What’s the best way to buy fruits and vegetables?

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, March 31, 2016

During this time of year, many people’s thoughts turn to mouth-watering fruits and vegetables.

By far, the most nutritious fruits and veggies come strait from your garden, or from local farmer’s markets. One advantage in having your own garden is that you can control how and what you grow. You can directly control the how you prepare the soil, and what plants you put in the your garden.

As a side note, what I recommend parents do to get their children more interested in vegetables is get them involved. Plant a garden with your kids. Let them help pick out what goes into the garden. Then, show them how the vegetables will look, how to care for them, and then how to pick them. You can even go a step further and show your kids how to cook them.

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Let’s turn our attention to actually buying fruits and vegetables in a grocery store. When buying your fruits and vegetables in the grocery store, you just might be surprised where the most nutritious ones are located. Many people just assume that the most nutritious produce comes from the fresh produce isle. This is not always the case.

There are two other areas in the grocery store where produce can be found, and they are worth checking out. Frozen and canned fruits and veggies are well worth checking out. What we are talking about here is grocery store buying. Frozen and canned produce is well worth checking out. Here’s why. Most major canneries flash freeze on sight.

In other words these fruits and vegetable go straight from the field into frozen containers. Why is this a good thing? By going strait into freezing the produce does not lose nutrients. The same is true for canning. Most major canneries can on sight.

About the only thing I don’t like about canned fruits and vegetables is that usually salt or sugar is added.

Another great thing about frozen and canned produce is that it has a much longer shelf life and is easier to store. You can also usually use smaller or larger portions depending on your needs. Also, some exotic produce may not be available except canned or frozen.

One of the problems with fresh grocery store produce is that because of its very nature, it has to be picked green before it is shipped. This is dependent on how far away it comes from.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t choose fresh produce from the grocery store. What I am saying is to pay particular attention to its freshness. Get to know the produce manger at your local grocery. He can usually tell you exactly when his produce arrived and where it came from.

Using some of these tips will not only make you and your family healthier, but help you enjoy your fruits and vegetables all year long.

Diet or exercise question? Email me at dwcrocker77@gmail.com. David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 29 years. He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the USC Upstate baseball team, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, and the Converse College equestrian team. He served as a water safety instructor to the United States Marine Corps, lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency, and taught for four semesters at USC Union. David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.