As you might have expected, cauliflower behaves similarly to broccoli when exposed to ethylene. The florets begin to yellow and leaves drop off the main stalk. Keep cauliflower away from fruit, potatoes and tomatoes and don’t buy or use it if it has a foul smell. If it does, it’s way past ripe and no longer fresh enough to eat. Refrigerate cauliflower for up to five days, or freeze it for up to a year. We recommend removing any cellophane it comes wrapped in first, since cauliflower can rot more quickly in tight wrappings.
The cucumber is a member of the gourd family, and gourds are known for being ethylene-sensitive. Though storing cucumbers in the freezer isn’t recommended, they can last up to a week stored in the fridge. If kept near ethylene-producing foods, cucumbers will turn yellow and go bad pretty quickly. You might be able to add a few extra days of freshness to cucumbers if you wrap them in a paper towel and keep them in a food storage bag in the refrigerator.
4. Fresh Herbs
Before tossing your fresh herbs in the crisper drawer near the tomatoes and avocado, note that most herbs are sensitive to ethylene to varying degrees. Herbs like basil, thyme and rosemary won’t go bad as quickly, but parsley, mint and oregano are highly sensitive to exposure. The easiest solution is to store herbs in a special container for that purpose, in the freezer or refrigerator. Fresh herbs stored in the freezer last up to two months. Stored in the fridge, these herbs stay fresh for up to 10 days.