Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - when is fresh produce no longer fresh?
03-19-2005, 05:21 PM
Okay, so I love fresh produce, and I love to cook with it, and I think it's good to use as much fresh stuff as possible to cook healthy meals. My problem is this: I can't always tell if stuff has gone bad or not.
For example, I had this packet of mushrooms I bought a week ago, and I cooked them today. I wasn't sure if they were bad or not -- they were starting to get brown spots on them (I buy the pre-sliced kind). I ate them anyway, but now I'm worried that I'm cooking spoiled food! I know a lot of vegetables get mushy when they're no good, but how can you tell with mushrooms, carrots, and things like that? (I have a problem with potatoes sitting around too long too...)
03-19-2005, 06:12 PM
I don't think that you have to worry too much about getting some kind of food poisoning from fresh veggies that have gone bad. I think that as long as they haven't deteriorated to the point that you're no long willing to eat them, then they are fine.
Obviously, though, you have to use a little common sense in this. If there is mold growing on something, toss it! Same goes for things that have gone slimey. But if there are a couple of soft spots, and you can work around those, then I would say go for it.
I'm not a doctor or anything, but I really think that veggies aren't going to hurt you unless you have really extreme tolerances for non fresh food.
03-19-2005, 06:18 PM
Did some Googling and found some stuff for ya:
"How to Buy Fresh Vegetables (http://www.ams.usda.gov/howtobuy/fveg.htm)" prepared by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Shows you what to look for in a variety of produce.
I found the following table on a tripod site and I wanted to spare you all the popups...
Some vegetables will keep for months, while others are good for only a couple of days. The storage times listed below are for vegetables that are kept in the refrigerator.
Asparagus; 1 or 2 days
Lima Beans " "
String Beans 3-5 days
Beets 1-2 weeks, remove the greens
Broccoli 1 or 2 days
Brussel Sprouts " "
Cabbage 1-2 weeks
Carrots " "
Celery 3-5 days
Cauliflower " "
Corn 1-2 days (do not husk)
Cucumbers 3-5 days
Eggplant 1-2 days
Greens " "
Mushrooms " "
Okra 3-5 days
Onions Several months- room temp with air circulation
Scallions 1-2 days
Peas " "
Peppers 3-5 days
Potatoes Several months- dark, dry place with air circulation
Summer Squash 3-5 days
Winter Squash Several months-Cool, Dry Place
Sweet Potatoes Several Months-room temp.
Tomatoes Several Weeks (refrigerated, uncovered)
Here's a good page called "Selecting & Storing Fruits & Vegetables (http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC3483.htm)" by the Clemson University Extension.
That should get you started! :)
*has read the list*
Wow, I must be a pig then... sometimes I buy fresh mushrooms and we eat them like 4-5 days after only, not 1-2! :p (But well, they still look and taste edible, so I suppose they sort of are?)
03-20-2005, 08:41 AM
Thanks for the info! I guess there are quite a few vegetables I've been using too late! It's good to know that about food poisoning too, I guess you usually get food poisoning from bad meat.
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