We have been told repeatedly over the years that eating more vegetables and fruits (produce) is considered a key to a healthier life, because produce are overall good for us; they are full of necessary nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, which is why we don’t fail to buy them whenever we go to the shopping mall or to the local market. That being said, it would be really good to save yourself from the stress and disappointment of getting home from the mall/market, only to discover the fruits and veggies you bought are bad.

When you go produce shopping weekend, it is won’t be nice to put any type of produce in your basket. There are a few important indicators to look out for when you’re perusing the freezers, or fresh foods aisle that tell you whether that fruit or vegetable is fresh enough for you to purchase.

Below are 10 signs that indicate whether a particular produce is good enough for you.

When green vegetable leaves are a pale yellow color.

Fresh, healthy vegetables should be a dark or bright vibrant green colour (depending on what species of vegetable it is). If vegetable leaves look pale green or even yellow, it will turn brown sooner rather than later. Once the leaves wilt, they will start to leak liquid, causing a gone-bad stench. Example include kale, lettuce, pumpkin leaves, spinach etc.

When bell peppers have wrinkles.

Ripe bell peppers have a firm skin. Regardless of the colour, whether orange, yellow, red, or green, when any form of bell pepper is close to spoiling, the more soft and wrinkly their skin becomes. If the bell pepper is so soft its skin feels slimy, mold is close to developing. You shouldn’t buy that.

When tomatoes are too squishy or too firm.

When you give a tomato a light squeeze, it should have a little give. If your tomato is either too squishy or wrinkled, it’s a secret sign it’s gone bad.

When onions smell more pungent than usual.

Well, this might be a little weird, because onions always smell (a distinct oniony smell). But if they smell particularly bad, then that is an indicator they have gone bad. You should be able to tell the difference.

When nectarines don’t smell fragrant.

Nectarines are peaches with a smooth-skinned fruit that is a frequent mutation of the normal peach. Always smell your nectarines. It should give off a fragrant and sweet scent. If the nectarine isn’t properly ripened, it will give off virtually no smell at all.

When berries smell too sweet.

To test the ripeness of berries, give them a quick sniff. If they smell particularly sweet, the berries are likely close to turning bad, and you don’t want to be buying those.

When the berry container visibly has mold in it

It should go without saying but if you can visibly note mold in a berry container (or on any piece of produce), then it’s best to pass.

When asparagus has darkened tips.

When asparagus starts to go bad, the tips of the vegetable start to darken; first, they’ll turn dark green and then eventually, black. If you notice the tips of asparagus turning dark green, you should definitely make a hard pass.

When Grapes appear pale.

Grapes should be dark-coloured in appearance. Grapes that are pale-coloured aren’t as fresh or ripe. If grapes are discolored, appear withered, or look brown, it might be worth tossing them.

When any produce has brown spots.

Produce of any kind shouldn’t have brown spots. Brown spots could be an indicator of black rot, which is a fungal disease that causes the fruit to blacken, rot, and shrivel.

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