A mystery revealed.

I bought arugula and it wilted almost immediately. My broccoli rabe, too. I flung them into the compost bag and bought more yesterday.

This morning, the arugula is… not beyond hope, but it’s no longer salad material. Pesto, maybe.

Now I’m on a mission to find out what the hell is going on. Is my fridge too cold? Too warm? Too… something?

A little research turned up the real culprit: apples.

If you notice that your produce always seems to rot just a few days after you buy it, you might be storing incompatible fruits and veggies together. Those that give off high levels of ethylene gas—a ripening agent—will speed the decay of ethylene-sensitive foods. Keep the two separate.

Apples, Apricots, Cantaloupe, Figs, Honeydew

Avocados, Bananas (unripe), Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Tomatoes

Bananas (ripe), Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Lettuce and other leafy greens, Parsley, Peas, Peppers, Squash, Sweet potatoes, Watermelon

–Wild Oats Magazine

Apples! [shakes angry fist]

Well, looks like I’m off to make arugula pesto.

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6 thoughts on “A mystery revealed.

  1. Holy moley, that list is going right on our refrigerator door. He says, having just plopped a bag of avocados in the drawer with incompatible foods.

    Maybe we need “eFridgeHarmony”? Where only compatible foods meet and live together.

    Thanks for passing this along! Oh, and I’m late to the party, but arugula as a bed for steak is nice. Just FYI.

  2. I heard that on the news last week. I’ve moved things around in our “crisper” drawers.

  3. Don’t store onions and potatoes near each other either. The potatoes will sprout and rot quickly.

  4. Wow! Thanks, Kristen! You can also turn the gas of unripe peaches and plums against them to make them ripen faster. Just put them in a brown paper bag and fold the top shut. In a day or two, those baseball-hard fruits will be ready to eat.

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