For Optimum Freshness, Treat Apples Like Eggs

It seems many of us are taking the old adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" to heart. Whether your go-to is Granny Smith, Gala, Pink Lady, or Honeycrisp, apples are America's favorite fruit – so much so that we each eat 20 pounds of the red, green, or yellow variety on average each year, per Food Network.

When it comes to storing apples for optimum freshness, most of us either toss them in a fruit bowl on the counter or place them in the refrigerator's crisper drawer and call it a day. Typically, apples left on the counter last about a week, while those stored in the fridge have a longer shelf-life of up to six weeks, per Healthline. And while refrigerating apples is a great way to keep your produce fresh while extending its shelf-life, there's another super simple way to retain the freshness of your fruit — and it starts at the supermarket.

Handle produce gently to keep it fresher for longer

Have you ever picked up a fresh apple from your fruit bowl only to turn it over and discover a gnarly bruise on the other side? You're also probably familiar with the unpleasant texture of a bruised apple — it's mushy rather than crisp. This is because bruised apples emit ethylene faster, according to Kids Corner, which causes the entire fruit and those around it in the bowl to rot and spoil at a quick rate. While ethylene gas plays an important role in the ripening of climacteric fruits like apples, bananas, and pears (or those that ripen with time), per BMC Biology, too much of a good thing can cause your entire bowl of fruit to go bad more quickly.

Prevent bruises on your apples and preserve their texture as best you can by handling them like you would a carton of eggs, as recommended by Gardener's Supply Company. That means selecting them and placing them into a produce bag with care, putting them on the checkout belt gingerly, and making sure they don't get bounced around on the ride home from the store or farmer's market. Handling your produce gently will leave you with fresher, crisper fruit the next time you reach for an apple out of the fruit bowl.