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15 Foods People Are Storing Wrong (And It’s Ruining the Taste)

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Improper food storage is a common oversight that can lead to food spoilage, waste, and even health risks. Proper food storage techniques are essential for preserving freshness, flavor, and nutritional value, as well as minimizing waste and ensuring food safety.

1. Berries

Berries
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Consider the delicious, plump berries you purchase at the store. Sticking them in the damp fridge speeds up mold growth. Instead, let them breathe! Store unwashed berries in a colander or open container on the counter. Wash only right before eating.

2. Herbs

Herbs and spices for cooking on dark background
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Fresh herbs like basil or cilantro wilt quickly in a glass of water. It’s as if they are suffocating! Store them like flowers. Place the stems in a jar with a tiny bit of water, then cover loosely with a plastic bag. Pop it in the fridge, but not the crisper drawer (too cold!).

3. Avocados

Avocados
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Unripe avocados need to ripen at room temperature, not the fridge’s cold embrace. That’s where the flavor develops! Once ripe, slow down browning by storing them cut-side down in the fridge with a lemon wedge or plastic wrap.

4. Tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes
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Fridge temperatures stifle a tomato’s natural sweetness. Store them at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. This allows them to maintain their vibrant flavor and juicy texture.

5. Bread

Stale Bread
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Bread dries out faster on the counter than a forgotten promise. But resist the urge to cram it in the fridge! The cold air makes bread stale quicker. Opt for a cool, dry place like a pantry or a breadbox.

6. Stone Fruits

Stone Fruits 
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Peaches, nectarines, and plums continue to ripen after picking. Sticking them in the fridge halts that process. Leave them on the counter until perfectly ripe, then move them to the fridge to extend their shelf life.

7. Garlic & Onions

Onions  
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These pungent pals don’t like sharing a space. Storing them together speeds up spoilage. Keep garlic in a cool, dark cupboard, and onions in a well-ventilated mesh bag in a pantry.

8. Coffee

Coffee Beans 
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Coffee absorbs odors like a kitchen sponge. Don’t leave it open on the counter! Store whole beans in an airtight container at room temperature. Pre-ground coffee loses its flavor more quickly, so buy smaller amounts or grind it yourself as needed.

9. Apples

Mushy Apples
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Apples are sensitive to ethylene gas, released by ripening fruits. Don’t store them next to bananas, avocados, or melons! Instead, keep them in the crisper drawer with other ethylene-insensitive buddies like grapes or berries.

10. Leafy Greens

Leafy Green
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Bagged spinach or kale wilts are quickly trapped in plastic. Transfer them to a container lined with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. This keeps them crisp and prevents them from turning slimy.

11. Cheese

Do Vegetarians Eat Cheese
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Cheese suffocates in plastic wrap, leading to a loss of flavor and texture. Instead, choose breathable storage. Wrap cheese loosely in parchment paper or store it in a cheese drawer with adjustable humidity.

12. Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes

Potatoes
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While both potatoes and sweet potatoes need a cool, dark space, avoid the fridge. Cold temperatures turn their starches to sugar, making them unpleasantly sweet and prone to discoloration. A well-ventilated pantry is ideal.

13. Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and Seeds 
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Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats, but those same fats can turn rancid if exposed to heat, light, and air. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer to maximize freshness and prevent them from going stale.

14. Chopped or Crushed Fruits & Vegetables

Buffet table with fruits and various kind of food
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Pre-cut fruits and veggies lose their vitamins and vibrancy quickly. The larger surface area exposes them to more air, accelerating spoilage. Buy them pre-cut only when necessary, and enjoy them as soon as possible.

15. Spices

Spices at the Spice Market in Istanbul
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Spices lose their potency when exposed to sunlight. Don’t be fooled by those fancy spice jars on the counter!  Store whole spices in airtight containers in a cool, dark cupboard. Ground spices lose flavor faster, so buy them in smaller quantities.

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