As an undercover hidden camera investigation recently revealed, not every bearded and overall-wearing guy behind the stand at farmers markets is selling food he grew himself. Some of them just load up a local produce warehouses and sell it to you at a feel-good-about-saving-the-earth premium. So how do you tell who’s real and who’s shoveling you fertilizer? [More]
If you’re in California and need to make a little extra cash, why not buy a bag of baby carrots from the supermarket, throw some potting soil on them, and sell them at your local farmers market as fresh-from-your-farm organic treats? Okay, maybe technically that’s not permitted, but who’s going to stop you? An NBCLA investigation found vendors at several farmers markets were lying to customers about their produce, and sourcing it from local warehouses instead of their own farms. [More]
This is also why you’re fat. A graph of inflation-adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows how the prices of different food and beverages has changed over the past three decades. The price of crap food over the past 30 years has dropped. At the same time, the food you used to try to hide in your glass of milk has gotten steadily more expensive. No wonder the average man in his 60′s is 25 lbs heavier than he was in the late 70′s. Hey, govmnt, how about shifting some of those corn and soybean subsidies over to produce growers? [More]
Do you lie awake at night, wondering where the potatoes in the bag of Lay’s chips you downed while watching “Dancing With the Stars” were grown? No, neither do most sane people. However, our alert colleagues over at ShopSmart magazine have discovered the Lay’s Chip Tracker, which can tell you the potato source based on the bag’s production code. No, seriously.
Snazzy new bar codes are starting to adorn our fruit and vegetables to stop blurry-eyed cashiers from ringing up organic produce as the cheaper-priced regular stuff. They’re called GS1 DataBars, and they’re already appearing in select supermarkets to help consumers move faster through checkout lines.
Customs seizes 4,300 items each day from unsuspecting travelers, so read up on their regulations before jaunting off on vacation or they’ll seize your tasty goat when you return. Customs regulations aren’t as arbitrary as they seem, but they can’t be deciphered by common sense alone.
Walmart received an $89,705 fine after the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection found 280 weights and measures violations at nine Walmart stores. The gargantuan retailer failed to subtract the weight of packaging materials, or “tare weight,” when pricing bulk items like coffee, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.
Judy Cardin, section chief for weights and measures with the state, said that in the case of bulk coffee, the weight of the packaging materials was included when the price of the product was determined. The state had tested one-pound bags of Cameron brand coffee beans, which were found to be 3/100ths of a pound over the actual bagged content.
The heirloom tomatoes in your garden may not just be tastier than commercially grown vegetables, but healthier too, according to a study from the American College of Nutrition. The study looked for 13 nutrients in 43 crops grown from 1950 to 1999 and discovered that the vegetables enjoyed by our grandparents were significantly more nutritious than the veggies found on supermarket shelves today.
After rigorous statistical analysis, the researchers found that, on average, all three minerals evaluated have declined; two of five vitamins have declined; and protein content has dropped by 6 percent.
Finding the freshest, healthiest, and tastiest produce at a farmer’s market requires asking farmers the right questions:
5. When was this picked? You ideally want fruit and vegetables that were picked one or two days before arriving at the market.
4. Can you recommend a recipe? Farmers usually have creative ideas for turning their produce into delicious meals. Don’t pretend you would know how to prepare Kohlrabi without asking.
What do keeping greens fresh and hyperventilating have in common? They both involve breathing into a bag!
Put your fresh greens in a big plastic bag, gather up the neck, blow a little air, aka carbon dioxide, into the bag, then seal it up quick. If your greens are perfectly dry and really fresh (…), they’ll stay bright, firm and flavorful for at least a week like this.
The price of deliciously lush greens throughout the week is less space in the fridge. What tricks do you use to keep your greens fresh? Tell us in the comments. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER