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Picking perfect produce

For the best quality produce, Julie Garden- Robinson, PhD, LRD, food and nutrition specialist at North Dakota State University, offers these tips.
  • Look for produce that's free from unusual odors or colors and signs of spoilage, such as mold.


  • Select an amount you can use within a short time to avoid throwing away spoiled fruits and veggies.


  • Handle produce gently to reduce bruising; because bacteria can thrive in the bruised areas.

    At the grocery store, keep fresh produce on top of other foods in your shopping cart -- separate from fresh meat -- and set it down gently on the counter at the check-out line.


  • Remember that buying underripe produce isn't always the best option. Fruits like peaches, cantaloupe and nectarines, for example, may soften during storage -- but they won't ripen.


  • If you're picking your own, be sure to bring clean containers or bags.


  • When buying cut produce, be sure it's refrigerated, and keep it cold during transport. Keep it in a cooler with ice if you are traveling.
  • Points and Prizes Keyword: VEGGIES worth 50 points good through 02/03/08.

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