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Old 03-07-2018, 18:15   #1
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Extending produce life on board.

Years ago I worked for a guy who washed all his fruits and vegetables in a mild bleach solution before a long passage. He'd also disinfect the refrigerator etc because he swore it last longer.

Now I agree with keeping the storage areas spotless. But has anyone tried washing veggies and the like in a mild chlorine bleach solution before? It seems like it's valid and should work. But real life could be another story.

I did do some research and in small quantities the chlorine will dissipate and it's not like we don't use it in our water.

I just wonder if the low concentration is enough to kill any fungus's and mold that causes things to spoil faster.

Anyone have any thoughts about it? Does it work etc
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:14   #2
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

Yes it works. I use vinegar vice bleach which also works.
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Old 02-08-2019, 14:53   #3
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

Microdyn and Bactdyn are solutions sold in Mexico for washing produce. Reduces bacterial contamination and produce lasts much longer. Do not need to rinse after soaking.
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Old 02-08-2019, 20:04   #4
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

I find that keeping tomatoes individually wrapped in paper towels helps to keep them much longer.
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Old 02-08-2019, 20:25   #5
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

A while ago (wish I remembered the details) I've read that certain fruits and vegetables give off gases which affect the rate of ripening and spoilage not just those but other stuff in the fridge. Or something to that effect. Perhaps chemists here may give us more details.

Also, a friend who is an avid camper, showed me a trick to making green fresh herbs (dill, cilantro, parsely, etc) last way longer. It is kind of counterintuitive but it works.

Put that bunched cilantro in one of those transparent plastic bags which you put them in the store, hold the bag by its corners and roll it quickly the way you would roll a jumping rope when jumping. When the bag traps enough air and gets big and fluffy like it's inflated you quickly tie up the two ends keeping it nice and fluffy. Done correctly it will stay that way until the next use. One shortcoming on the boat of course is the space it takes up. But if sealed tight it can stay in the cool bilge perhaps. The trick I guess is having as much trapped air as possible allowing the bag to act as a mini hot house, without the hot air.
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Old 02-08-2019, 20:30   #6
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
I find that keeping tomatoes individually wrapped in paper towels helps to keep them much longer.
Keeping them on the vine, especially on a generously sized one also helps. As well as buying them somewhat underripe.

Also, most fruits and vegetables do not like being bumped, thrown about and generally handled. Which is kind of hard to avoid on a moving boat.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:55   #7
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
A while ago (wish I remembered the details) I've read that certain fruits and vegetables give off gases which affect the rate of ripening and spoilage not just those but other stuff in the fridge.

You're talking about ethylene. See https://www.thekitchn.com/food-scien...ene-gas-130275 .
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Old 03-08-2019, 18:53   #8
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

We kept cabbage in a crate on the cabin top for a June/July transatlantic passage. Lasted about three weeks.
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Old 03-08-2019, 19:05   #9
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

I tried and it works. Google "green bags for produce". Somehow these bags absorbs the ethylene gas and the contents last longer. Some of them are reusable.
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Old 03-08-2019, 21:16   #10
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

I don't know if anyone remembers a product from way back - one of the storage bag companies came out with a bag that was perforated?


I remember being amazed at how long leafy veggies would last in them (while in the refrigerator), but after a short while, they were discontinued.


Anyway, I noticed that some fresh-baked breads found at my local grocer are sold in perforated bags that seem similar. I wonder if these would work the same way.
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Old 04-08-2019, 00:11   #11
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

Ah the bane of my existence, trying to get produce to last longer! 3 different fridge/freezers at differing levels, baskets and bilges and I still can't get it right. Use them or lose them around here. I also modified a lot of my dishes to use veggies that last longer. Buy underripe, but that defeats the purpose of those lovely little markets we find walking around. Vacuseal and freeze fresh herbs, they'll last for months. We grow a lot of herbs onboard as well. Green onions and celery last forever hung in a plastic bag full of water (inside a burlap hanging bag), so I use a lot of those. Also onions and potatoes and squashes. Ginger lasts forever, and I use it like a vegetable in cambodian cooking. Hot chilies freeze great too, but fresh ones kill me when they get wrinkly after a few days I gotta find some of that spray.....
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Old 04-08-2019, 03:39   #12
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

We wrapped each potato, carrot etc in a paper towel. They lasted over a month in humid Queensland waters. Did not lose any.
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Old 04-08-2019, 14:02   #13
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

We have "special" plastic boxes with a ventilated lid plus a tray in the bottom. These keep fresh produce very well. The boxes seem to moderate the temperature swings of our fridge system and help keep condensation off the produce. Found these boxes on Amazon I think.
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Old 04-08-2019, 14:18   #14
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

We use the paper towel method on onions potatoes and fresh veggies that have never been refrigerated. Occasionally when something goes bad we bleach the container. We use a small ice chest as the storage bin with the lid propped open to let the ethylene gas out. We buy tomatos green and keep them in the fridge. Every day or two we take one out and pot it in a net hammock to let it ripen. It takes about three days or so so you have to plan a bit ahead. I cannot recall ever having a green tomato go bad. We've kept them 3 weeks or so. Also when you let them ripen that way they taste really good. I've found a little chorine bleach solution really helps with green peppers.
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Old 28-08-2019, 11:31   #15
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Re: Extending produce life on board.

In brewing we use Starsan........ a no rinse sanitizer that comes as a concentrate and mixes with water to sterilize equipment... It is cheap and very effective.


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