How do grocery stores keep their fruits and vegetables fresh for so long?

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    I am not sure that the grocery stores do anything special to keep produce from going bad, beyond keeping the temperature cool and restocking regularly. Much of the produce you see there has labels from all over the world- such as Chile and Brazil- and have clearly been transported long distances. This is why much of it is picked early, before it is ripe. Tomatoes are a classic example of a fruit that is often picked early so it does not mold on the truck as it goes all the way from, for example, Southern Mexico to my local Ralph’s in CA. When you cut open strawberries and tomatoes from the store, they are often hard and white or green on the edges, an indication they were picked early prior to ripeness. This is one of the reasons why they never seem to mold. I think it takes away from the flavor. 

    It is because of this lack of freshness that I buy the vast majority of my produce (what I don’t grow myself!) from a local farmer’s market. The produce there is (mostly) local, fresh, and very ripe! Sometimes, because it is so ripe, you find a moldy avocado or grape, but this is normal for a produce market, and a good thing as long as you keep an eye open for it. In fact, it seems very strange that fruit never goes bad at the grocery store.

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