Courtesty Flickr user @MartinCathrae

When it comes to choosing fresh fruit and vegetables, many individuals often go with their gut feeling or first instinct. However, there is so much more than avoiding ones that are bruised or discolored. How do you avoid choosing produce that ends up being less that desirable once you go home? While it may be difficult to completely avoid fruit and vegetables that hide danger underneath the skin, the following are several tips that can help you choose the freshest ones possible:

1. Pick it Up

One way to tell whether the item is worth buying or not is to gauge its weight. While choosing an item, you’ll want to pick ones that are relatively heavier than others. In general, the heavier the item, the more likely it is to have higher water content, indicating its juiciness. If the item feels light, then it may be that its interior is dry and potentially tasteless. While this tip is applicable for vegetables, it is especially true for fruits such as melons, peaches, pineapples and oranges.

2. Take a Feel

After you pick up the item, give them a gentle squeeze or feel. Does the skin feel firm and plump, or can you feel the fruit or vegetable giving in? The firmness is another indication of the freshness of the item, as it shows whether the item is ripe or not. However, this tip is not applicable for every single fruit or vegetable. There are several items, such as figs or peaches, that are best if soft, so you’ll need to look further into the details of specific produce.

3. Look for Color

A quick glance at the selection will cut out any items that have bruises or appear to be discolored, leaving behind a wide selection. In general, you’ll want to look for fruits and vegetables that have the brightest, vibrant colors. The color of the piece of fruit or vegetable is a great indicator of whether it is ripe or not, or if it is more flavorful than others. Keep items with a dull color or pale exterior in the bin, as these may have been deprived essential nutrients during the ripening process.

4. Take a Smell

Another way to quickly tell whether your selection is fresh is to take a quick whiff. Does it have a fragrant aroma or a rather unpleasant odor? If the fruit or vegetable smells rather   , then this is an obvious sign to avoid the item. But if it doesn’t have an odor or smells like the material it was packaged in, then this can be a sign that the item is unripe. Most fruits and vegetables have their own distinct aroma, so trusting your nose can be a great way to pick the freshest available.

5. Bagged or Not?

Many supermarkets offer fruits and vegetables in bags or plastic containers, as this reduces the damage to the produce. However, this can remove a great deal of the testing process involved with sight, scent and touch. In this case, you’ll want to go with the appearance of the item, and check to see whether they exude any outward signs of damage or rot. Look all around for any danger signs, in order to ensure that you make the right choice.

 

Courtesty Flickr user @MartinCathrae