Skip links

Fresh produce in your fridge: Out of sight, out of mind

Every refrigerator has one. You know what I’m talking about. Those drawers where you put all your produce, with good intentions.

You go to the grocery store and see all that fantastic looking fresh produce, and purchase it with good intentions to serve it during the week. Then you end up being exhausted at the end of the day, and forget to use up what you bought.

So those cucumbers, cilantro, and grapes turn to mush. This is why I call the refrigerator vegetable drawer the “rotting drawer.”

I was at a cocktail party last week and I lamented about my rotting drawer. My new friend Elliot chuckled.

Elliot is a lot like my sister, Jackie. (She says if she could have chosen a different career, she would have been a research librarian, as she loves searching for information on the Internet.)

He apparently went home and researched a scientific study he recalled seeing years ago that reminded him of my rotting drawer story.

You can find the summary here. The goal of the study was to see if people consumed more candy if it was placed near them, like in a candy dish on their desk. Well, obviously, not many of us can abstain from snacking on nearby chocolate. (At least I can’t.)

The bottom line of the study was that the proximity and visibility of food can affect one’s consumption.

And, I’ve witnessed that myself at home.

A few months ago, I was tired of throwing away so much produce. So, I stopped storing my fresh produce in the drawers in my refrigerator. Instead, I put them on the shelves. All the bags of spinach and sugar snap peas, clamshells of cucumbers and melons.

Because I could see everything when I opened up the fridge, I started consuming all of it, and I stopped dumping produce.

I did the same thing in my pantry. While my daughter was away at summer camp, I got rid of all the snack foods that I really should not eat. And I did not replace them.

So maybe you should try the same thing. If you are truly committed to eating healthier, then put those healthy foods in front of you. Stock your refrigerator with good tasting, snackable produce. Don’t hide them in the drawers. Put a bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen counter – you’ll be more likely to grab a healthy snack.

Thanks to Elliot for sharing the article. Now I know why I should NOT keep a dish of chocolate on my desk.

How do you prevent your rotting drawer from eating up your fresh produce?


Leave a comment