Help! Molding produce??

Okay there has to be a secret or something i don't know about. There are literally times I buy produce and it will be moldy the next day!! And when i say this i'm talking mainly about zucchini, corn, and bell peppers. They're always the first to mold for me. and it drives me crazy. I take them out of the bag, its not like they're soaking in condensation of even wet at all. Is there a secret or product to help keep produce better longer? and prevent molding so quickly?

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ChefJune
ChefJune April 27, 2015

Your friendly grocer helps with the molding process by constantly spraying the produce. They claim it keeps it fresher, but in fact the opposite is true. Fresh vegetables stay fresher if they've still got that garden dust on them and then YOU wash them when you're ready to use them. I agree, it's the bane of my existence. I live for the season when I can buy all my produce at the greenmarket. But even some of the farmers have started "misting" the produce! I not only unwrap everything when I get home, I do my best to dry it all out, then wrap some paper toweling around them to try to pick up any unseen droplets before bagging in a dry bag. But it's a losing battle.

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caninechef
caninechef April 28, 2015

This is very interesting. I don't have a molding veggie problem and I would say I treat them with benign neglect for the most part. Except in summer they mostly come from a produce market that keeps most stuff just in bins on tables, no refrigeration, no misting. Stuff is sometimes cold so I guess it is refrigerated before it hits the selling floor. Only thing ussually in refrigerated cases are some greens, mushrooms and fresh herbs.

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SMSF
SMSF April 27, 2015

Ouch, that's annoying!
A couple of suggestions:
- try buying from another store, maybe the goods are fresher somewhere else.
- I know it's not an option for everyone, but I've found that farmers markets are the way to go for as much as possible. It's amazing how long the really fresh stuff can last. I just finished the last of a LOT of asparagus purchased nearly 2 weeks ago and there was not even a hint of deterioration.
- Check the temperature of your refrigerator's produce bins. It's possible they aren't cold enough if so many different items are affected this way.

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Stephanie
Stephanie April 27, 2015

Can't say I've ever had that issue with veggies. However, I've found that rinsing fruit in a 1:3 vinegar water solution seems to help them stay fresh longer. I would imagine this would also work pretty well for corn (but can't personally vouch for it).

Are you keeping them in the fridge, pantry, counter...? There are probably slightly different solutions depending on where you're stashing them.

If in the fridge, try giving your crisper a good scrub down (yup, with vinegar and water). It's possible that there are just some pesky organisms "chilling" in there that find those items particularly hospitable.

I've heard of (but haven't personally tried) tossing in a desiccant/silica packet or two . Personally, I think a few paper towels generally do the trick - just make sure to change them out with some frequency. Whether you have a bowl/basket or are keeping them in the fridge, this should help.

Best of luck.

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Garlic Fiend
Garlic Fiend April 28, 2015

Ditto all of the above suggestions. The biggest difference for me is the store. I find the quality of produce varies greatly from store to store. I always purchase my produce from large Asian markets because the turnover is very high. I don't know where you live or how comfortable you are trying new things, but if you can find them, H-Mart (or Super H) is a good starter chain to check out. Buying seasonal produce also helps because you know they have not been sitting in storage for the last year.

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creamtea
creamtea April 28, 2015

Maybe now that the weather is warming you might need to adjust your refrigerator temperature so that it is slightly cooler? I usually need to make that change with the change in seasons.

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foofaraw
foofaraw April 28, 2015

Ditto with all of the above. Also, if you put the veggie in the fridge, check and clean the fridge filter. It can be that there is a leftover mold that affecting the next produce.

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