How to make vegetables last over twice as long

Tired of finding limp vegetables lurking in the back of your fridge or cupboard? Research from the University of Otago reveals the best ways to store common vegetables in order to prolong their shelf life by up to 10 times. See below for what they found…

Avocado halves

Of the 17 methods the researchers tried, the best storage technique was to store avocado halves in the fridge, tightly wrapped in cling wrap (or for a plastic-free alternative, beeswax wrap) with the stone left in. Avocados stored this way lasted up to 4 times longer than those left uncovered in the fridge!


The the most successful way to store carrots was found to be in an airtight container lined with a paper towel. Carrots stored this way lasted up to 10 times longer than those left loose in the fridge.

Salad greens

The best way to store salad greens was in an airtight container. By storing lettuce this way, it stayed fresh for 2 days longer than if it was left in an open bag.


Whole celery stayed fresh the longest when the base was wrapped in a paper towel and it was stored in a ziplock bag in the fridge. Cut celery was found to last longest when stored in an airtight container with a paper towel.

Cut pumpkin

The most successful method for storing cut pumpkin was wrapping it in cling wrap (or, again, beeswax wrap). This made it last up to twice as long!


The best method of preserving broccoli was to sprinkle it in water, wrap it in paper towels and then store it in the fridge in a sealed bag or container. This helped the broccoli to stay fresh up to 2.5 times longer than if it was left uncovered in the fridge.

A quick point on fridge temperature…

While fridges should be kept below 5°C, most people keep their fridge at 7°C, meaning that foods go off up to three days sooner! So setting your fridge at the right temperature is one of the easiest things you can do to avoid food waste.

It’s also a good idea to avoid leaving the door open for long, as each time you open the door the temperature rises and can take hours to cool down again. Lastly, wait until hot food has cooled down before putting it in the fridge.


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