April 27

Do Not Store Avocados in Water!


by Rob Baker

Social media is often an excellent source of entertainment, but it is not known for its accuracy. Countless stories tell of the dangers of putting your faith in viral hacks or videos.

When watching TikTok videos, it is best to remember that the videos come from ordinary people. Most of these entertainers do not have research teams backing up their claims. Many social media posts contain the poster's unfiltered opinion based on little, if any, reliable evidence. Case in point, avocado storage.

A recent viral hack shows a user submerging a ripe avocado in a container full of water and placing it in the fridge. The poster claims storing an avocado this way can increase its usable life for an entire month. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the claim is not true and dangerous.

Why You Should Not Store Avocados in Water

The FDA stresses that from a food and human safety perspective, the avocado hack is dangerous. The health organization explains the concern being human pathogens, specifically Listeria and salmonella. If any pathogens are present on the food at the time of submergence, they will multiply during storage.

Additionally, Listeria can potentially infiltrate or internalize into avocado pulp. Therefore, the bacteria become a part of the fruit. You cannot wash it off or sterilize it.

The FDA does explain that Listeria can take up to 15 days before internalizing into an avocado. Still, the risk is present and easily avoided with proper food storage techniques.

Safe Avocado Storage Techniques

There is no need to risk your health to preserve your avocado. There are several risk-free avocado storage methods that receive the support of the FDA.

1. Airtight Food Storage

The most obvious storage solution is an airtight food storage container. If you do not have an airtight container, cling wrap will do, anything to reduce oxygen exposure.

Another method popularized by Chef Betsy Wiegard is citrus. Lemons and limes have ascorbic acid, which can create an oxygen barrier. The barrier can last several days, keeping the fruit fresh.

2. Freeze Some Avocados in Ice Trays

The FDA notes that freezing fruit does not strip it of any nutrients. Thus, freezing leftover avocado can help preserve the fruit for three to six months, much longer than the debunked hack.

You can spread avocado into an ice tray and save it for later. You can thaw an avocado cube for your toast or whatever you like when you need it.

3. Freeze the Entire Avocado

The same principle applies to freezing the whole fruit. The avocado can last up to six months in the freezer. You do not need to smoosh it into an ice cube tray.

When you are ready to eat the avocado, take it out of the freezer and let it sit until thawed. If you want to speed up the process, you can put it under running warm or hot water.

Social media is good for entertainment, but do not trust it for factual information. While credible users have accounts, it is too challenging to differentiate between claims. It is best to look to the FDA and not someone looking for views when it comes to food safety.


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