Get your fruits and veggies!

Everyone always says fresh is best when it comes to most food - especially fruits and veggies. But is it? This is a much debated topic and I thought I'd share my perspective. Not saying my opinions are right or are scientifically accurate ... they're simply the rules I try to live by.

1- Buy local. Fruits and veggies are always best if you can buy them at your local farmer's market. You know where they've come from and how far they've traveled. Strawberries from a farm 10 miles away are much better than berries shipped in from Costa Rica (you can assume they're at least a few days off the vine by the time they make it to your grocery). And you're being much friendlier to the environment by buying locally.

2- Buy fresh, seasonal at the grocery. It's simple, eat corn on the cob in July, not December. Seasonal items are going to be grown more 'naturally' resulting in much better taste and much lower prices!

3- Buy frozen. If something isn't in season and you've just got to have it, i.e. corn on the cob, buy frozen. Many times frozen fruits and veggies are fresher than the "fresh" produce because they're picked, processed and immediately frozen - many times within the same day. Whereas "fresh" produce is picked, sits in a warehouse, is shipped to your grocery, sits in the storeroom and then is placed out in the produce bins (and sometimes it might sit there for a few days, too). Frozen is fresh, healthy and won't easily go bad so it's simple to always have something on hand and easy to eat your veggies!

4- Canned. This is usually my last resort (except for things like black beans and tomatoes for sauces). I've found that canned fruits and veggies are usually mushy and LOADED with salt/sugar and preservatives. However, in a pinch they're always good to have on hand!

So there you have it. My unofficial fruit and veggie rules. What are your preferences and how do you buy your fruits and veggies?

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Vicki said...

I always keep a bag of green beans in my freezer so that I have no excuse not to eat veggies :)

Everything else I try to buy fresh and I feel like overall I'm pretty eco-friendly. For example, if I'm only buying one item, I don't put it in a plastic bag, I just put the price sticker directly on the fruit/vegetable.

The one exception is cucumbers. For some reason, the only cucumbers I can find are already plastic wrapped. It's so annoying! There's no need for all that plastic, plus it's super hard to take off. So I'm keeping my eye out for non-wrapped cucumbers!

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