Special Report

10 Fruits and Vegetables You Should Never Put in the Fridge

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1. Bananas

It makes sense that produce from warm climates doesn’t much like the cold. In the case of bananas, the problem is twofold: First, the fruit’s cell walls have no natural defense against the cold, so they break down and start reacting with the banana’s nutrients, turning things black and mushy. Second, if the banana isn’t fully ripened, the cold will stop it from ever getting to that state.

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2. Butternut squash

While this flavorful winter squash should be refrigerated once it’s cut up into pieces, the whole vegetable keeps very well in a cool but not cold place. The humidity in the refrigerator might hasten spoilage. Another reason not to put it in the fridge: It’s big and takes up a lot of room.

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3. Dried beans

Dried beans will keep for years (up to three decades, according to some studies) if stored in well-sealed containers in a cool, dark place. Inside a humid refrigerator, they will absorb water and spoil.

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4. Garlic

Refrigerators that are in regular use are humid places, and the moisture can make garlic go moldy. Also, garlic odors are readily transmitted to other foods and liquids within a closed space. Do you really want garlicky milk or leftover pie?

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5. Leafy herbs

Basil and other leafy herbs, such as cilantro, parsley, or mint, will wilt and/or turn dark faster than usual, and may absorb other food odors. Treat these herbs as if they were flowers, trimming their ends and sticking them in jars of cool water, then set them on a shelf or counter at room temperature.

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