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It’s almost always pretty much the same. Post grocery store or farmers market, we toss the majority of our haul into the fridge, never thinking twice about the repercussions or effect it will have on the produce. However, not everything actually goes into the fridge! We rounded up culinary staples that should NEVER go into the fridge, plus a few that actually should. Take a look!

[Updated June 13, 2017]

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Foods That Should Never Go Into The Fridge:

Oils

When it comes to storing olive oil, think dark and dry. Avoid storing bottles of olive oil near the stove – as tempting as it may be to keep it close by! While it’s okay to refrigerate olive oil, it can solidify at colder temperatures. If you’re in the habit of using olive oil daily, it’s completely okay to keep it out on the counter or in a cabinet. 

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Bananas

Keeping bananas away from the cold is a good rule of thumb, especially if they’re not yet ripe. Exposing unripened bananas to the cold causes damage to the cell membrane of the skin, which results in the browned skin. Keep bananas outside of the fridge until they start to brown, at that point, it’s safe to keep them in the fridge to pause the growing process. 

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Tomatoes

Refrigerating tomatoes has been a hot topic of debate with polarizing views that skew from storing it at room temperature to keeping them in the crisper. Keep in mind that the refrigerator acts as a pausing mechanism for ripening fruits, so you don’t want to put underripe tomatoes into the fridge immediately. In the summer, when tomatoes are in season and you’ve got them fresh from the market, it’s safe to keep them at room temperature for a few days. Alternatively, you may keep the more ripe variety in the fridge, just allow them to warm up a bit before consumption. 

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Coffee

Coffee beans have the ability to pick up the scents that surround them. Therefore, storing coffee in the fridge can have a similar effect to that of placing an open box of baking soda inside. No one wants fridge-flavored coffee beans. The best practice is to store beans in an airtight container, set on the counter. 

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Onions & Garlic

Keeping onions and garlic in a cool and dry space is key for prolonging their shelf life. While storing them in the fridge can cause them to loose their crisp exterior – due to dehydration – it is a good alternative to storing them outside in humidity. 

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Berries

Store summer berries in the refrigerator immediately after bringing them home. Since washing them can increase the likelihood of mold growth, wait until before consumption to rinse them clean!

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Green (Not Ripe) Avocados

Avoid storing fresh, unripe avocados in the refrigerator as this will thwart their growing process. 

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Honey

Aside from spoiling the flavor of the honey, refrigerating it can inflict damage to the molecular make of the honey, degrading the product. Store honey in a cool, dry place away from heat.

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Whole Melons

Keep uncut melons such as watermelon and cantaloupe at room temperature to preserve their natural flavor and sweetness.

Store sliced melons covered, in the fridge.

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Basil

Keeping basil in the fridge can run the risk of the leaves wilting and loosing their smell and flavor. Purchase basil in plant form and keep the root submerged in water, and set on the counter. 

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Foods You Should Be Refrigerating 

Browned (Ripe) Avocados

Post purchase, if you find that your avocados have quickly browned, store them in the fridge to halt the ripening process!

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Potatoes

Because potatoes thrive in lower temperatures, storing them in the fridge is key. If you have access to a cellar where temperatures can hover around 50-degrees F, you may store potatoes there as well. 
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Peanut Butter 

While the standard jar of peanut butter can be kept in the pantry or cabinet, the organic and natural variety keeps well in the refrigerator due to the separation of the natural oils of the spread. 

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Nuts

We’re used to the idea of the storing nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews in the pantry, as they tend to keep fresh for quite a long while. But due to the natural oils of the nuts, they can spoil if kept out for long periods of time. Place nuts in air tight containers and store in the refrigerator for a longer shelf life. 

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Maple Syrup

Cold maple syrup may not sound like the most appetizing offering but due to its short shelf life, it definitely helps to refrigerate it. 

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Corn

Keep corn in the refrigerator, unshucked, until ready for use. For best results, consume corn as close to its purchase date as possible!

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