Smart Consumer Tips in Buying Fresh Produce

Sometimes, the mere appearance of produce can trick us into buying them without even ensuring their freshness. It is a sad surprise to cut into your freshly-brought fruit only to find out that it’s brown, unripe, or bruised. To prevent this from happening (especially because produce generally do not have a return policy), you need to familiarize yourself with what to look for.

With some fruits, you can already determine their ripeness merely based on color, while others require a touch or a light squeeze. Being a smart consumer doesn’t happen overnight. There are lots of tips you should know. Here are some of them:

1. When buying pineapples, look for one which has a golden color. Also, ensure that the fruit has a sweet scent. If it does not give off any scent at all, it is likely still unripe. If it smells a little vinegary, chances are it’s overripe.

2. Ripe eggplants are never soft. In buying eggplants, look for ones that are elastic and tight when you put pressure on the fruit by giving it a light squeeze. (Yes, technically, eggplants are fruits.) Its skin must also be dark in color and should have no evident blemishes or scars.

3. Fresh watermelon sounds hollow and often feels heavy. If a watermelon is heavy, it indicates the fruit is full of water hence it is likely ripe. Tap on the watermelon lightly and ensure it sounds hollow – as the sound it produces is another indicator of ripeness. Don’t forget to check with the underside of a watermelon as well: a light or yellow spot on the bottom indicates that the watermelon is ready to eat.

4. In searching for ripe tomatoes, conduct a touch test. Fresh tomatoes are not usually indicated by its color alone. The best way to ensure its ripeness is to test it by touching, and if it slightly yields to your touch, it is guaranteed that the tomato is at its optimal ripeness. Any less would mean it would take a couple of days more for the tomato to ripen.

5. Strawberries taste as good as they smell. This comes in handy when you are browsing through strawberries at the fruit section in the grocery. You can determine ripe strawberries through its scent, as it smells exactly as you want it to taste. If the fruit is odorless, it probably doesn’t taste much. Strawberries are also ideally bright red in color and is free of any blemishes.

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