Isn’t it the saddest thing when your beautiful guacamole gets that ugly, brown color? Avocados are very sensitive fruits (yes, they are fruits, guys). But how could such a perfect fruit get so gross-looking so fast?

Well, turns out that brown stuff actually isn’t the avocado going bad. It’s going through oxidation, which is the exposure of air on the avocado to react and turn that brown color. This is why you shouldn’t let your avocado toast sit around for so long. Since the avocado insides are being exposed to the air, the top layer begins to brown, but under that layer, everything is still its perfect green color. Usually, scraping the top off will solve your problem.

Sometimes, your avocado is going to have some brown streaks in the inside. The brown streaks are usually fibers caused by premature picking on young avocado trees. Those fibers usually have a gross taste, but you can eat the surrounding parts and they will taste fine.

You may notice that sometimes when you cut into an avocado, there are already brown spots even though the inside was sealed away from any oxygen. These spots form when the avocado has either been exposed to cold weather for a long time before it began to ripen or bruising caused by excessive handling.

Want to avoid all the brown grossness? Here are a few tips for you:

Put it in the refrigerator


Photo courtesy of Nestor Lacle on Flickr

Leaving your avocado in the fridge will cut down the amount of air that oxidizes it, rather than just leaving it out openly and letting it suck in all that nasty oxygen.

Wrap that bad boy up


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Wrap up any leftover avocado with plastic wrap or store it in a Tupperware container so less air gets to it.

Don’t let it over-ripen


Photo courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski on Flickr

No one wants to eat an expired avocado. They can go bad within the timespan of 2-7 days. It’s basically impossible to know how ripe an avocado is just by looking at it (unless it’s disgustingly moldy and sad), so the best way to tell if it is ripe is by gently squeezing it.

Leave your avocado with an acidic fruit


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Juices from acidic fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes slow down the oxidation process. Leaving your avocado in an air-tight container or dish with one of these will make it last longer.

Leave the pit in


Photo by Samantha Thayer

By leaving the avocado seed in, the amount of surface area that can become oxidized goes down. Sometimes, less is more. However, you should still cover up your avocado with plastic wrap or put it in an air-tight container to reduce the amount of air that can get to it.