Special Report

10 Fruits and Vegetables You Should Never Put in the Fridge

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6. Melon

Whole melons, like cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon, should be stored at room temperature for the most flavor. USDA studies have shown that they may retain their antioxidants more efficiently if they’re not chilled. They should go into the refrigerator only if they’re cut up.

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7. Onions

According to the National Onion Association, the lack of ventilation in a refrigerator crisper drawer will reduce the shelf life of these essential bulbs. They should never be stored in plastic bags, either. They like a cool, dry, dark place to rest, with plenty of air movement. Only whole peeled or cut-up onions should be refrigerated.

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8. Potatoes

Though like onions spuds should be stashed somewhere cool, dry, and dark (to avoid encouraging them to sprout or develop mold), the refrigerator is the wrong place for them. Cold temperatures break down their starch, converting it to sugar, which makes them disconcertingly sweet and may give them a gritty or grainy texture.

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9. Sweet potatoes

When sweet potatoes are refrigerated, their cell structure breaks down and they remain hard in the middle, and harder to cook. They much prefer cool room temperature, away from the light.

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10. Tomatoes

Volatile compounds that help give tomatoes their attractively green and grassy character are broken down at temperatures below 39ºF (35ºF is considered the ideal refrigerator temperature), and storing them below 50ºF may lead to premature softening and scar the surface.

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