14 Foods We Often Store Incorrectly

We are used to storing everything in our fridges: fruits, vegetables, sweets, breads. Some people also keep sauces, marinades, and cans in their fridges, just in case. But often, while storing foods like this might extend their shelf life, it can actually be harmful for the products.

We at Bright Side have found out how different foods should be stored. And we have prepared a small list for you.

Things that should be stored in a cupboard and hidden from sunlight:

  • Bread is best kept in a firmly closed bread box with a little bit of salt that will protect it from the mold. If you leave a loaf of bread in the supermarket bag, it will stay soft, but there is a huge chance that it will be covered in mold in a couple of days. Plastic bags don’t let bread “breathe” and they create a high humidity that fungi really love. However, keeping bread in the fridge is also not the best idea because, at lower temperatures, water evaporates significantly faster and so the bread will become stale very quickly.

    By the way, if you need to save bread for a long time, you can put it in the freezer. It will stay fresh for 4-6 months.
  • Chocolate is easy to store. It is best kept in a cold, dark place. And you shouldn’t put it in the fridge. The temperature difference will lead to the appearance of some condensed water on the surface that turns into a white plaque. It doesn’t really affect the taste, but it makes the chocolate look very unattractive.
  • It is believed that honey doesn’t have a certain shelf life. It can almost be stored forever. The most important thing is to store it correctly. You should keep honey in a cold, dark place, but not the fridge. In the fridge, it may crystallize and lose some of its good properties.
  • Olive oil should be stored at room temperature, far from direct sunlight. But don’t put it inside your fridge: low temperatures lead to the formation of white pieces in the oil — this is condensed water.
  • In order to keep onions and garlic fresh for a long time, they are best placed in a cold dry place, for example, a small box in the cupboard. If you have a lot of onions, you can tie them to one another and keep them hanging.
    In the fridge, onions and garlic will go bad way faster, mostly because they will become covered in mold.

Things that can be kept on a kitchen shelf or on a table:

  • Oranges and other citrus fruits can be stored right on the kitchen table. They won’t go bad any time soon. Don’t use the fridge for this — the low temperatures will make the fruit less tasty and less beneficial for your health.
  • Storing avocados is a difficult task. If the fruit is ripe, you can keep it in the fridge as the low temperatures will save it from going bad. But if the fruit is not fully ripe yet, you shouldn’t keep it in the fridge because the cold will slow down the ripening process.
  • Cucumbers may be stored in the fridge, but only for several days. The low temperature will make cucumbers rot very fast. In order to keep the vegetable fresh for as long as possible, you should keep it outside the fridge.
  • Eggplant just cannot withstand low temperatures. In the fridge, these vegetables will become soft and will lose all their good qualities very quickly. They are better kept at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
  • Even if you really want to put tomatoes into the fridge, don’t — this will make them lose their natural flavor and make them tasteless. The cold air slows down the natural ripening process of tomatoes and destroys the thin membranes inside of them. This is what makes tomatoes less juicy. They should be stored at room temperature in a well-ventilated basket or box.

Things that are best stored in the fridge:

  • Housewives often argue about the best place to store eggs. Some say that they can only stay fresh in the fridge and others say that they should be stored at room temperature. But both groups agree: they should not be kept on the fridge door because the temperature difference actually reduces the eggs’ shelf life significantly. And experts don’t recommend removing the eggs from the containers they are sold in, in order to keep them fresh for a longer time.
  • Flour is seemingly easy to store but, in fact, it isn’t. High humidity and high temperatures may lead to the appearance of bugs and mold in flour and the product itself will become impossible to eat. The best option is a closed jar kept in the fridge or in the cupboard. The temperature should be between 50 and 65°F.
  • Despite the fact that many of us store nuts at room temperature, this is not the best option. Some of them (for example, almonds and walnuts) can only be stored for 1-2 weeks in warm temperatures and will go bad after that.
    It is better to protect nuts from sunlight, humidity, and high temperatures. They should be kept in the fridge. This way, they can be stored for up to 9 months.
  • Celery, unlike its cousin parsley, should be stored in the fridge. But don’t wrap it in plastic film — it will make it rot. However, you can use aluminum foil.

What food storage secrets do you know about? Share them with other readers!

Alena Tsarkova for Bright Side
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