I am posting this article as I’ve gotten a few questions over time from friends on which foods I don’t keep in my refrigerator.
Did you know that refrigeration can actually cause certain foods to spoil faster? It’s true. In fact, here are top 10 foods that you’ll never find in my refrigerator (mostly because I store them somewhere else, either counter or in my pantry):
1. Bananas. Storing bananas in the refrigerator can actually disrupt the ripening process. In fact, once refrigerated, a banana may never be able to resume the ripening process even if returned to room temperature.
2. Tomatoes. Ever had a really amazing tomato right out of the fridge? Me either. Tomatoes actually lose their flavor and become mushy when refrigerated.
3. Apples. Same as above, apples lose their texture and flavor when refrigerated. Instead, place an apple in the fridge about 30 mins before eating if you prefer your apples cold.
4. Potatoes. When exposed to cold temperatures, starches found in potatoes will turn to sugar, disrupting their flavor and texture, not to mention increasing their sugar content. Instead of putting potatoes in the fridge, store them in a paper bag in your pantry. Paper bags work better than plastic because they’re more breathable and the potato won’t rot as fast.
5. Avocados. Much like bananas, refrigeration shuts down an avocado’s ripening enzymes. So if you want avocados to ripen, definitely don’t put them in the refrigerator. However, if you’ve bought an already-ripe avocado that you don’t want to use right away, that can go in the fridge.
6. Onions. If you put onions in the fridge, the moisture will eventually turn them soft and moldy. Keep them in a cool, dry place like your pantry. Just keep in mind to keep your onions separate from your potatoes; when stored together, both deteriorate faster.
7. Honey. Putting honey into the fridge will increase the speed of the sugar crystallization which will give you a hard time to scoop out.
8. Garlic. Garlic likes to go off pretty quickly in the fridge, and and it may also get rubbery and moldy. You should instead keep garlic in a cool, dry place.
9. Coffee. Contrary to popular belief, it is important not to refrigerate or freeze your daily supply of coffee because contact with moisture will cause it to deteriorate. Instead, store coffee in air-tight glass or ceramic containers and keep it in a cool, dry place.
10. Fresh herbs. Unless you wrap them up tightly or put them in an air-tight container, you shouldn’t refrigerate your herbs. Fresh herbs are like coffee in that they love to absorb smells around them, making them impossible to return to the original flavor. They also like to lose flavor and go dry in the fridge quickly, so unless you plan to wrap them up, it’s wise to keep them outside in the open and away from strong odors.
We as individuals can implement small changes that make a big difference in the amount of food we throw away each year.
Stay healthy and be happy!