I Made a Big Food Keeping Mistake

A few weeks ago, avocados are in season in Melbourne. So is banana with its prices recovering (or tumbling), from disaster-ravaged Queensland. Consequently, I bought 2 avocados for $2.50 and 1kg of banana for $1.98 (they were $10+ per kg a few months back). Then, I store them together in a bag in the pantry.

The Problem
The next day, I decided to eat 1 of the avocados. I took it out from the bag and gave it a gentle squeeze. It was soft (it was ripe). That was fast. Just a day before, they were firm. So, I sliced it open and discovered that it was beginning to sprout. It was still edible (refer to the picture below), but not that tasty anymore T.T

Then I suspected the bananas to be the culprit, since I had read about how to store food properly from Lifehacker. However, I soon find out that I was wrong...

The Answer
It turns out that both bananas and avocados are ethylene-producing foods.

What is Ethylene?
According to sparkpeople.com, here are a few facts about Ethylene:
  • It is an odorless, harmless and tasteless gas.
  • All fruits and vegetables produce Ethylene (after picked), but some foods produce it in greater quantities.
  • When ethylene-producing foods are kept in close proximity with ethylene-sensitive foods (in a confined space like a bag or drawer), the gas will speed up the ripening process of the other produce.

Here is an A-Z list of Ethylene-producing foods (from sparkpeople.com):
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Figs
  • Honeydew
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes

Lesson Learned
Never ever store bananas and avocados together. Plus, keep those other Ethylene producers away from other fruits and vegetables.

You could probably use these Ethylene producers to your advantage, by storing them with other produce to speed up the ripening process. But, in my case, I wanted them to last longer.

What is your worse food keeping experience? And, what have you learn from that?

I would be delighted to listen, so that we may learn from each other.

P. S. For more food storing tips, read sparkpeople.com's article titled "How to Keep Fruits and Veggies Fresh".

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