I was just asked about some food storage tips/cleaning for fruits and veggies. Here is my response.
For storage it is best to prep... so, have a sink (or bowl) with COLD water and a bit of white vinegar (go with the Heinz in the glass bottle - it is non gmo or Raw Apple Cider Vinegar such as Braggs. 1/4 cup per gallon of water). Remove any packaging, rubber bands etc + stem/leaves that you are going to discard anyway - this will allow more surface space of the cauli or broc to be covered. Put them into the sink/bowl and soak for approx 15 - 20 mins. This will really clean them off. All the dirt will dissolve and there will be a bit of brown yuk in the water and bottom of the sink. Bacteria will be stunted and killed once you get all the growing/harvesting dirt etc off. This is especially effective with Strawberries as well. It will extend your shelf life tremendously.
For the harder fruits and veggies scrub them gently with your fingers or a gentle brush if need be to remove any spots you see. Do a quick rinse to remove any debris loosened, but not removed by the soaking.
Before storing in a container or crisper drawer (too much airflow is your 2nd produce enemy) remove any excess water. So, for cauli ... let sit on a towel and drain/dry a bit then store in a lidded tote (with the lid on loosely) or wrap in plastic (leaving the stem end open to breath and put on a shelf of the fridge. For Broccoli... I like to prep them completely so they take up less space in the fridge. I store the florets in a large plastic bag which has a loose knot on top to allow them to breath without suffocating. (I keep the stems in a separate bag)
Produce is living and likes to breath.
For strawberries I wash the containers that they came in and reuse them. I actually have a stash of strawberry containers that I use for our home grown strawberries and other berries while in season. A flash of cold on berries is a good idea once they are harvested. It stops them from continuing to ripen and cleans any nasties off of them before storing/freezing. It is a smart move that will protect your investment.
If you note that the broc, cauli, brussels, kale, chard, spinach, celery or even lettuce for that matter are looking a bit bleak (wilted):
1) fill your sink with Ice Water (yes, a bit of crushed ice in there can help)
2) go ahead and add your vinegar jic
3) soak the produce. It will often revive them.
You can do the vinegar soak on ALL produce (except mushrooms! See note on mushroom care below.). It will reduce the risk of bacteria load tremendously and help to make your food safer.
The smoother the surface the less time involved for soaking. Apples for instance would need just 5 mins while an orange or lemon may need 10 - 15 mins.
This is a good habit to get into. It can greatly reduce the amount of waste. Especially when buying from local growers that do not know to flash cool and use a touch of vinegar. Most do not.
Vinegar wash will also remove the majority of pesticide residue. Obviously not what the fruit or veggie has absorbed into its flesh and skin through the roots, leaves and stems, but what is on the surface. See photo below for spray on vinegar wash recipes.
Mushrooms... do NOT soak mushrooms as they will absorb the water like a sponge. Simply rinse in a colander and place on a towel to dry. Then store in either a brown paper bag or a terra cotta pot with inverted saucer on top. This allows the mushrooms to breath and perspire. They want to breath. If you put them into plastic (unless it is the special mushroom film) they will suffocate and melt. It is gross. You do not want to eat 'slime' which is what they turn into as they rot. If a mushroom is shriveled a bit or looks dehydrated... they are fine! Just soak to reconstitute using the entire thing (soaking water etc) in soups/sauces. You can also put them in with your pot roast or directly into your crock pot. Yum!