I used to separate my produce between fruit and vegetables. Then I read an article on Ethylene Gas. There is produce that emits Ethylene Gas and produce that is damaged by it. I printed off the two lists and taped them to my produce bins. I have to admit, they are lasting longer now.
Ethylene Gas Producing Produce: apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, citrus fruits (except grapefruit), cranberries, figs, guavas, grapes, green onions, honeydew, ripe kiwi fruit, mangoes, melons, mushrooms, nectarines, okra, papayas, passion fruit, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapple, plantains, plums, prunes, quinces, tomatoes and watermelon.
Produce Damaged by Ethylene Gas: asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, cucumbers, cut flowers, eggplant, endive, escarole, florist greens, green beans, kale, unripe kiwi fruit, leafy greens, lettuce, parsley, peas, potatoes, potted plants, romaine lettuce, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, watercress and yams.
I do not store all of these items in the refrigerator, but now I understand why putting an apple in my potato bin keeps them from sprouting. It’s the presence of Ethylene gas!