If you are wanting to keep your food fresh, is the first thing that you think of is to put those items in the refrigerator? While it is a great place to keep dairy and meat items, along with the majority of your condiments, what about those 'other items?'

The other items are ones that you think you have to keep cold, but really you don't, and in most cases cooling them down will change their nutritional level.

What are items that you need to keep out of the fridge?

Tomatoes
Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash
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One of the items that people (me included) can waffle back and forth about whether or not it gets stored in the fridge, is tomatoes. The rule of thumb? Leave them on the counter as long as you can. If your home is very warm, or the tomatoes are starting to get mushy, but you want to use them up in the next few days, then go ahead and put them in the fridge. If that happens, use them within 48 hours.

Where do you keep your potatoes?

Photo by Lars Blankers on Unsplash
Photo by Lars Blankers on Unsplash
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Potatoes in the fridge? Maybe once they are cooked and are "left-overs" they can go in the fridge, otherwise leave them on the counter at room temperature. They will cook up better, and have better flavor.

Where do you keep your onions?

Freshly dug onion bulbs on the ground
rootstocks
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If we are only talking about regular onions, (white, yellow, Vidalia, and red) then they can stay pretty much in the same location that you keep your potatoes (and garlic heads). If you are talking about your green onions, or scallions, then those will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. 

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Where do you keep your cucumbers?

Photo by Harshal S. Hirve on Unsplash
Photo by Harshal S. Hirve on Unsplash
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Cucumbers should be on the counter in a cool place and used within two or three days of purchase. Putting them in the fridge, makes them floppy and they will start to absorb the odors of your fridge because they have such a high-water content. 

Where do you keep your whole melons?

Photo by Olga Finn on Unsplash
Photo by Olga Finn on Unsplash
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I specifically am speaking to whole melons, because once you cut them you will need to refrigerate them. However whole melons will retain their nutrients and flavor (even continue to ripen a bit) if they are left at room temperature until you want to eat them. You should eat them within three to four days of purchase, depending on ripeness when you bought them. The riper they are the sooner you will want to eat them.

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