Keeping your food cool the scientific way.

How amazing is your fridge? Until recently, I would have answered that question with a dazed “huh?” Of all the liberating technologies in our lives, fridges seem to go unnoticed. A fridge is as much a part of modern life as a smart phone, but no one talks about them. Why? Maybe we take the technology for granted after all most fridges seem to ‘just work.’

Except when they don’t. My Trusty old LG fridge went to the big tip in the sky last week and apparently, it was all my fault. For my entire life I have just assumed that I can cram whatever I want into my fridge, and it will keep it cool, but after working my fridge to death, I needed to know, is there a better way?

It turns out that yes, there is more efficient way of refrigerating your food. How do you keep your food cool according to science?

Hot and cold.

I just assumed that a fridge is a big cold box with shelves. It turns out fridges have cold and hot spots and knowing where these are can help extend the life of your fridge, and your food. In an LG side by side fridge, the heavy cold air falls to the bottom of the fridge, making the back of bottom shelf the coldest spot, while the middle of the front shelf is the warmest.

The bottom shelf.

To make the most of the fridge’s cold spots, store raw meat, poultry, and heavy dairy products on the bottom shelf. Raw meat should be wrapped to avoid dripping harmful juices. Just because your fridge is cold, doesn’t mean bacteria can’t grow, given enough time.

The middle shelf.

Use the middle shelf for leftovers in containers, eggs, and other more shelf-stable foods. Foods that have already been cooked, or do not require cooking are best left to the middle shelf where the fridge is its warmest.

Crisper.

The cold air in a fridge’s main cabinet lacks moisture and can dry vegetables out. The crisper in your LG side by side fridge is specifically designed to keep vegetables and fruits crisp and fresh. It does so by creating a sealed section away from the main fridge cabinet, allowing vegetables to expire moisture. Herbs can also be stored here, just make sure they have enough moisture.

The door.

The door of your fridge is best reserved for drinks, condiments, and cheese. The coldest shelf in your fridge’s door or doors will be the bottom, followed by the top.

Other scientific tips.

Fridges work best when they can circulate air in the main compartment. My long-serving LG fridge succumbed to my food hoarding and now I know why. If you cram your fridge to capacity, not only will overwork your fridge, it won’t keep your food as cool as you want.

Although fridges are a marvel of chemistry, they are still machines and as such, require regular maintenance. Even a simple, regular interior clean will extend the life of your fridge and keep it running efficiently. Make sure all interior vents are clean and free from obstruction.

Finally, don’t keep food you won’t eat! If your fridge is full of food that is destined to expire, you are paying for power to keep food cold that you don’t need. That’s very un-scientific.

A week ago, I was fridge ignorant; it took the passing of my fridge to wake me up to their mysteries. The way you store food has a direct impact on the operation of your fridge, as does the way you clean and maintain it. It’s almost 2020, be like me and store your food the scientific way.

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