As any good organic gardener knows, the best produce begins with quality soil. Soil created by composting many natural elements, for the largest possible mix of nutrients and trace elements. From this wellspring of potential springs healthy, colorful stuff worth eating.
As any lazy cook (or lazy eater) knows, most produce from any source, especially from the store, if it overripens, is promptly much closer to being quality soil than it is to being dinner. Plenty of people like me could substitute the "crisper drawers" phrase with "the compost drawers" and be at least half-accurate.
The other day I threw out broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes, and kiwis from the fridge, and apples and limes from the baskets. Bummer! Sometimes the only thing available in the store isn't very fresh and if it isn't eaten immediately it's history. I knuckled down and made myself eat all the big jalapenos which were just verging on going soft. I just couldn't stomach the other things though.
I have less trouble with things that are not refrigerated. I use these baskets, which come in various sizes, that are hooked on cupboard shelves, to store things at room temp so they can breathe, such as onions, garlic, and especially avocados, which I buy unripe. They ripen promptly kept this way and as long as I don't buy more than a few at a time, they are always perfect when I want them. I don't have much counter or kitchen space so these are great. (The picture is from amazon.com, not my kitchen.)
Gardening is not meant to be done in reverse... and it's not meant to be done in the refrigerator. A recent article I read said that studies show Americans throw away 25% of their produce because it goes bad. Some of this can be avoided with a little knowledge. Of course, then you'd have to apply it, which I don't always do. But at least you'd know!
One of my fave blogs (Half of Me) linked to a great article that tells you what veggies should and should not be refrigerated, which should not be kept together, and which go bad faster than others. It's useful info I bookmarked and thought others might benefit from as well:
Spoiled Rotten: How to Make Your Fruits and Vegetables Last
Here's to keeping compost in the garden, and house food edible!