The Fresh Factor

For a second I want you to think of that one vegetable, that single solitary plant you find unpalatable. The one whose very smell repulses you. At the sight of it, your face turns all the way up. Now ask yourself, “Have I ever eaten it fresh?” For the purposes of this blog fresh means non-processed, chemical & preservative free, 24 hours or less from harvest date to purchase date. If the answer is “No”, you may be short-changing yourself. True some vegetables require time to cure. However, for the majority, fresh is best!

I love vegetables. In fact, there is only one that falls into the dislike category – mushrooms. Ugh. Grotesque! Sorry. It’s a hate – hate relationship. I have never tried them fresh but would be willing if the opportunity presented itself. The reason being is I have noticed with other vegetables such as Kale, Broccoli, Cabbage, Peas, Corn, and more (all of which we grow), have an improved flavor profile when eaten fresh. Corn – my gracious is like candy when eaten right from the plant. I’m honestly the wrong one to send for the corn harvest. Just sayin’.

Here is the thing. Many distributors market their produce as “fresh”. Others appeal to consumers by selling organic produce. However, does organic equal fresh? We went on a grocery store run recently to find out. You likely have some clue as to what we found. We were slightly dissatisfied with the organic selection.

From the items in the photo, all USDA Organic, most were surprisingly appealing to the eye. However a closer examination of the Carrots – both packs, the head of Broccoli, the Romaine and the large bag of Kale revealed signs of degradation. This is understandable when you factor in shelf life & packaging. Is this the case everywhere? Over the next month we will visit more grocery stores to examine the “fresh factor” of their organic produce.

So just how long have those onions been sitting on the shelf? I could guess. How many days from harvest is that Kale in your buggy? Most retailers would be hard pressed answer that one! However, if you ask your local farmer when she harvested the Turnips on her table, it would be a quick and easy answer. This is why many choose to purchase their produce from local & trusted farmers. Guess work not required. So why not buy trusted? Perhaps buy fresh. Buy local.

Tune back in next week as we continue the “fresh factor” tour in our local grocery stores. Who knows what we will find! From our family to yours!