For example, which products from the following list—coffee, mustard, peanut butter, pills, ketchup, jam, bananas, tomatoes, cheddar, potatoes, pickles, camera film, vinegar, onions, butter, liquor, grapefruit and bread—require refrigeration? Technically, none. But how many of these are languishing in your fridge (or mine) at this very moment? Probably at least a couple, right?
I have started changing habits. I no longer keep butter in the fridge, and love how spreadable it is. I’ve also taken the cheese and fruit out, and find they have a lot more flavor eaten at room temperature. Eggs have escaped their cold little plastic cage, and I really like looking at my vegetables—plus, I use them up more quickly that way. If anything, I need more freezer space, to preserve seasonal gluts before I figure out how to use them up. (I wonder what the carbon-footprint police have to say about that?)
Anyway—now I can actually see what’s in my fridge, and use it up before my Tupperware starts breeding microcosms of mold. Come summer, some of these—the cheese, for instance—may make the quick U-turn back into the icebox, but for now, my redistribution feels just like spring cleaning.
Story by Nathalie Jordi. This article originally appeared in "Plenty" in March 2008.