Want To Know How To Tell If You Are Eating High Quality Fruits and Vegetables?
Are you having trouble getting your kids to eat their veggies? Are you having trouble getting yourself to eat your veggies? Fruits and vegetables don’t taste as good as they used to.
As mentioned in a previous post, this is because the minerals and life in the soil have been depleted, and the minerals are what make up the compounds that give fruit and vegetables their flavor. Yes, organic produce IS better than conventionally grown produce, in regards to less chemical exposure for you and less toxic runoff into the waterways. As far as flavor goes though, it is a hit or miss.
When it comes to flavor, it is about more than just a label. It is about the practices that were used to produce and bring that fruit or vegetable to the shelf. Essentially, the flavor of produce is a reflection of the health of the soil it was grown in, which is a reflection of the awareness of the farmer who managed it.
When the soil is appropriately cared for and crops are produced for quality rather than quantity (although better yields are a side benefit of healthy soils), the flavor of the crops is noticeably more complex and “sweet”. The better flavor coincides with higher nutrition (this is not the case for Doritos, sorry), which leads to increased quality.
How do you tell if you are eating food fit for humans or food that is fit for bugs?
Food that is digestible for insects is not high quality food. If there are insect holes all in your farmer’s market fresh organic greens, then that means the plant was not healthy and did not have all the nutrients it needed to turn amino acids into complete proteins, or the capability to make other complex substances non-digestible by insects. There are two ways to grow hole-free organic greens: ones grown by farmers using “organic” pesticides, or ones grown by farmers who understand the nutritional needs of their plants and put the energy into improving their soil. So, speak with your farmers about their growing practices and express your desire for foods grown in remineralized and “living” soils.
Another benefit of flavorful, high quality fruits and vegetables is that they store longer in the refrigerator and will actually dehydrate, rather than rot! It sucks throwing out vegetables you bought less than a week ago and then having to clean up the mess.
All creatures with a sense of taste and smell use it to help them choose nutritious food (again, junk food and artificially intensified foods do not count!). Produce that has more flavor and better taste, is more satisfying than watery or bitter tasting fruits and vegetables. Once you reconnect to your innate senses and begin treating your taste buds to incredibly delicious nutrient dense produce, you may find that your taste buds become “re-calibrated” to these higher quality foods.
One way to measure the quality of produce is to use a tool called a brix meter, with the higher numbers correlating to better nutrition. There is a direct relation between flavor and brix. Eventually, with the use of this tool, you will quickly regain your ability to select great food by taste alone. Check out more about measuring brix HERE.
Here are some ways to visually tell the quality of fruits and vegetables:
- A thinner rind indicates higher quality
- Top quality citrus has five points at the calyx – stem end
- Look for a boxy shape, it will be better
FOR STONE FRUITS (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, etc.):
- A split pit indicates poor quality and that there were mineral deficiencies
- A withered stem and yellow “ground spot” indicate that the fruit ripened on the vine.
- Look for a natural waxy coating, which indicates good quality. Be aware though, packers, processors, and stores try to duplicate this effect by applying wax to poor quality vegetables.
- Any hollowness indicates there was a mineral deficiency.
- Bright, pure color, suggests higher quality (holds true for cut flowers as well).
- Slime or mold can be washed off the surface, but it has already grown throughout the item. It is wise to reject such food. High quality, high brix produce will not rot in storage, rotting in storage is a sign of poor quality.
- Fruit should feel heavy for its size.