CENTSABLE HEALTH: Suggestions for storing produce - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

CENTSABLE HEALTH: Suggestions for storing produce

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Fareway Foods registered dietitian Whitney Packebush shares ways to safety store our produce.

Many wonder what can you put in the refrigerator, and what can you leave out? "I've really just broken it down into two different groups," said Packebush. "What can go in the refrigerator and what can be left out in room temperature there are a few caveats to that. Things that ripen at room temperature and throw in the fridge but to keep it really simple I've just broken it into two different categories. So, in front of me, I have everything that should be stored in the refrigerator. One thing I do have in two different places is right up front is the kiwi and you'll see I have it here and its cut open and I do have it in the other section. Because kiwi is one that once its cut open you want to throw it in the refrigerator. And that actually goes for anything. Once you slice into anything no matter what the fruit of vegetable you want to throw it in the refrigerator because you've exposed it to the air and you've exposed it to the knife."

But, what about bananas? "Even bananas," Packebush said.

Packebush also showed jars of water with fresh herbs, and asparagus in them. "If you keep these two things in your refrigerator they will actually last so much longer," Packebush said. "I have actually kept a bunch of cilantro just like this in my refrigerator for about a month. Because I just keep adding more water. If it turns brown I keep adding more water in. The same for asparagus. It helps it stay firm and keeps it standing tall. Sheila: Makes sense. Whitney: If you look at the grocery store you'll see asparagus in water or other clumps of lettuce. These two here asparagus and herbs keeping them in constant water. Putting them in water in your refrigerator will extend their lives just huge."

Like flowers, herbs are a living thing, and need water.  "Treat it just like a living breathing plant, keep it in water," Packebush said. "Keep it in a coffee cup, or drinking glass or something like that. I have berries they should always go in the refrigerator cut pineapple. It's cut so you need to throw it in the refrigerator. And, apples it won't hurt them to be put in room temperature but they'll last twice as long in the refrigerator."

The first you should think when you get home is about where you saw the produce in the store. "Did I see it in the cooler or in the middle of the store at room temp," asked Packebush. "Some things are at room temp like strawberries because they just fly through the store. So, if you see them in the cooler or out in room temp. Just assume they go in the cooler when you get home."

But, what if you don't know if the produce was in the refrigerator in the store? "I actually like things when I can store them at room temp because my refrigerator, like other people's, is just a disaster," said Packebush. "These are all things that can be stored at room temperature, tomatoes. I think that surprises a lot of people. They are things that are tropical they're not use to those cold temps. If you put a banana in the fridge it stops the process of it ripening."

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