Friday, December 2, 2011

Tips for Buying the Freshest Foods

Prepackaged foods are usually loaded with sodium and preservatives to keep them looking fresh. After spending money on food, the last thing you want to do is to throw it out.
How can you be sure that you are purchasing the freshest food available? Follow the tips below for buying the freshest food available:


Fruits and Vegetables

Concentrate on the skin and stems. The skin be firm to the touch, with no bruises are blemishes, while the stems should be well attached. The chart below indicates when these common fruits and vegetables are at their peak freshness.

Frozen Foods

Choose frozen foods that are labeled IQF (Individually Quick Frozen), where you can feel individual pieces through the bag. These foods are flash frozen at the peak of freshness to retain their flavor without any added preservatives.
Pass on any package that feels like a solid mass, which means the food was allowed to thaw at some point, then refrozen.

Meats, Poultry and Fish

Buy your meats from the meat counter or from a butcher. Some prepackaged refrigerated meats are now sealed with gases (carbon monoxide), to keep their fresh appearance. It may even look fresh weeks beyond the expiration date.
Avoid any type of fish or seafood that has a "fishy" smell. Fresh fish has no odor whatsoever.
Image by  ulterior epicure @ Flickr


Smell the cheese. If it smells like ammonia (called ammoniated or ammoniacal), the cheese is either past its prime or has been mishandled in some way.

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