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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