Real (Packaged) Food Finally Rots & How to Clean Fresh Produce

Eventually, think six months after the “Best if Used By”  date of Feb 5, the bagged snow peas have finally turned rotten. It’s pretty disgusting – slimy and brown but interestingly enough, still recognizable. I bought these in February – approx. 2/12, at a reduced price. Still edible after two and three months – especially if cooked. At four months they started turning brown – yea, I know FOUR months. I wonder how long they would’ve lasted if I didn’t open the bag. Hmmm.
This would be a great experiment for kids, too. Buy fresh, organic produce and buy the same in a bag and see how long it takes each to rot.

An interesting project, sorry, my pictures didn’t come out very well. Preservatives, supposedly keep food ‘fresh’.

What does fresh mean?
Fresh, as defined by Meriam-Webster:
b: not altered by processing, fresh vegetables
c: lacking experience : raw d: newly or just come or arrived, fresh from school

Fresh, as defined by freedictionary.com:
Not stale or deteriorated; newly made, harvested, etc. fresh bread fresh strawberries
(Cookery) not canned, frozen, or otherwise preserved fresh fruit

Preservatives make fresh food last. Bottom line. All produce in the markets, with the exception, of course, of organic produce, has some degree of pesticide on it.

Fresh produce should always be washed:

*A good scrubbing of fruits and vegetables in plain cold water is good. I scrub with a plastic scrubber on potatoes and root vegetables. And use a sink rag on items like celery, apples, peppers, etc – a sink rag swirled in grapes works well. Be sure not to use fabric softener on your kitchen towels and rags, I take mine out of the washer and air dry.

*Also, an acidic solution made with either vinegar or lemon juice, in a 3 to 1 solution. Either by soaking or kept in a spray bottle. Spray your produce and then rinse thoroughly in cold tap water.

*Wash leafy vegetables by soaking in a clean sink full of cold water for a few minutes. If you use a spinner, just transfer to your spinner to dry. Otherwise, you can transfer to clean kitchen towels and pat dry and leave to air dry or even spin in a large floursack towel outside.

*Wash broccoli and cauliflower by soaking then cutting into pieces. Do a final thorough rinse in a colander.

* Mushrooms do need a quick rinse, then a wipe with a clean, dry kitchen towel.

*Citrus fruits and vegetables with skins you don’t eat should, also, be washed in plain cold water. Think of this, you peel an orange and eat it with your hands that have just been all over the peel –  the orange segments go straight into your mouth

These lists from the Environmental Working Group of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 are great resources to keep on hand in your kitchen.


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