Once harvested, fruits and vegetables must be stored under proper conditions, the most important of which are temperature and humidity. All fruits and vegetables must also be kept in a dark, aerated environment. While most vegetables like moist conditions, standing water must be avoided as it will likely lead to rot.
A storage into which water settles will not keep produce and may result in total loss. Packing materials used in storage can aid in moisture retention. You only want to use packing materials for one season because they can become contaminated with molds and bacteria. Moisture retention of produce is usually achieved with moistened sand, sawdust, or peat moss. Vegetables requiring moist storage should never be left directly exposed to air.
All fresh produce, even organic, can harbor residual pesticides, dirt, or harmful microorganisms on the surface. The FDA and the United States Department of Agriculture recommend washing fruits and vegetables in cold water however, there are produce washes that can aid in the removal process of dirt, wax, and pesticides before they are consumed. They generally contain surfactants along with chelating agents, antioxidants, and other agents. The best way to avoid dangerous pesticides or harmful microorganisms, is to start from the beginning when growing your crop. Starting with clean water makes all the difference.