WATCH: Here's Why You Should Never Store Potatoes in Your Fridge
Ah, potatoes. Like grits and collard greens, the starchy vegetable is a staple in our Southern diet. But have you been storing tubers in your refrigerator since Cheers was airing on television? No more.
As an article in Reader's Digest explains, "Cold temperatures convert potato starch into sugar. This results in a gritty texture and a slightly sweet flavor. Potatoes do best at 45° F (most refrigerators are set from 35° F to 38° F)." Instead of the fridge, keep potatoes in a cool, dark place (like your pantry) in a paper bag or potato sack.
Apparently, storing potatoes in the fridge poses a risk for your health as well. In an article from British outlet, the Mirror, the piece's author Nicola Oakley warns against the practice by citing the UK's Foods Standards Agency (much like America's Food and Drug Administration, or FDA). "The most important food not to keep in the fridge are potatoes," a quote from the Food Standards Agency explains. "When these are stored in the fridge, the starch in the potato is converted to sugar. When baked or fried, these sugars combine with the amino acid asparagine and produce the chemical acrylamide, which is thought to be harmful." While the verdict is still out on the link between acrylamide and cancer, the U.S.'s National Cancer Institute shares information on the chemical and potential cancer risk here.
Bottom line, in our opinion? It's time to go ahead and carve out some room in your pantry (or a spare cabinet) and dub it Spud Central.