“Tomatoes have no place in the fridge,” “Eggs and milk stay in the fridge door,” ” Yogurt and sour cream are supposed to go in the highest cabinet,” and “lemons in bananas should stay in the vegetable crisper”. This is advice you have already heard from your friends and family when they look in your fridge. But is there any truth in this?
How should we store our groceries, anyway?
Lesson number one: temperature education. Based on the physics of heat distribution, it should be coldest in the lowest cabinet because the cold air condenses and sinks. The coldest area is the shelf above the bottom vegetable crisper. This area is about 37 degrees. That means this area is perfect for fresh meat and fish products. The best way to store these products is in air-tight containers.
The middle shelf is about 41 degrees, which is perfect to store sour cream, yogurt, heavy cream, and other milk products. Avoid keeping the milk products in the fridge door, as temperature fluctuations can cause the milk to go bad faster.
In the top shelf, store products that are already cooked or do not need to be cooked at all. These are, for example, leftovers, pickled products, marmalades or jams, and desserts. The temperature at the top shelf is about the same as the fridge door, 46 to 51 degrees.
In the side door, you should store, from top to bottom: eggs and butter, sauces and spreads, and beverages.
The vegetable crisper is for vegetables, of course, as the perfect temperature in the crisper (46-51 degrees) keeps the vegetables crisp.
All tropical fruits like pineapples, mangos, lemons, oranges, and bananas should stay outside the fridge. Bananas specifically lose their aroma and discolor in the fridge (in addition to making the rest of your fridge smell like bananas)! Potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes also should not go in the fridge. The cool temperatures make them lose their aroma.
Depending on the season, you should adjust your refrigerator temperature 2-7 degrees. A bit cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Overall, you should just buy the food you need, buy local and try to stick to a grocery list to avoid impulsive buys and food waste.