What’s the point of a salad crisper drawer in your fridge?

·3-min read
Photo credit: Rouzes - Getty Images
Photo credit: Rouzes - Getty Images

If you own a fridge, chances are you have a salad crisper drawer. But do you really know why your fridge has this, or how to use it properly?

We all know we should be eating more fresh fruit, veg and salad. Using a salad crisper drawer the right way will not only keep your produce fresh, it can also help you reduce food waste, keep your fridge organised and even save money.

Photo credit: d3sign - Getty Images
Photo credit: d3sign - Getty Images

What's the point of a salad crisper drawer in your fridge?

The salad drawer, or crisper as it's also know, is designed to control the humidity in the air around your fresh fruit and veg. Thin-skinned and leafy produce, like strawberries, spinach and lettuce, are best stored in a high humidity environment. So by maintaining a more regulated airflow, your fruit, veg and salad will stay crisp longer.

The drawer also stops your food from coming into close contact with the back of the fridge, where frost can build up and spoil your produce.

Why use a salad crisper drawer?

A crisper drawer is the perfect way to organise your fridge and allow access to your ingredients, divide with tea towels or plastic boxes for easy access every time.

Why should you keep certain fruits and vegetables separate? Some fruits and vegetables release a gas called ethylene as they ripen. Keep ethylene-producing fruits like stone fruits (peaches, apricots and nectarines), melons, apples, pears and avocados separate from produce that wilts easily, like leafy greens or fresh herbs, and for ethylene-sensitive fruits like strawberries. Bananas, for example, are very responsive to ethylene gas, so if you put them in a crisper drawer with ripening apples, they’d ripen and eventually spoil faster.

Photo credit: Morsa Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: Morsa Images - Getty Images

Reducing food waste

In the UK, we throw away more than 4.5 million tonnes of edible food a year, which is enough to fill up the Royal Albert Hall 90 times over, according to Love Food Hate Waste. Food waste is a huge climate change contributor as rotting food releases methane, a damaging greenhouse gas. In fact, food waste is responsible for a staggering 8-10% of total man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

Being more aware of how and where to store particular foods is the first step in reducing food waste in Britain's fridges. Using your salad crisper drawer will help you keep your fridge organised. When you know exactly what you have stocked up as soon as you open the fridge, you're more likely to use what you have before it goes out of date.

The humidity control in a salad crisper drawer also helps you to keep your lettuce, spinach and kale fresh for longer, meaning that it goes into your belly and not the bin.

Ensuring food safety

Keeping your fridge well-organised is vital for stopping the spread of bacteria and preventing food poisoning.

Clare Edwards, Home Economist and National Training and Sales Support Manager at Smeg UK says: 'Preventing cross contamination is key as items may drip onto one another. Meat should be kept away from the salad drawer and every food type should have its own little area. Think like Marie Kondo and declutter your fridge shelves into an organised and hygienic space.'

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