My weekly produce hull, be it from the store, the farmers market, or my CSA can be both exciting and daunting. Let’s be honest, we all WANT to eat each and every fruit and vegetable we have but there are times that I can’t use all of them before they start to wilt. There had to be a better way. I decided to pay closer attention to the shelf life of each item. I used the produce with the shortest shelf life first and it helped to cut down on my food waste. This was particularly helpful when it came to my CSA share. Knowing how long a vegetable or fruit will last really helped my meal planning process become more efficient.
Think of it like this, produce that lasts 3-5 days like tomatoes and some greens should be eaten first; other items like carrots and turnips can be used later on as they have a longer shelf life and won’t spoil as quickly. Using the chart below will help you plan your meals and cut down on food waste – win win!
Use the items with the shortest shelf life first.
|Avocados||Okra Onions (cut)||Arugula||Leeks||Artichokes||Onions (whole)|
|Basil||Peaches||Bell Peppers||Lettuces/Mixed Greens||Beets||Parsnips|
|Beans (wax, green)||Pears||Broccoli||Mint||Cabbage (Red and Green)||Potatoes (large)|
|Bok Choy Chives||Radicchio||Cabbage (Napa)||Potatoes (baby(||Celery||Rutabagas|
|Chard (Swiss)||Snow Peas||Cauliflower||Radishes||Ginger||Sweet Potatoes|
|Eggplant||Tomatoes||Eggplant||Winter Squash (cut)||Limes||Winter Squash (whole)|
By: Katie Cavuto, RD, Chef