Produce: Handling Tips

Ethylene and Produce: Friends or Foes?

applesBuying a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables these days?  Then it's well worth knowing something about ethylene. "What's ethylene?" some may ask.  It's a plant hormone that fruits and vegetables produce naturally as they ripen.  Reducing exposure to ethylene slows the natural ripening, thereby extending produce shelf life.  The problem is that, like many gases, it's sneaky--invisible and odorless.  Nevertheless, you can infer its presence and control it to some extent.

Raw Sprouts: Nutritious and Dangerous

SproutsOnce again, Shelf Life Advice wants to remind you that raw sprouts can be a risky food. They're often used to decorate summer sandwiches and they're also often contaminated with bacteria that cause food-borne illness.  Let's start with some reasons why sprouts are so susceptible to pathogens.

Guide To The Proper Handling of Fresh Vegetables

AsparagusHow long do fresh vegetables  remain safe and tasty to eat? That depends, in part, on how you handle them.  Food scientist Susan Brewer, Ph.D. offers these suggestions on vegetable care from the moment the produce comes home with you to the time when you store the leftovers.

Leftover Fruit and Veggies? Dehydrate Them For Surprisingly Healthy Snacks!

Dehydrated Tomatoes

Drying foods for preservation is growing in popularity because the benefits are many.  For starters, finding a use for leftovers or inexpensive, in-season fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to avoid waste, save money, and do well for the environment.  Moreover, drying food is easy.  The sun, the oven, or your dehydrator does most of the work.  All you have to do is eat it, which is a treat because drying food intensifies the flavor.  Furthermore, dried foods require no refrigeration, are compact and lightweight, and pack a lot of nutrition, so they’re very handy to have along on a long car ride, a hike, a camping trip or even a trip to the movies with a bunch of insatiable kids. Nibbling on brought-along dried fruit is healthier (and cheaper) than candy from the movie concession.  And drying your own is a a lot cheaper than purchasing store-bought dried fruit.

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