As a child, I was always bemused by people who kept jars of jam, Nutella and peanut butter in the fridge. In my home, we stored them in the cupboard, along with ketchup, BBQ sauce, and mayonnaise. I could never understand why people insisted it was so important to keep certain things in a colder climate, when I'd been happily eating un-refrigerated jam on my toast every morning for breakfast and never fallen sick.
When I moved out of my parent's home, I moved into a flat with an Australian housemate who insisted on storing his bread in the fridge. To me this was again, bemusing. In addition, he also kept his eggs, coffee and potatoes in the fridge.
Intrigued by the differing opinions on food storage, I thought I would investigate to see exactly what those who have studied nutrition believe is best. Here is what I found...
You should only store fruit in the refrigerator once it is ripe, because the cold temperatures of a fridge will stall a piece of fruit's ripening process.
Once you remove a piece of fruit from the fridge, it will likely soil very quickly. So you need to pick the perfect time.
Fruits such as bananas do better when kept in a fruit bowl or pantry, the same goes for apples and oranges, but the latter two may last longer if stored in a chilled climate. Grapes, figs and berries preserve much better when stored in the fridge.
I have a friend who stores all of her chocolate in the fridge, and I have to be honest, a slightly icy Snickers bar is a truly revolutionary treat.
However, according to New Zealand based chocolate expert, Luke Owen Smith, there is no reason to store chocolate in the fridge. He claims chocolate stored in the fridge becomes "dull" and doesn't "release the flavors" that it should do.
He recommends that chocolate should be stored in a "cool, dry, dark place" as cold temperatures can ruin a chocolate bar just as much as hot temperatures can.
Of course, this is all assuming that your chocolate has enough time to be stored. Mine is usually eaten swiftly after it has been purchased!
Storing bread in the fridge does not actually keep it fresh for longer, instead, it just dries it out.
The better option is to freeze a sliced loaf and just remove a slice shortly before you plan on eating it.
Potatoes lose their flavor when stored in a fridge and won't taste anywhere near as delicious as those kept in a cool, dark place. The same should apply for onions.
Once they have started to ripen, there is only one place to keep tomatoes and that is in the fridge. However, prior to ripening, tomatoes should be kept as far away from the fridge as possible!
If you are rather partial to fresh coffee, the chances are you store yours in the fridge. However, this is counter-productive as it takes some of the coffee's rich flavor away. Instead, you should keep them in an airtight container in a cupboard.
With regard to spreads, you should always check the label first. Why? Because some spreads are already well-preserved and thus it's unnecessary to refrigerate them. Plus, the high sugar content in a lot of preserves means they'll be just fine out of the fridge.
A vast majority of the population store oils in a cupboard, but there are those that think they last longer when refridgerated.
However, storing oils in the fridge can have detrimental effects as light exposure can decrease an oil's antioxidant activity.
Butter does tend to last longer when kept in the fridge. However, it is also perfectly acceptable to keep it out in room temperature due to the way in which butter is pasteurized. Butter is also mostly compromised of fat, which makes it less susceptible to bacteria.
Garlic is best stored in a cupboard or pantry prior to peeling, once peeled however, it is best kept in the fridge as it'll maintain its flavor better.
11. Nail Polish
It is believed by some that storing nail polish in the fridge makes it last longer, but in actual fact, it just turns them gloopy and thick in texture. For best results, keep them in a dark drawer away from light.
It is a pure myth that storing batteries at a lower temperature prolongs their charge. They perform best when kept in dry, dark places.