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Tuesday 28 November 2017

Some Foods You Should Never Keep In The Fridge

James Colquhoun writes:
"Often we believe that keeping our food in the fridge is the best way to maintain freshness and longevity. While this is the case for many day-to-day food items, there are several common foods that are far better left out of the refrigerator, both for taste and nutritional value. Cold temperatures can actually accelerate the decomposition process in some foods and cause them to lose their original flavour and vital enzymes. Keeping these items in the fridge won’t cause any serious harm, yet being aware of the most beneficial ways to store your food will help to prosper your own health, as well as help to lower food waste. We are all globally responsible for 4 billion tons worth of food wastage per year. So taking small precautionary measures to understand food storage can have a bigger impact than simply having great tasting tomatoes on hand!

Here are the top ten items that are best left out of your refrigerator.

Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes or Yams
Keeping potatoes in cold temperatures can turn the starch into sugar, which will affect their texture and also cause them to taste sweet once cooked. More importantly, The Food Standards Agency explains that when cooked, these sugars combine with the amino acid asparagine present in the potatoes and produce the cacogenic chemical acrylamide. Potatoes need to be stored somewhere cool and dry in paper or canvas bags. Keep them unwashed and well-ventilated; if you wash potatoes before storing them, the moisture can spark decay. It’s also important to keep your potatoes separated from onions as potatoes give off gas and moisture that can make onions decay.


Cold air prevents tomatoes from ripening and ruins the tomatoes’ taste and consistency. Tomatoes love the heat and dislike the cold, and even once they have been harvested, they still hold their aversion to cold climates. According to Mercola, placing tomatoes in the fridge changes their chemical structure and reduces the amount of volatile compounds in the fruit, which affects their flavour. Stored in temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius breaks the membranes inside the tomato walls, which means you end up with a soft fruit with a mealy texture. They may still be good for cooking, but not the best for eating fresh.
Store tomatoes on the counter at room temperature out of direct sunlight and enjoy when they are ripe.

Tropical Fruits

Fruits like bananas, mangoes, pineapples, and papayas are very sensitive to the cold. Low temperatures weaken their tissue and cancel out the enzymes that allow them to mature, causing them damage on their surface, and a loss of flavour. Instead, these fruits can be kept on the counter until they ripen where they will retain the most nutrients, says the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. When it comes to bananas, placing green bananas in the fridge will halt the ripening process and the fruit will remain green for a very long time. Bananas have no natural defence against the cold in their cell walls. These become ruptured by cold temperatures, causing the fruits’ digestive enzymes to leak out of the cells, which is what causes the banana’s skin to turn completely black. Even when you remove green bananas from the fridge, they will not ripen easily. Bananas are always best left at room temperature. Taking a quick look at melons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that melons lost some of their antioxidant (lycopene and beta-carotene) content when refrigerated. Melons are best stored out of the fridge to maintain their nutritional content.


Avocados don’t start to ripen until after they’re picked from the tree. When you purchase an avocado from the store, it will most likely be hard and solid, and will require a considerable amount of time to ripen properly before being ready to eat. Storing avocados in the fridge will completely stop the ripening process. Store avocados at room temperature until they soften and are ready to eat. If you have a perfectly ripe avocado that you’re not ready to use, storing it in the refrigerator may work to your advantage by prolonging your window of opportunity to use it before it becomes overripe.

Olive Oil

It’s best to keep olive oil in a dark, cool place to prevent any changes in flavour and texture. Cold temperatures will condense and harden the oil, giving it the consistency of butter. To keep your olive oil in a state that is easy to use and maintains its full-bodied, fresh flavour, keep it out of the fridge.


The Canadian Beekeepers’ Association says that honey should be kept in a tightly closed container at room temperature in a dry place. Honey’s acidic pH and sugar content keeps any spoiling microorganisms at bay. Refrigeration can cause crystallization, making it hard to pour or spread. Honey will store in your cupboard for an indefinite period of time as honey is a naturally preserved food and will maintain its freshness for decades.


Much like tomatoes, onions tend to become incredibly mushy or mouldy if left in the fridge for too long. Onions don’t come out of the ground with their protective papery skin. To develop and keep that dry outer layer, they need to be “cured” and kept in a dry environment. Onions also require good air circulation and are best stored away from potatoes, which, as mentioned above, give off gas that will quickly spoil onions. According to the National Onion Association, the only times onions should be kept in the fridge is if they are bought peeled or pre-cut. Onions that have been cut can be kept in a sealed container for up to seven days in the fridge.


Storing garlic in the fridge or in plastic bags will cause it to spoil quickly. The best way to store garlic is to keep it at room temperature in a dry, dark place that has ample air circulation and with little light to avoid the bulbs sprouting. Keeping garlic in the fridge will also leave you with rubbery textured cloves. The changes are not visible to the eye due to the garlic skin; it is only when you remove the skin you will be confronted with discoloration or mould. To be safe, keep your bulbs out of the fridge.

Basil and Aromatic Herbs

Like tomatoes, basil loves the heat, so extended periods of time in a cold environment like a refrigerator will cause it to wilt prematurely. Basil is best stored on your counter and treated as you would fresh-cut flowers. Fresh herbs also love to absorb smells around them, and when in the fridge, they will quickly lose their beautiful natural aroma and original flavour. You can try wrapping them tightly in newspaper or placing them in an airtight container if they must be in the fridge, yet room temperature is always preferable.


In its ground or bean form, coffee should never be stored in the fridge. Coffee very readily and eagerly will absorb any smells around it, so if placed in the fridge, the coffee will begin to absorb different aromas and will never return to its original arabica flavour. The instant change of temperature in a fridge also causes moisture to leach out of the coffee, which de-saturates the flavour right out of the bean. Ground coffee and beans need airtight containers and a cool, dry and dark space to retain their flavour and freshness."

Of course for those readers who live the LCHF / Keto lifestyle not all of these ten foods would appear on your shopping list or menu plans!

If you would like to read more about LCHF why not read our Introduction to low-carb for beginners post here.

All the best Jan


Tom said...

...good to know.

Prunella Pepperpot said...

oooh no, I will have to reorganize my groceries!! Thank you for this valuable information.
Have a wonderful week :)

Out on the prairie said...

It is hard to change the ways of those who are determined to keep things in the fridge. I laughed when I saw this article.

only slightly confused said...

If it\s not refridgerated when you buy it there is no need to keep it cold...however...once cut one must refridgerate.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I knew about most of these except the onions. Thanks for sharing. It is good to know!
Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

Iris Flavia said...

But what do you do when the tomatoes you can buy are always (!) super-ripe? They come in a sealed bag, so you cannot pick the amount needed, either.
ALDI sure does not make it easy for us...

Christine said...

Thanks for this info!

Christine said...

If I knew that about tomatoes I had forgotten thanks!

Blogoratti said...

Great tips and thanks for the information.

William Kendall said...

Of those items in the list my parents had around the house, generally they kept things as you make note of as opposed to in the fridge.

Elephant's Child said...

Nice to know I am getting something right.


Nada de eso he metido en el frigorífico a exepción de los tomates, que en verano cuando alcanzamos la temperatura de 40º o más los he metido para comerlos fresquito en una rica ensalada, también cuando se elabora el plato típico de aquí que es el Salmorejo y que gusta bien fresco.


Martha said...

Good to know! This is very useful information.

Lowcarb team member said...

VENTANA DE FOTO google translation:
None of that I put in the fridge with the exception of tomatoes, when in summer we reach the temperature of 40 º or more I have to put them to eat cool in a rich salad,also when you make the typical dish here that is the Salmorejo and you like it well fresh.


Lisabella Russo said...

This was very interesting, thanks so much for the information.

happyone said...

I never keep any of those mentioned in the refrigerator.

Lois said...

Good information. I knew about most of them.

Sandra Cox said...

Getting up to remove the mango and coffee from the refrig;)

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Jan,

I found this interesting too, as I always keep my tomatoes in the fridge.
Even have a pineapple in there and will go and take it out.
Hope you are having a great week

Bob Bushell said...

That is good to know, thanks Jan.

Phil Slade said...

I think we got eight of of ten there. Failed on tomatoes and bananas because we only shop once aweek.

Carol Blackburn said...

If this was a quiz I'd get a 90% I'm messing up with my onions.......I like them cold because it stops me from tearing up when cutting them, as does running them under cold water. Maybe I need to find a pretty bowl at the antique shop to place them on the kitchen counter. Ha!

Debbie said...

this is a very helpful read!! i did well until the very last one. we don't dink coffee but i use it in recipes and store it in the freezer. whoops!!

Magic Love Crow said...

Very interesting! Taking out the onions, garlic and coffee! LOL!

Conniecrafter said...

I have started keeping my onions from my potatoes which I believe I read from here before :) But I never knew about pineapple, I have always brought it home and put it in the fridge until I cut it up, now I will leave it out.