Are you the type of person that haphazardly throws your groceries into the drawers in your fridge when you come back from the market? You throw stuff on to shelves, squishing everything in wherever there is space. You start stuffing the drawers with fruits, vegetables, maybe even soft drinks or other perishable items?
You feel proud that your refrigerator is filled with brand new, fresh foods and you imagine the 5-star meals that they will turn into, but then end up forgetting about that one bag of spinach until you find it a month later, after it’s turned into green goo that smells like an old pair of shoes.
If you fall into any of those categories, it’s time you learned what the real purpose of the vegetable storage drawers are actually for, and why having high-quality ones will be beneficial.
How do they work?
Let’s start by breaking down how these drawers work. If your drawers have settings on them (which is ideal) one should be designated as a “high humidity drawer” and one a “low humidity drawer,” but if you check and don’t see any controls on them, you can assume the drawer(s) is a high humidity drawer.
All about airflow and Ethylene gas
High-quality vegetable drawers can help extend the life of your vegetables and fruits. It does that by controlling the airflow around the produce via small vents, which allows you to close off airflow (creating more humidity) or open the vents (creating low humidity). When these settings are not used the way they should be, it can cause your produce to go bad faster.
The primary cause of this?
As much as you may think that gas doesn’t belong in your fridge, it actually does. Ethylene gas is released from certain fruits (like kiwis and bananas) as they ripen. This gas can be a great benefit if you are waiting for something to mature quickly and you have low patience, but it isn’t so great when you want to keep greens fresh for longer than a few days. This is where the vegetable drawers come into play. When you shut down airflow, which creates low-humidity, you also trap the ethylene gas inside the drawer, which prevents your produce from prematurely softening or going bad.
Give yourself some space
While this may seem like a break-up line or advice from a friend, you should also apply it to your vegetable drawers. These are designed to work the best when they are only two-thirds full. This way, you can fill them up with an abundance of colourful and nutritious foods but still leave a little leg room in there for them to breathe. As the saying goes, all in moderation. Fruits and vegetables also like their own space, as well. Always try and store them separately, if you are able. Fruit emits more ethylene gas than vegetables do and vegetables are more sensitive to ethylene than fruit.
They really just don’t like to play nice with each other.
Be wise and prioritise
And by this, we mean to know which foods go into which humidity zone drawers. Think of it this way, anything that rots easily; strawberries, avocados, melons, or apples, should go into the low-humidity drawer. High-humidity drawers are great for produce that wilts like leafy vegetables and fresh herbs. It is also good to note that if you can, don’t store any produce in the plastic/paper packaging that they may come in, as the bags can trap that finicky ethylene gas and cause to ripen much faster.
After reading this, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the information and don’t know where to start to re-organise your vegetable drawers or your current fridge doesn’t even have vegetable drawers, start with getting a refrigerator that has modern design and high-end vegetable drawers to make sure that your plate is always filled will crisp fruits and fresh vegetables. At Brisbane Appliance Sales (BAS) we carry quality appliances like Bio Fresh’ by LIEBHERR, ‘Perfect fresh’ by MIELE, ‘Vacuum drawer’ by- HITACHI, and our friendly staff is ready to answer all of your appliance questions with vast knowledge and a smile.