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18 Foods You Don’t Need to Refrigerate

A lot of the ingredients we use to prepare food is stored in the refrigerator, and once we are done eating, the leftovers go back into there as well. We’re convinced that the chilling power of the fridge will help to keep our food nice and fresh, and by and large, this is true. However, there are some common (and uncommon) refrigerated foods that do not need to be. In fact, some of the items on this list would be better off out of the cold.

A fridge works by lowering the overall temperature of a food, making it more difficult for harmful, illness-causing bacteria to grow. This is what allows food to stay fresher longer. When food ‘spoils’, that just means that the level of bacteria has grown to the point that the food itself is harmful for humans to consume. However, there are helpful bacteria, as well as positive chemical processes that are likewise diminished by refrigeration. In the case of these foods, to get the full benefit, it’s better not to refrigerate them.

18. Basil

Basil

You might look at basil and see a delicate little plant; this is fairly true. It’s important to think of fresh basil more like a flower than a food. What does this mean? Well, most plants, when exposed to high levels of cold, tend to wilt. Basil is no exception here, which makes putting fresh basil into the fridge a very bad idea. Furthermore, like coffee, it has a tendency to pick up flavors and smells from the food around it. Keep fresh basil in fresh water on the counter. Dried/powdered basil can be stored safely in your spice cabinet.

17. Butter

Butter

Butter is another one of those foods you tend to see in the fridge a lot; unlike the products listed here, it is even sold refrigerated. This may lead you to believe that it needs refrigeration for freshness. However, butter is found under refrigeration in stores only because of its low melting point. Once home, it’s just fine to keep it on the counter or the kitchen table. Just get a butter dish with a lid to keep pests away. One advantage of keeping butter out is that it’s easy to spread, instead of having to heat it up first.