The health benefit of fresh fruits and vegetables is undeniable. Every health related article, every medical report and every exercise program recommends fruits and vegetables.
But due to severe weather patterns in the last year and predictions of severe weather in the future, prices are rising. Besides the weather, is the cost of fuel and rising labor cost. All these signs could cause the price of produce to skyrocket in the coming months.
The best way to protect yourself from the rising cost of fruits and vegetables comes in smarter buying habits. We’ll discuss ways to reduce the cost of buying fruits and vegetables.
The best way to save money on fresh fruits and vegetables is to buy them in season and freeze them for year around use. Below is a Peak Season Buying Chart For Fruits and Vegetables. Use it to plan your produce buying and save big.
Peak season for
Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Collard Greens, Tangerines, Grapefruit.
Oranges, Parsnip, Rutabaga, Kale, Endive.
Artichokes, Avocados, Bermuda Onions, Spinach, Pineapple, Beets, Asparagus, Turnips.
Radishes, Watercress, Strawberries, Dandelion, Bananas.
Cucumbers, Green Beans, Green Onion.
Watermelon, Apricots, Blackberries, Cantaloupe, Lemons, Cherries, Chicory, Figs, Peaches, Plums, Raspberries.
Black-Eyed Peas, Blackberries, Corn, Okra, Peaches, Plums, Summer Squash, Wax Beans, Watermelon, Limes, Green Peppers, Mustard Greens, and Strawberries.
Watermelons, Black-Eyed Peas, Corn, Peaches, Plums Cantaloupe, Green Peppers, Limes, Raspberries, Blackberries.
Apples, Crenshaw Melon, Honeydew Melon, Lima Beans, Pears, Persian Melon, Nuts, Pomegranate, Sweet Potatoes.
Broccoli, Apples, Brussels Sprouts, Casaba Melon, Chard, Cranberries, Grapes, Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash, Nuts.
Sprouts, Cranberries, Endive, Nuts, Almonds, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Cauliflower, Carrots, Broccoli, Apples.
Apples, Celery, Cranberries, Parsnip, Grapefruit, Collard Greens, Carrots, Rutabaga, Potatoes.
By following the suggestions in this chart, you will save hundreds of dollars this year on you food cost. Keep an eye out for sales and stock up on fresh produce by slicing them up, storing them in special freezer bags and enjoying fresh low-cost (peak season) produce year around.
A healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables is a proven way to fight today’s most threatening ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and most cancers.
Current Produce Facts You Should Know
Produce remains an important part of a healthy diet because it is a source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
The experts on both sides of the debate agree on the health benefits of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables — organic or conventional — far outweigh any potential risks.
Refrigerate perishable fresh fruits and vegetables (like strawberries, lettuce, herbs, and mushrooms) at a temperature of 40° F or below.
Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables before preparing and/or eating.
Wash fruits and vegetables under running water just before eating, cutting or cooking. Learning to store produce correctly can save home cooks money and heartache caused by spoiled fruits and vegetables.
Some fruits and vegetables, such as plums, peaches and bananas, are still ripening in the store.
The best way to store produce such as potatoes, yams, onions and other root vegetables is at room temperature. Avoid washing root vegetables until needed, since the moisture may encourage rotting.
A crisper drawer’s main advantage when you store produce is a colder air temperature, not the ability to keep crisp leafy vegetables crisp indefinitely.
Most fruits and vegetables continue to ‘breathe’ after harvesting, so the perforations in the plastic bags allow for an exchange of gases.
Organic vegetables grow more slowly so they take up larger quantities of minerals and nutrients from the soil.
The USDA forecasts the trend toward increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables will continue. The cost of fruits and vegetables are expected to have the highest increases among all types of foods through 2020.
By applying this information to your shopping will help to drastically reduce your food cost. In addition, your family will eat healthier and help to keep your medical cost lower. Yes, healthy eating always begins with fresh fruits and vegetables.