Thursday, April 5, 2012

Does Not Apply

Since moving to the BVI, I've noticed that my admittedly questionable and scanty news outlets, like and Yahoo!News, seem to be less applicable to my daily life than they were when I lived in the US. Perhaps the best recent example is an article which appeared on the Yahoo! home page, called "5 fresh foods you shouldn't keep in your refrigerator".

The article advocates that tomatoes, basil, potatoes, onions and avocados should all be stored on the counter or in the pantry. It gives fairly good, plant-biology based arguments for why this is. But as I started thinking about applying the article in my daily life, I realized how impractical it would be.

In the BVI, storing tomatoes on my counter would lead, in the best instance, to immediate fruit fly invasion, and in the worst, to finding cockroaches or rats calling my kitchen "home". The line that really caused me to crack up, though was: "keeping [potatoes] in a paper bag in a coolish spot (like a pantry) is best."

Perhaps the author lives somewhere like Wisconsin, or has a pantry in her basement, but let me assure you, there is nothing "coolish" about my pantry. About the coolest my pantry gets is 72 degrees, and most days it's close to 80. According to the Vegetable Research and Information Center at the University of California, at no time in a potato's life is 75-80 degrees a good storage temperature, especially as "disease organisms logarithmically increase their population grown" at those temperatures.

About half of the way through the article, after picturing the co-inhabitants the tomatoes would bring, and puzzling over my pantry being a coolish spot, I mentally ticked the "does not apply to the BVI" box and moved on.

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