The Zoomer Report: Saving Fruit and Vegetables
How carefully do you choose your fruits and veggies? Here’s a shocking
stat: The average U.S. household throws out nearly a quarter of the fruits and
vegetables they buy. For a family of four, that adds up to about $500 each year,
according to a study by the University of Arizona.
You can save money by taking some extra time in the produce aisle. And knowing
how to pick and store your produce can help extend shelf life so that it doesn’t
get to the point where you have to throw it out.
The first step is to immediately inspect your goods once you get home and pluck
out any spoiled specimens. It is really is true that one bad apple really can
spoil the whole bunch. And it’s especially true for soft fruits such as
peaches and nectarines. The higher the sugar content, the more likely a fruit
is to spoil faster.
After weeding out any rotten pieces, make sure you store produce in optimal
conditions. Take note of how fruit and veggies are displayed at the supermarket
– it’s usually a good indicator of how they should be kept at home.
Cherries, for example, are packed and shipped in cold temperatures – so refrigeration
is the best option.
Tomatoes, on the other hand, break down more quickly when refrigerated.
Most produce – especially mushrooms – is sensitive to moisture and stores
better unwashed. A good rinse is best saved for right before eating or cooking.
Adding citrus juice to pre-cut fruit can also keep them fresh longer.
If you’re not sure of the best way to store a particular fruit or vegetable,
ask a produce department manager or check online.
Photo ©iStockphoto.com/ morganl
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About The Zoomer Report
Libby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.
Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.
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