Depending on your shopping schedule, you likely go to the grocery or market every week for buying fruits and vegetables for your upcoming meals. Nothing beats the goodness of getting fresh produce right when you need it, but shopping for these can be a big challenge. Nothing can be more frustrating than buying what looked like the freshest apples, only to find them rotting in your fridge before you had the chance to eat them.
Whether you are buying your produce from a market, fruit and vegetable store, grocery, or any other place, it is important to be observant and selective about what you get. Knowing how to shop for fruits and vegetables can help you avoid wasting food and money and ensure that you get the nutritional benefits you need. If you are in charge of stocking up your pantry at home, check out these top tips on buying fresh produce.
Check for Damage and Bruising
Always do a quick visual inspection before adding any fruit or vegetable to your cart. Avoid buying those that have damaged or broken skin or bruises as the mould and bacteria can quickly spread to other parts. Generally, slight bruising is not necessarily harmful–in fact, it is common to simply cut out the bruised area before consumption. However, if bruises are left for a long time, they can cause moulding, so it is best that you avoid them altogether.
Buy More Frequently
If it is not too much of a hassle for your schedule, consider dropping by the fruit and vegetable store more frequently. Eating your fruits and cooking your vegetables as early as possible is ideal to prevent them from going bad, so buying more frequently allows you to consume them at their freshest state.
Purchase Frozen for Off-season Products
A common misconception is that frozen fruits and vegetables are not as healthy as fresh ones. However, if you are buying off-season produce, they are more expensive and likely not as fresh anymore as they have been transported for a while before reaching the store. You might end up spending more without necessarily getting the freshness that you expect.
In such cases, it would be more practical and economical to opt for frozen products instead to avoid wastage and high costs. The good news is that these are also packed with nutrients, making them a good alternative to fresh fruits and vegetables that are no longer as fresh upon purchase.
Look for Bright Colours
Another visual aspect to look at would be colour. For fruits and vegetables, look for those with the brightest and most vibrant colours since these are the richest in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These will be hard to miss in a fruit and vegetable store as they will also look the most appealing compared to the dull ones, which tend to look unappetizing.
A fruit’s aroma is a great way to determine its ripeness, so make sure you smell your fruit before buying them. Usually, unripe fruits will have no scent, whereas ripe fruits will have a scent that resembles their taste. The strongest-smelling fruits will be the ripest, so if you purchase these, make sure you consume them immediately. You can always opt to choose fruits with less overwhelming scents if you want to store them for a few days before eating.
Hannah Gilbert is a freelance writer who offers ghostwriting, copywriting, and blogging services. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.