As more people moved into cities and further away from food sources, household refrigerators became a necessity. So in 1834, the world got its first working vapor-compression refrigeration system. The first commercial ice-making machine was invented in 1854. And in 1913, refrigerators for home use were introduced.
But as we learned how to preserve our resources more efficiently, we got more and more creative with it, too. So when Reddit user Monk_Never_Dies asked everyone on the platform, “What is something commonly refrigerated, [but] actually doesn’t need to be?” the replies came flying in. Here are some of the most popular ones.
People who put honey in the fridge should be charged as criminals
Nutella in the fridge should be a major felony. Who tf wants rock hard Nutella?
Tomatoes. They’ll stay edible longer in the fridge, but they’ll instantly lose all their flavor when chilled.
My mother grew up relatively poor and so has it ingrained to never risk wasting food. She’ll always refrigerate tomatoes (and even bananas!) despite my attempts to convince her otherwise.
Bread. We put it in the fridge bc my precious little douche bags (cats) like to take chomps out of the bag.
I leave avocados out until they’re the perfect ripeness, then I put them in the fridge and they last ages in the perfect state
Peanut butter. Why people do it, I don’t know.
Pickles, but they’re much better if they are.
I was raised in the South, and my mother (born in 1924) was kind of obsessed with the idea that mayonnaise left out of the refrigerator would “turn” and grow a bunch of salmonella. We were repeatedly cautioned to be sure to return the mayonnaise jar to the fridge immediately. (When Mom was a girl, mayonnaise was homemade out of raw egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cooking oil.)
Then I took a food safety course (I was an RN and got assigned to be the safety inspector at my hospital) and to my great surprise the county food safety instructor told us that unrefrigerated commercial mayonnaise only very rarely was ever a problem.
I still don’t trust it though. (My mama never steered me wrong, I don’t care *what* the county food safety guy says.)
Onions or potatoes. Honestly most produce doesn’t necessarily need to go in the fridge but it does help it last longer
Eggs – in the US you have to refrigerate eggs. You don’t always in Europe.
When I got married my wife showed me that butter can just sit there right on the counter, even right next to the stove, forever. What is this conspiracy to make people think butter needs to be refrigerated? Is it by the margarine makers to sell their stuff as a softer alternative to butter?
In the refrigerator, Grandma’s molasses turns to “sludge.”
Ketchup but I like mine cold
Growing up it was always in the fridge. When my husband and I met he questioned me on it. I had no idea it wasn’t needed.
Keeping onions in the fridge greatly reduces tears when cutting onions
Hot sauce. All the restaurants leave it out but I feel like most people stick it in the fridge.
Strawberries go bad much faster once refrigerated. Grocery stores greatly reduce shelf life by refrigerating them before you even get the chance to buy the darn berries
Pepto Bismol. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated but it tastes just awful if it isn’t.
Pineapples, my mom tried to refrigerate a whole pineapple once and i had to lecture her about how you are supposed to leave them out
Most cheeses are fine to be left out – you just cut away any moldy/dried-out bits, and you’re good to go. NOTE: this does not apply to intentionally moldy cheeses like blues and Gorgonzola, or softer cheese like Brie. It’s for hard cheeses only (Parmesan, cheddar, etc.), which can still last longer when refrigerated too
I don’t know if its commonly refrigerated but I do remember getting in an argument with my college roommate about needing to refrigerate jelly/jam.
You don’t. It’ll last a long long long time in the pantry.
Orange juice. I found out they don’t refrigerate it over in France. That freaked me out.