Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How to Lower Food Costs: Fresher Food Lasts Longer

In response to Mark Bittman's most recent column in The New York Times, a reader left a comment providing another reason—one that I had never considered—that further dispels the prevailing belief that organic and healthy food is prohibitively expensive: longer shelf life.
"Mr. Bittman, Ref. the relatively high price of organic produce: it ain't so! I shop weekly at Blooming Hills Farm in the Hudson Valley. The food is so fresh that it generally lasts far, far longer in the refrigerator than anything that I can buy at the supermarket (including the fancy supermarkets). Food picked somewhere else long ago is not only less healthy, it ends up in the waste bin. And that's no bargain."
Sure enough, a couple days after reading the above, I rediscovered some dinosaur (aka Lacinato) kale in my refrigerator that I had cut from my garden 10 days before but had somehow forgotten about. Save for a few yellowing leaves, the kale looked vibrant and was comparable to anything available in the supermarket. As to the reader's point, when you factor in shipping, storage and shelf time, 10 days may be the average age for supermarket kale.

Here's a video that will help you extend the life of dark leafy greens, lettuces and herbs, whether home garden-grown or store-bought.

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