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You Ask, I Answer: UV Light’s Effect on Nutrients

Posted Nov 13 2009 10:00pm

800px-apples_supermarket My science teacher told [my class] that we should never store vegetables in the top shelf of the refrigerator since that exposes them to UV light, which destroys the nutrients.

Is that true?

– Bill (last name withheld)
Tallahassee, FL

Certain nutrients (i.e.: vitamin C and B6) are light-sensitive, which is why vegetables that sit out under harsh UV lights in supermarkets for days on end are often times less nutritious than frozen varieties that are picked and immediately packed.

However, this is completely irrelevant when it comes to refrigerator storage.  Seems to me your teacher forgot that, when a refrigerator door is closed, there is no light inside the actual unit.

The lightbulb only comes on when the door opens to make for easy scouring.

It’s often preferred to store vegetables in crisp drawers, rather than shelves, for better moisture control, not for nutritional purposes.

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6 CommentsYou Ask/I Answer, vegetables

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