Storing your food – from fresh produce to sauces, condiments, and dressings – is pretty simple and straightforward. Perishable items go inside your refrigerator, and everything else can safely sit on a shelf in your pantry. After all, if certain foods sit out on your countertop or table, they’ll go bad very quickly. Or so you might think, at least.
Deciding where to place your groceries might seem easy enough, but it’s actually a bit more complex than many people expect. In fact, the way you’ve been storing your food for years and years might be completely wrong. And while your refrigerator is likely home to plenty of food products, it isn’t necessarily the best place to store everything. The cold temperatures and dark environment inside your fridge could case certain foods to become inedible much faster.
From fruits and vegetables to sweets and salad dressings, the foods you’re storing inside your refrigerator might be completely wrong. If you’re wondering whether or not you’ve been storing foods properly in your refrigerator, these are the items you need to think twice about.
Apples are a pretty hardy fruit – which is exactly why you don’t want to put them in the refrigerator. Apples can last a full week, or possibly even two weeks, when left out on at room temperature.
However, as soon as you put apples in the cold temperatures of your refrigerator, they begin to worsen. They can get mealy within a day or two of being inside the fridge, and they’ll ripen more quickly. When apples are able to ripen at room temperature, their enzymes become more active and the apples themselves are tastier and more nutritious.
Even worse, apples release certain natural gases as they ripen. And those gases will cause other produce in your refrigerator to ripen and go bad faster. Locking apples inside the fridge with other fruits and vegetables will essentially cause more food to spoil.
Basil is a pretty temperamental herb. As soon as it’s picked, basil can begin to go bad, getting limp and turning black. However, if you’re choosing to store your fresh basil inside the fridge, you’re forcing it to spoil far faster.
Fresh basil and basil cuttings shouldn’t be stored in a refrigerator. Because the inside of your fridge is both dark and chilly, basil will immediately begin to wilt. When basil is stored at any temperature under 40 degrees, it will turn black and become unusable.
This herb needs sunlight to stay as fresh as possible. You’re better off storing your basil in a cup filled with fresh water on a sunny windowsill.