When you hang out with dietitians, you hear pieces of advice over and over again. Sometimes, the words stick instantly. Other times, you could hear it 20 times and have no impact.
I saw my friend Dawn Jackson Blatner on the "Today" show extolling the virtues of getting the vegetables to a more visible place in the refrigerator. Blatner calls the crisper drawers RIP drawers, as in "rest in peace," since people often forget the veggies are there and then they spoil.
Ideally, vegetables should go in the crisper, but the trick is to see them sooner and eat them.
The refrigerator on the "Today" show set was gorgeous. Shelves were drawn-in so you really could see what was in the refrigerator. You even had small windows at the top of the crispers so you could see a little bit into the bins.
The advice is good, but having the advice and that refrigerator would have been better. If you rent or can't afford a nicer refrigerator, you are stuck with what you have, and you need to make the best of your situation.
The advice is to put the condiments in the crisper drawer so you have more room to see your fruits and vegetables. This has some impact, but in my refrigerator, most of the condiments are in the doors. And some of those condiments won't fit in the crisper since they are too tall.
Putting vegetables in the bottom drawer also impacts how you keep your meat in the fridge, again for those without a special meat drawer. Putting meat behind the veggies can work, but in my refrigerator, anything behind the front row might as well be in the crisper. Then again, hiding the meat may be the point: more veggies, less meat.
Before you start the experiment, you might want to clean out your refrigerator. Too often, we assume a new plan such as this won't work based on what we think we have in the refrigerator. Once we realize what we have, you might be surprised how eager you are to put certain foods in the crisper, but still have in your fridge.
So far, so good in my refrigerator. I can spot the vegetables a lot quicker. I do worry about finding the meat when I put more meat in there. I worry about condiments, such as horseradish, that don't have as long a shelf life as say, mustard. But I do know how much lettuce I have, and which veggies I have that can go in a salad. The rest of the refrigerator? Well, that can work itself out over time.