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Slash the spoils: Slowing down exposure to ethylene in your fridge

By Tamara Andreas

Lane County Waste Reduction Assistant

Did you know? Ethylene gas is given off naturally by fruits and vegetables as they ripen.  Some fruit and veggies are more sensitive to this gas, so they will ripen or spoil faster than others.

Exposure to ethylene, and how fast it accumulates in your fridge, can affect how quickly food spoils. Lettuce is particularly sensitive to ethylene gas and to moisture.

Want an easy way to slow down the ethylene process for your salad greens? Try using a BluApple – it looks like a small blue plastic apple, and its purpose is to extend the life of veggies and fruit.  Next use a salad spinner to dry lettuce after washing, then store it in a closed airtight bag or container with the BluApple inside. 

The BluApple contains a packet that absorbs the ethylene gas. In my personal experience, storing salad greens this way can keep them fresh for two weeks, versus the yucky slime that can otherwise develop in just days. BluApple packets last for three months and once used can be applied as a great fertilizer to household plants.  They are available online at

I am an avid gardener, and when the produce starts rolling in, that also means I have a backlog of veggies to eat. Using these inexpensive tools has helped my family to waste less food, and by doing so, save money and time.

Next post! More on ethylene – what are the gassiest fruits and veggies? What should be kept separate?

Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer: the author’s opinions of BluApple is not the opinion of Waste Wise Lane County



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