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Volume III
May 24, 2013

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Fresh Wars

By Sydney Hill

How do we keep our produce fresh? Keep it separate.

It really is that simple. Keeping it separate may seem silly and tedious, and it may not always be necessary, but some fruits and vegetables have their little wars, fighting for the "Limelight" (okay, sorry for the pun) and they effect each others' ripeness. That means produce just like to "beet" each other up! (all right, I'm really done now, sorry!).

Some produce produces a hormone called ethylene. It helps them ripen, but while its helpful to that fruit that makes it, it can damage the one right next to it. Ethylene is a gaseous hormone, and interestingly enough, was discovered because a student noticed that trees closer to gas lamps had leaves fall earlier than those away from the lamps (cool fact, huh?). Anyway, the fact of the matter is that ethylene will ripen produce that you just don't want ripened yet. Rather than wasting the time and the money you spent on getting that cucumber, take a look at what produces ethylene and what hates it.

Makes Ethylene:

  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew melons
  • Kiwis
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes

Hates Ethylene:

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplants
  • Green Beans
  • Lettuce and other greens
  • Potatoes
  • Summer Squash
  • Watermelons


Sydney Hill
Weekly Newsletter Contributer since 2012

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