Stocking a Healthy Fridge: Placement Matters

by Thrive Now Nutrition

The average family tosses out $400-$500 dollars worth of  fruit and vegetables a year that have turned the corner on freshness. This is simply due to the fact that things are either hiding in a crowded, stocked fridge or they are not optimally stored. For longer lasting, better tasting food, look at your refrigerator as a micro-climate. There are warm spots and much cooler spots, so get the most bang for your nutritional buck by strategically placing your groceries.

The door has a higher temperature overall. Heat rises to the top of it which begs the question, “Better to store butter – there?”  Wouldn’t a cooler spot in the interior of the fridge extend shelf-life? Try using the designated butter chiller for fresh, hearty herbs. For sensitive fish, meat or dairy, stick to the bottom interior of the refrigerator. Milk can go on the lower part of the door as well, but if you prefer it icy cold, keep it on a lower, interior shelf toward the back.

Leftovers have a perfect home in the center of the fridge, stored in see-through containers within view.

Depending upon the effectiveness of your lower fruit & vegetable crispers, consider the top interior shelf as an alternative prime location for thick-skinned fruit and apples. Be sure to keep apples sealed in a bag as they release a gas which causes everything around them to ripen faster.

Take a moment when stocking the fridge to wash and air dry leafy greens (kale, bok choy, lettuces and collards) and place them in separate plastic bags for easy grab-and-go healthy cooking. This will make it convenient to utilize greens at the height of their nutritional density and optimize shelf -life.

Setting up a grab-and-go fuel station the day you shop, ultimately lines your pockets because you minimize losses. And while you’re at it , slice a cucumber or lemon, Italian parsley or fresh mint – toss it into a pitcher of filtered water and keep chilled in the back interior of your fridge. Let it refresh you each time you return to your personal healthy eating station!