them in a sealed container with the lid slightly open. Grapes do well in a plastic bag with perforation or a brown paper bag. When stored like this they can last up to two weeks.
Herbs like cilantro and basil can be stored three different ways: