General Question

skfinkel's avatar

Someone told me that potatoes and onions should not be stored in the same bowl--is this right?

Asked by skfinkel (12877 points ) September 26th, 2010

I don’t know why this was said, but I always do store these things together in a bowl out of the refrigerator.

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9 Answers

Brian1946's avatar

I’ve never heard or read that.

The only effect that would have that I can think of, is that eventually the potatoes might slightly smell and perhaps even taste like onions, but that’s a good thing to me, because I love onions!

augustlan's avatar

I’ve always stored mine in the same basket, along with a head of garlic. I’ve never noticed any ill effects.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I’ve never heard that, either. I’m trying to think why, and the only thing I can come up with is that as the potatoes get old, they turn green, which means they have started to accumulate solanine, a poison found in nightshade plants. I don’t think the toxin affects adjacent potatoes (or onions), so I can’t imagine why you were told to avoid keeping the two together.. (Snopes)

BarnacleBill's avatar

From the University of Minnesota Extension Office:

There is absolutely no truth to the story that potatoes and onions should not be stored together because one makes the other sprout. The truth is, they have different storage temperature requirements. The optimal storage temperature for potatoes is 40 degrees, the temperature at which onions sprout.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

I was thinking that the possible reason might be that the onion flavor/smell might leach into the potatoes. Interesting.

skfinkel's avatar

Thanks @Barnacle Bill. Who knew!!

tigress3681's avatar

@BarnacleBill too bad we don’t normally have coolers specifically suited for all our veggies, et al. You know, one for our onions, one for our potatoes, one for our garlic, one for our asparagus, one for our… you get the picture. That would take up so much space and energy. So much easier to just put things that can survive at room temp together, regardless of exactly how long they will survive.

AshlynM's avatar

Only reason I can think of is that if one or the other starts to rot, then the bacteria, mold and germs might seep into the other and make them rot as well, making perfectly good vegetables go to waste.

I’ve always stored mine together in the same holder, since I use both fairly often.

silky1's avatar

Potatoes tend to absorb whatever is around them for a prolonged period of time,especially odors. The reason I don’t store the two anywhere near each other is that I don’t want my potatoes tasting like onion.

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