If you are unable to tell which tomatoes are ripe or if that lettuce is fresh, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a helpful guide on how to select vegetables at the supermarket that LifeHacker has put it in an easy-to-scan, printable infographic format to save it on your phone or print it out and take it to the store, and you’ll always have the freshest veggies. Check it out below.
Originally Published by LifeHacker
Other important advice while buying produce:
- Handle produce carefully. Someone must pay for vegetables ruined by rough handling. In the long run, it will probably be you.
- It’s a good idea to cook your vegetables as soon as you’re home, so as to make them last longer.
- Don’t buy because of low price alone. It doesn’t pay to buy more vegetables than you can properly store in your refrigerator or use without waste. Most fresh vegetables can be stored for 2 to 5 days, except for root vegetables, which can be stored from 1 to several weeks.
- Don’t shy away from irregular or misshapen vegetables, says WonderHowTo. They often have the best taste, according to Brian Everett of Jacob Farms/Del Cabo Organics.
- If your tomatoes need further ripening, keep them in a warm place but not in direct sunlight. Unless they are fully ripened, do not store tomatoes in a refrigerator—the cold temperatures might keep them from ripening later on and ruin the flavor.
- This infographic only covers vegetables, but LifeHacker also have some advice on picking fresh, ripe fruit.