By Sarah Lipoff
You just hit the grocery store, and your fridge is overflowing. But do all those things actually belong in the refrigerator? The thing is, most fresh fruits and vegetables can survive without refrigeration — along with some other interesting foods, too.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, there are two types of bacteria that cause problems. Pathogenic bacteria leads to food-borne illnesses, and spoilage bacteria changes the way foods look, smell, and taste. When food develops dangerous levels of pathogenic bacteria, it could look, smell, and taste normal while still being dangerous. But when spoilage occurs, something can taste gross but won’t necessarily make you sick. Confusing, right? Here’s a list of 31 items that will do just fine outside the fridge.
1. Potatoes: When too cold, starches found in potatoes turn to sugar, yielding an off flavor. Keep potatoes stored in a paper bag in a cool, dark cupboard or drawer. Same goes for sweet potatoes.
2. Honey: Your luscious honey will turn to crystallized gunk if it is stored in the fridge. Store it at room temperature and out of direct sunlight for happy honey.
3. Tomatoes: Tomatoes actually start losing their flavor and become quite mushy if left in the fridge. Leave on the counter and use when they have a slight give to the outside skin.
4. Apples: Apples, just like tomatoes, start to loose flavor and texture after spending time in the fridge. Leave them on the counter, and toss them in the fridge for 30 minutes prior to eating if you want a crisp bite.
5. Onions: The best place for onions is in a paper bag in a cool, dark cabinet or drawer. If stored in the fridge, they soften and impart an oniony scent on nearby foods. Continue reading