In all of the history of food, there is not a single invention more important than the now ubiquitous refrigerator. Frigid air made all sorts of things possible, from the variety of food we eat to the hydrogen bomb. The first home refrigerators, introduced in the early 20th century, drastically cut down on waste and improved public diets. But that doesn’t mean that it solved all our problems — you still owe it to yourself to properly and responsibly store food. For instance, not all locations in the fridge keep food fresh the same way (see the humidifier) and not all foodstuffs belong in the fridge in the first place.

Here’s everything you need to know about storing food in your home. Follow these guidelines and you’ll drastically cut down on waste, saving money and doing the environment a favor in the process.

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