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04 April 2013 ,12:11 Plastic bags, packaging and food shopping
I'm a terrible stickybeak at the supermarket. I love looking at what others are buying and find myself glancing into trolleys, checking out the range of foods, the brands chosen, the type of fruit and vegetables and whether the owner has succumbed to a chocolate bar while waiting in the checkout queue. It's a professional curiosity, a mini straw-poll on what people are eating every time I go to the supermarket.

Aside from the food, one thing which always strikes me is the quantity and variety of packaging in each persons' trolley. There are bags and boxes, cartons, cans, tetra-packs, and in some shopping trolleys every single item is packaged in some way.

Some packaging is obviously necessary, after all you can't hold milk in your fingers, while with other foods we don't have a choice about the packaging, that's how they're sold. However when it comes to fruit and vegetables I'm often flummoxed by the amount of packaging.
 
While the trend is changing, much of the fresh produce is in the supermarket is sold loose and yet I see many people who put each different type of fruit and vegetable they buy into its own, separate plastic bag. I can understand why you would put small, soft fruit like cherries or grapes into a plastic bag, you don't want them rolling around your trolley, falling between the bars or getting squished by a tin of tomatoes. I can even understand why you would want messy vegetables, like potatoes, to go in a bag, but what about the rest? 
 

Do carrots, onions, spinach, apples, zucchini need to go in bags at all?

 
 
26 February 2013 ,15:42 Tasty links
Here are some tasty links I've spotted recently:
 
  • The myth of ripe produce: Have you ever purchased supposedly "vine ripened" tomatoes or "ripe and ready" avocadoes, only to find they're not ripe at all? I certainly have and here's a piece from The Guardian discussing the problem.
     
  • Great snack: Love this idea from Mademoiselle Slimalicious for spi cy roasted chickpeas. Canned chickpeas are cooked in a frying pan with some olive oil, coriander, cumin, garlic, thyme and chilli flakes. A great sounding snack.
     
  • Desk lunches & egg sandwiches: Grea t piece from Mummy I Can Cook about eating lunch at your desk and the secrets to making a good egg sandwich. Eating lunch at your desk is not the best strategy, but as Shu Han says "sometimes there's no way round a desk lunch".
     
  • Vegetables as instruments: Brooklyn musician j.viewz goes to the grocery store, buys some vegetables and then uses them to make music. What more could you want? Via Lemonpi.
     
  • Why is everyone always giving my kids junk food: Interesting article from Professor Yoni Freedhoff, asking why every single social event and kids activity has to include junk food? He esimates his children are being offered an average of at least 600 (2,500kJ) calories of junk every week.
 

Have you spotted any interesting links recently?

 
25 September 2012 ,19:11 How to store asparagus
Asparagus is sold when it's ready-to-eat. It can degrade quickly and is at its best fresh, so use your spears up as soon as possible.

For best results, store asparagus in your fridge. Wrap the spears in a damp tea towel, which keeps the asparagus moist and protects it from damage. Place this in a plastic bag, in the crisper compartment of your fridge. Then use your asparagus up in 2 - 3 days.  To check if your asparagus is still fresh, flex the end of the spear, near the base, it should snap cleanly, rather than bend.
 
 

How to choose asparagus

 
Look for firm, brightly coloured spears with tightly closed, compact tips. If the stalks have started to wrinkle then the asparagus is not as fresh as it could be.
 

Is asparagus good for you?

 
Like all vegetables asparagus is full of nutritional goodness. It contains B vitamins, including folate, potassium, vitamin C, carotenoid antioxidants and fibre.
25 September 2012 ,15:27 Organic confusion
Research in the UK has shown there is considerable confusion amongst shoppers about what “organic” food actually is. One in five believed organic food was lower in fat; 14% thought it meant ‘healthy’; while 15% said they buy organic food as a strategy for losing weight.

The word organic has nothing to do with the fat, sugar or kilojoule content of a food. Instead it refers to the system of farming and processing which is used to produce that food product. Organic foods have been produced using farming and processing techniques which are natural, sustainable, ethical and environmentally responsible.

Which means an organic cake, is still a cake. It's still made from flour, sugar, butter and eggs. It still has kilojoules, it still has fat and sugar. It's still a treat food.

Buy organic by all means, but don't assume it's going to automatically help you lose weight.

About our Blogger

Kathryn Elliott
 Kathryn Elliott is an Australian based nutritionist, food writer and recipe developer.

About this Blog

A blog about food, healthy eating, seasonal ingredients and how to eat well in a busy life.

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