Whilst we like to treat the fridge as a safe-haven for all things food and drink, there are, in fact, foods you should not put in the fridge. Which ones are you guilty of?
Putting these foods into the fridge won’t cause you any harm; however, it can certainly cause a nuisance for your palate as textures and tastes become ruined. To avoid removing the taste from your food, here are some foods you shouldn’t put into the fridge.
I’m not sure if this is classified as a food so much as a food ingredient, but nonetheless, putting oils into the fridge tends to turn them into a stodgy, almost butter-spread-like consistency. This is more common with olive and coconut oils, which tend to solidify at cooler temperatures and take a long time to become liquid again. (Hint: If you do make this mistake, put the oil into the microwave for a quick burst to get the consistency back).
In its ground or bean form, coffee should never be stored within the realms of your fridge. The trouble with coffee is that’s practically a sponge with smells around it, so if placed in the fridge, the coffee will begin to absorb any smell that’s in your fridge and the whole batch will never go back to it’s original arabica flavor.
Another problem is that with the instant change of temperature, moisture begins to come off the coffee, which basically de-saturates the flavor right out of the bean.
The biggest problem with storing tomatoes in the fridge is that the cold temperature begins to play havoc with the texture and makes the tomato mealy. Ever had a salad with that tomato that tasted mushy and practically had ice crystals inside it? Chances are those tomatoes have been in cold storage for a while.
Much like tomatoes, onions tend to become incredibly mushy or moldy if left in the fridge for too long. If the onion has been cut, then the layers begin the process of drying up even if you do wrap it up tightly. Also, cut onions tend to engulf the location it’s currently in with its smell, which is why a lot of wooden chopping boards make everything taste like onion after a while.
The cold temperature generally starts to break down the starch within potatoes; therefore, refrigerating it will leave you with a sweet or gritty potato, which rarely tastes good at this stage no matter what you do with it.
Whether or not you refrigerate bananas actually comes down to what sort of ripeness you like with bananas, since the cold temperature within the fridge it tends to slow down the ripening process. Therefore, placing a green banana in your fridge will mean that it’ll pretty much stay green for an incredibly long time.
On the other hand, if you have ripe bananas that are ready to be eaten, but no plans to do so, now is the time to put them in your fridge. The skin may turn black or brown, but the fruit inside will remain perfect.
Find a 1000 year old jar of honey, and it’ll be as fresh as the day it was put into that jar–honey a naturally preserved food. Putting honey into the fridge will increase the speed of the sugar crystallization which turns it into an almost dough-like form, making for a hard time to scoop out.
Garlic likes to go off pretty quickly in the fridge, it’ll grow mold and go rubbery-soft when put into the fridge. What makes it worse is that the look on the outside rarely changes, so you’ll never be able to tell until you decide to slice some up to fry up with your chili and prawns.
It’s mostly advised to store any melon fruit in the fridge once it’s been cut open; however, until then, you should leave the fruit outside the fridge. There has been research to show that keeping melon out in room temperature will actually help with keeping the antioxidant levels intact.
A lot of the times when you buy an avocado from the store, it’ll be solid, almost stone-hard; therefore, it’ll need a considerable amount of time to ripen properly and taste great! Putting the avocado in the fridge will just completely stop it from ripening–much like the banana, it practically freezes in time.
Breads don’t tend to do that well being stored in the fridge. The only time you should refrigerate bread is when it is in sandwich form, as it likes to go incredibly tough and chewy in the cold temperature. The cold temperature also promotes the bread to become stale far more quickly.
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.
Whilst this whole article screams of #firstworldproblems we are all globally responsible for 4 billion tons worth of food wastage per year–food that could have been eaten. If the US cut food wastage by just 5%, that will be enough to feed 4,000,000 Americans. Taking small precautionary measures to understand food storage and the best practices will not only cut down on waste, but it will also increase the amount of people being fed too.