I find selling and buying produce at farmers markets equally fun – and the season is about to start! As a volunteer manager-seller over 10-plus years, I have appreciated the relationships with our farmers and customers, and I have personally benefited from enjoying lots of raw and home-cooked fresh produce. I have also seen the myth completely dispelled,that“only the well-off can afford organic.
Many low-income people from Asia and Europe still know the value of fresh, local, chemical-free food. They choose and prepare wisely, and so can you. Here are today’s tips.
- “Waste not …” Buy in small quantities. Bigger amounts aren’t a bargain when the extra gets old, unpalatable, and loses nutrition.
- Cold-water wash your organic produce right away, pat dry it with a clean kitchen towel, wrap it loosely in plastic and refrigerate it. Farmers immediately wash (and cool) their harvest, but not thoroughly and not necessarily in regular drinking water. Your immediate proper treatment maintains freshness and prevents spoilage.
- Keeping it just dry enough is important! Water in the bag of salad greens, spinach or shredded mixes quickly causes dark and then slimy edges. Those spell trouble. You might be tempted to wash, pick and cut those away, but that’s what will upset your stomach and worse. Sorry, but – prevent or toss! If your produce is too dry, it will shrivel and yellow. It’s no longer worth eating but at least not dangerous.
- Let your first meal be raw. The greatest value of your newly bought produce is right there. After that, cook, stir-fry or bake your vegetables for subsequent meals.
- Before the next market day, try a “wilted salad” with the remainder of your first salad greens.