When you're shopping for produce, you need to be ready to slap, smell, shake and rub. Produce items are living, breathing organisms. You want crispy, crunch firm fruit and vegetables.
Pete Lockett is the owner and operator of the Halifax store Pete's Frootique and he gave us the following Smart Shopper tips for buying produce:
-Buy only what you need: There's no use getting what you can't use while it's at it's best.
-Buy less, more frequently: This way, you always get to eat your produce at its peak.
-Don't stick to your list: Don't be afraid to try new things. There may be a bumper crop waiting at your grocery store that you weren't expecting!
-Use your senses: Does it smell good, look good and feel good? Snap it up!
All prices in the produce world are dictated by supply and demand. When products are abundant and beautiful, the price goes down. When the crop has been difficult or challenging and the items are less plentiful, price goes up.
Also, you don't have to be ruled by the season like the old days. Because of globalization, we have produce available from all over the world year-round.
This is a matter of conflicting opinion. Here are Lockett's rules of thumb:
1. If the fruit is firm, don't put it in the fridge.
2. If the fruit is soft, luscious and juicy, you can put it in the fridge and get a few more days out of it.
It's an emotional decision. There's no proof yet that organic produce is necessarily better for you. Still, there's no reason not to buy them if that's your preference.
Steven and Chris love Debbie Meyer's Everfresh Green Bags. If you store your produce in them, you magically get a few extra days out of your fresh goods. Try them out!