Our top tips when shopping for vegetables and fruit
1. Eat seasonally
Eating in-season means you eat food at its best and it’s usually less expensive too. Using UK seasonal produce reduces our carbon footprint by cutting food miles and the need for energy intensive greenhouses. Eat Seasonably offers information on what’s in season each month and how to make the best of it with top tips and recipes.
2. Buy locally produced
After picking fruits and vegetables can start to lose flavour and nutrients. Locally produced vegetables and fruit can be picked and delivered to your door within days so they can be fresher and more nutritious than those you might find in a supermarket. Buying direct from the farmer either through a veg box scheme or at a farmers market can benefit the local economy and help reconnect consumers with where their food comes from
3. Buy loose
Always choose loose vegetables and fruit – you’ll be reducing the amount of packaging you bring home and potentially your food waste too as you only buy what you need. Packaged food is often more expensive, so buying loose can also save you money. We’re lucky in Brighton & Hove to have many independent shops that stock locally produced loose fruit and vegetables.
4. Find out which veg and fruit have the highest pesticide residues
The application of pesticides to fruit and vegetables can happen at all stages of production so the residues may be still on the produce. Research shows that pesticides can be harmful for our health and for the health of wildlife, so buying organic might be the best option. However, some organic produce can seem more expensive. Our friends at the Pesticide Action Network have compiled a list of the top 20 vegetables and fruits with the highest pesticide residues found on them so you can pick and choose which of the produce you buy would be best to opt for organic.
5. Buy wonky
Some farmers in the UK have up to 10 tonnes of produce rejected on a weekly basis, solely for the reason that this produce is ‘ugly’. This means farmers have to constantly over-produce in order to meet these targets. This unwanted produce ends up wasted either in landfill, as animal feed or ploughed back into the land. Buying wonky veg helps farmers sell more of their crop and plan production with greater accuracy.