Where do you put food when you want to preserve it? Your refrigerator, right?
While your fridge works wonders for keeping produce like lettuce and cheese from going bad, there are a few grocery items you never want to keep refrigerated.
Believe it or not, potatoes are “do-not-refrigerate” items.
Wait, what? Don’t potatoes like to be stored in cool places? Yes, cool. Not cold. In fact, according to Potato Goodness, any temperature lower than 50 degrees will prompt the starch in potatoes to convert to sugar. This will cause them to become discolored and sweet tasting when you cook them.
In addition, when you fry a potato that has been in the fridge, the starch that has become sugar combines with amino acid in the potato and creates arcylamide, which has been linked to cancer.
The UK Food Standards Agency website confirms this, stating that potatoes are “the most important food not to keep in the fridge.”
Instead of keeping potatoes in your fridge, Martha Stewart suggests keeping them in a room as close to 45 degrees as possible. This goes for sweet potatoes as well.
While storing them in your cellar is ideal, if you don’t have one, you can also keep them in a dark place like your pantry. Use a paper bag instead of plastic as this will prevent the potatoes from rotting. (I like to buy my potatoes in bulk and keep them in the bag they come with.)
Now you know.
So what else should you not be keeping in the fridge? Turns out there are quite a few groceries you don’t want to leave in the cold.
For example, did you know putting tomatoes in the fridge will cause them to lose their flavor and stop ripening? The cold temperature of your fridge will actually break down the membranes in the fruit’s walls.
Basil will also wilt faster if you put it in the fridge — if you need to store it for a while, you’re better off blanching and freezing it.
Check out the video below to learn what other produce you don’t want to pop in the fridge.