Of course, we all know that.
Easier said than done though…
Before I committed to a healthy diet I would love eating cookies-and-crème ice cream, lots of Riesling wine, glazed donuts, boxes of Russell’s assorted milk-chocolates and those nice sugar cookies from Stop & Shop, mmmm so yummy.
What was not so yummy was the heartburn I felt when I went to bed, the constant burping and bloating, feeling dazed and numb… Ugh!
But sometimes choosing better can be hard… especially when we’re used to go for the “good stuff” (aka: junk).
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, healthy eating:
Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts can be a little expensive and maybe you can start thinking about how to prolong their shelf-life, so you get more bang for your buck.
If a fruit or veggie is truly ‘organic’ it should start going bad within 4-6 days.
Other non-organic produce is kept fresh longer in transit and on the shelf due to chemicals that help keep them fresh.
These treatments are done in the farms or in the distribution facility. At the supermarket they mainly add coatings to make the produce look more attractive (like waxing apples and pears so they look shiny).
Some of these treatments are the addition of chemicals (organic acids, hydrogen peroxide, sulphur dioxide, among others), they also do physical treatments to lower post-harvest loss (such as heat treatments, edible coatings and irradiation) and last but not least gaseous treatments (such as ozonation, 1-methyl propene).
Organic produce generally has a shorter shelf life and are more susceptible to develop bacteria, an oxygen-loving microorganism, that will spoil your produce.
Hopefully, your produce will not be treated in any way until it reaches your home.
After that, you can prolong their shelf life by mechanically removing oxygen from the environment where you store your fruits and veggies. You can do this by storing them in air tight containers, more on that below.
Fruits and vegetables after harvest are metabolically active and continue to “respire” after being plucked, that is they are still ripening and continuing to breathe. Fruits and veggies take in oxygen and release CO2.
Even though refrigerating them slows this natural process down (that’s the whole point of refrigeration), you can further slowdown this process by cutting out the availability of oxygen.
According to research in the Journal of Food Science Technology, the preservation of your produce against oxidative degradation is essential to improve shelf life and increase food security.
Your goal is to reduce the growth of decay-causing fungi and food borne pathogens by delaying rate of respiration to maintain overall quality and prolong its shelf life.
Vacuum sealing containers are the best addition to your kitchen to conserve your produce for a healthy diet.
Prolong the flavor and freshness of foods and beverages 3-5 times longer than average containers. This will help you:
A healthy diet is a move in the right direction with organic produce, but it can be a little pricey if you exclusively go organic, but well worth the money.
You might want to store those juicy blueberries or crunchy celery in the most effective and versatile containers to keep them fresh for longer, I can help with this.
However, as soon as you shift your diet into one where whole green vegetables and organic fruit are commonplace, you should pay attention to the healthy way to store your food naturally.
Like you, I have little time and disposition to follow long recipes and time-consuming preparations.
A healthy diet needs quick and easy ways to cook so we can stick to it!
Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, health.gov
Journal of Agricultural Science and Food Research, Strategies used to prolong the shelf life of fresh commodities, www.omicsonline.org
Science Direct, Controlled-atmosphere storage, www.sciencedirect.com
U.S. National Library of Medicine, Journal of Food Science Technology, Oxygen absorbers in food preservation, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov