Consumer Reports reveals which containers keep produce fresh longer

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7 On Your side's Michael Finney teamed up with Consumer Reports to find out which containers keep fruits and vegetables fresh for a longer period of time. (KGO-TV)

7 On Your side's Michael Finney teamed up with Consumer Reports to find out which containers keep fruits and vegetables fresh for a longer period of time.

We know fruits and vegetables are good for us, but more than half the produce we buy ends up in the garbage.

What's the best way to keep food fresh and stop the waste? Consumer Reports tested seven containers, including the OXO Good Grips GreenSaver for $20 and the Rubbermaid Fresh Works, which is also $20. They were filled with raspberries, strawberries, baby leafy greens, and head lettuce.

Testers also stored samples in their original clamshell containers. They were left in a refrigerator and checked regularly.

The greens in the OXO Good Grips held up well and the strawberries in the Rubbermaid looked better than the others.

But is it worth buying special containers? "Overall, we found that none of the containers kept produce much fresher than the original clamshells," Consumer Reports spokesperson Bernie Deitrick said.

However, Consumer Reports says the refrigerator itself can make a difference. Produce that's stored in a dual-evaporative refrigerator, one that chills the freezer and refrigerator sections separately lasts longer.

But any refrigerator can do a better job if you store foods in the right place. "The best move is to store fruits and vegetables in low and high humidity bins in the refrigerator when you bring them home," nutritionist Ellen Klosz said.

For instance, broccoli and leafy greens should go in a high humidity drawer. The low humidity drawer is best for most fruits.

Some produce should never go into the refrigerator. Tomatoes do best stem side down on the counter.

Keep potatoes and onions separate because gases from the onions will cause the potatoes to sprout.


Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2014. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
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