Friday, September 23, 2011

Food Waste Friday: Rotten Tomatoes

Guys, I suck at tomatoes. Tomatoes and basil never seem to last once I bring them into my house.  I got a six-pack of tomatoes on the vine from Trader Joe's last week, and managed to eat one.  Three were rotten about four days later, and then bf threw the remaining two away.  It was as he was throwing them away, that I realized that my basil was also looking pretty tragic.

Ok, I consulted this list about how to properly store vegetables, and I followed the instructions, but it hasn't worked!  It seems like I pick the prettiest, greenest basil at the store, and as soon as I bring it home, it starts turning brown, and quickly devolves into a science experiement.  Then all I want is basil and I can't have it!

I've found that tomatoes do seem to last longer when I put them in the crisper, but the list says not to do that because it makes them mealy and flavorless.  So now I'm down to: do I want to throw away rotten tomatoes, or eat mealy ones?  I'm so torn and so sick of wasting these delicious foods that comprise 1/2 of my favorite breakfast (fried egg with basil and tomato on a bun).  Help!


  1. Aww, tomatoes and basil. I seem to have the same problem.
    The only way I've gotten my tomatoes to last was to buy them from a farmer's market and then just store them in a netted produce bag hanging from my pot rack in the kitchen. They lasted almost 2 weeks that way! I was astounded.

    Since then, every time I've bought tomatoes from the grocery store, they've gone bad before I could use them all. Darn those tomatoes.
    As far as basil goes, I have no suggestions. Mine always goes bad too, unless i just hang it to dry out. But then it's not fresh anymore. ;)

    I hope you find a way to make it last longer!!

    ~ Becca (visiting from Sweet Swan Songs via fwf)

  2. This season seems to be bad for all the fruits. (Tomatoes included.) I have also experienced basil issues. My outside plants faded a few weeks back so I've bought some lately. It instantly turns black and wilts in the fridge. It doesn't matter if I store it in water, dry, or whatever the tricks are.

    Here's to hoping next year is better.

  3. I don't know what you can do about storing the tomatoes from Trader Joes- but I think that at this time of year you could just buy them at a farm stand or farmers market- they will last longer because they were picked the day they were sold, whereas the TJs ones (and I love TJ's in general) - well they could already be weeks old by the time you buy them!

  4. Try keeping the basil in water like a cut flower. I did that last year with the basil from the garden and it worked pretty well. Some of it actually developed roots and we planted it for winter basil.

  5. I also just put the basil bunch in water on the countertop and it lasts ages. Once I let it go quite long and like the commenter above said, it developed roots and even grew flowers.

    As for tomatoes, I always just keep them in a bowl on the counter and they last one week. But if yours go bad sooner, maybe turn them into sauce when they start to look a little wrinkly? It might not be your favorite way of eating them but at least then you can store the sauce in the fridge a bit longer and not waste the tomatoes.