Let’s face it, we are all in the habit of walking through the doors after a trip to the grocery store and throwing half the food purchased into the fridge because we think that food will last longer when we store them in there. Or, you know, it could be because of the sheer laziness we feel after a grueling trip to the grocery store. Either way, we are all guilty of it!
However, we fail to actually find out if the refrigeration process actually does more harm than good for certain types of foods. Sure, it’ll be better preserved and its shelf life lengthened, but at what cost?
When placed in the fridge, olive oil tends to condense and harden into a more gel-like form rather than stay in its usual liquid form. So, the next time you need to use the oil that you just took out of the fridge, you might end up waiting for quite a while to return to its natural state. Instead, you’d be better of putting it in a cool, dry place.
Bananas should never be refrigerated! They retain their nutrients much better when placed in room temperature. Putting them in the fridge will cause their ripening process to slow down. The riper the banana, the richer they are in nutrients. Even the black spots that appear on the banana are actually good for you, as they also contain minerals and vitamins essential to your body’s immune system. Putting bananas in the fridge will only slow this process and you won’t be getting the full potential of benefits when you eat them.
Potatoes are best stored in a clean, dry place, out of the plastic or paper packaging that they come in, unwashed and kept in a well-ventilated cardboard box, as recommended by the Potato Growers of Alberta. This is because the ice-cold climate of the refrigerator can cause the speeding up of the process of the starch in potatoes turning into sugar, and in turn mess with their colour, texture and freshness.
The National Onion Association in the U.S recommends that unpeeled onions be stored in room temperature out of plastic bags. This is because onions need ‘room to breathe’, so to speak. The air exposure will ensure that onions have the maximum shelf life possible. On the other hand, peeled onions must be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
Unripe avocados must never be put in the refrigerator because, much like many other fruit, the cool temperature of the fridge will deter the ripening process. Storing them in room temperature is the best option for them. However, they must only be stored in the refrigerator if you do not intend to use them immediately once they ripen.