Keeping Fresh Vegetables on Hand Can Be a Challenge

Girl with Armful of Fresh Carrots

Because of the way that Americans typically shop, keeping fresh produce on hand can be a challenge.  Discount big-box stores sell in quantities that make consuming the entire product difficult; and because of how they do their purchasing, grocery stores start with variable freshness of their produce and can be more expensive.

In addition, every part of the US has different year-round availability of produce.  The number of things that impact that availability are numerous, and often hard to figure out.  Although most people don't think of it this way, shopping requires quite a bit of research to do it well.  Much of the research is hard to do even using the internet, but it can help.

Farm-to-table is an idea that can help.  Farmers markets (real ones) actually have produce that is grown locally, meaning within the state or in a neighboring state.  Instead of imports from Chile, Mexico, or somewhere else.  Often the local farmers market will offer both locally and imported produce in order to provide a broad range of food, but if there is nothing local in the market, it isn't any different from shopping in the grocery store, though it still may be cheaper.  At that point, cost versus time spent going to the farmers market over regular grocery trips is the equation to work out. 

Why go through all the trouble of finding farm fresh and local?  The produce is better, fresher, and it lasts longer.  Sometimes as much as weeks longer than what one can purchase at the local big box or grocery stores.  That's a big deal because the vegetables are more likely to hit the plate in quantity on a daily basis if they've made it long enough in the fridge.  Lettuce and fresh herbs are the toughest to keep on hand, but tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, most everything that doesn't usually make it a whole week in the fridge likely survives longer if it is bought fresh and local. 

Don't forget that canning, pickling and freezing are options that don't require you to be a rocket scientist in the kitchen.


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MRC of Vancouver started me going in my attempt to loose 30 years of weight gain!! I have been using their program for about 18 months and have actually lost 30 pounds. I have changed the way I eat. I've learned what foods are best for ME. By analyzing my DNA and hormones, they helped me learn to eat what was right for me. I have "tweeked" my purchases and preparation of food to make eating healthy and still fun for me. I eat lots of veggies and salads and include a healthy diet of protein. These are very satisfying. Do I "cheat" now and then? Yes, but I don't like how I feel after eating sugar and lots of carbs so I return to my good foods quickly and continue to see my weight drop. I walk my little dog four times a day and have a part-time job that allows me a lot of movement. I feel so healthy and wonderful. It's easy to continue to eat and live a more healthy lifestyle! When I confessed about eating the wrong "foods", the gals simply encouraged me and gave me fresh ideas to satisfy my taste buds. I always felt I could be honest during my consultations with no fear of being lectured! I plan to continue until I reach my desired weight. I expect to reach my goal by 2017. After I reach my weight goal, I plan to remain in good health with my new found healthy way of eating the calories I need to maintain my proper weight. My Dr. is very pleased at my progress. She wondered how I have lost 30 pounds.

— Diane P. Heesch Nims-Smith

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