How to Choose Fruits and Vegetables at the Store

When shopping for fruits and vegetables, it’s important to know how to pick the freshest and highest-quality ones. Here are some helpful tips for making informed and healthy choices:

  1. Choose Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables Seasonal fruits and vegetables are not only tastier but also richer in nutrients. Additionally, they are often cheaper because they don’t require extra transportation and storage costs. Check which fruits and vegetables are in season in your area and focus on those.
  2. Check the Exterior Appearance The exterior appearance is a good indicator of freshness. Here are a few things to consider:
  • Color: Fruits and vegetables should have a vibrant and uniform color. Avoid those with spots, signs of mold, or discoloration.
  • Texture: Gently press the surface of fruits and vegetables. They should be firm but not too hard. Too soft a texture may indicate overripeness or spoilage.
  • Shape: Unusual shapes don’t necessarily mean the fruit or vegetable is spoiled, but it may be a sign that it didn’t grow under ideal conditions. Choose products that have a uniform and symmetrical shape.
  1. Smell the Produce Smell can be another important indicator of freshness. For example, tomatoes and strawberries should have a sweet and pleasant smell. If they don’t have any smell or have an unpleasant odor, it’s best to avoid them.
  2. Pay Attention to Packaging If the products are packaged, check the integrity of the packaging. Avoid products with damaged packaging or signs of condensation, as these may indicate inadequate storage conditions. Make sure there are no excessive liquids or moisture inside the package.
  3. Choose Local and Organic Products Local products are often fresher because they don’t require long-distance transportation. Additionally, by choosing organic products, you reduce exposure to pesticides and other chemicals. Although organic products may be more expensive, the health benefits may justify the extra cost.
  4. Buy in Moderate Quantities Avoid buying large quantities of fruits and vegetables unless you have a clear plan for using them. Fruits and vegetables can spoil quickly, especially if not stored correctly. Buy in small quantities and shop more frequently to ensure you always have fresh produce.
  5. Proper Storage Once you get home, make sure to store fruits and vegetables properly. Some products, like tomatoes and bananas, should be stored at room temperature, while others, like apples and carrots, should be stored in the refrigerator. Consult storage guidelines for each type of fruit or vegetable to keep them fresh for as long as possible.

Where Is It Recommended to Buy Fruits and Vegetables?

Purchasing quality fruits and vegetables is essential to ensure you get all the nutrients they offer. There are several places where you can buy these products, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a detailed analysis of the available options:

  1. Local Markets Advantages:
  • Freshness: Fruits and vegetables from local markets are usually fresher, as they are often harvested on the same day or the day before being sold.
  • Seasonal products: Local markets generally offer seasonal products, which are tastier and richer in nutrients.
  • Supporting the local economy: By buying from local markets, you support local farmers and producers, contributing to the development of the local economy.
  • Variety: Local markets may offer fruit and vegetable varieties that are not found in supermarkets.


  • Availability: Local markets may have limited operating hours and may not be available in all areas.
  • Variable prices: Prices may fluctuate depending on the season and weather conditions.
  1. Supermarkets Advantages:
  • Convenience: Supermarkets are open all day and are easily accessible.
  • Consistent availability: You can find fruits and vegetables throughout the year, regardless of the season.
  • Quality guarantees: Many supermarkets have strict quality standards and offer guarantees for the products sold.


  • Less freshness: Products may be harvested long before they reach the shelves, affecting their freshness and quality.
  • Fewer local products: A large portion of fruits and vegetables in supermarkets come from imports, which means they may be treated with substances to withstand long transportation.
  1. Specialty Stores and Organic Markets Advantages:
  • Organic products: Specialty stores and organic markets offer a wide range of organic products, free from pesticides and chemicals.
  • Superior quality: These stores tend to focus on higher-quality products and sustainable production processes.
  • Diversity: You can find more exotic fruits and vegetables and rare products that are not available elsewhere.


  • Higher prices: Organic products and those from specialty stores are usually more expensive.
  • Limited availability: These stores may be rarer and have restricted operating hours.
  1. Cooperatives and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) Advantages:
  • Maximum freshness: Products are usually harvested on the day of delivery or the day before.
  • Supporting farmers: By participating in a cooperative or CSA, you support local farmers and sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Seasonal variety: CSAs often offer a variety of seasonal products, which can be a great way to experience new foods.


  • Commitment: CSAs require a long-term financial commitment (usually a season), and you receive a selection of products that you cannot control.
  • Accessibility: Cooperatives and CSAs are not available in all areas.
  1. Direct from the Farm Advantages:
  • Maximum freshness: Buying directly from the farm ensures that the products are fresh and freshly harvested.
  • Tours and transparency: Some farms offer tours of their production facilities, allowing you to see how fruits and vegetables are grown.
  • Better prices: By buying directly, you can avoid intermediary fees, which can lead to better prices.


  • Distance: Farms may be located far from your home, making access difficult.
  • Limited variety: Some farms specialize in certain types of products, so the variety may be limited.

Choosing where to buy fruits and vegetables depends on your priorities and preferences. If freshness and supporting the local economy are important to you, local markets and cooperatives are excellent choices. If you prefer convenience and consistent availability, supermarkets and specialty stores are a good option. Regardless of your choice, make sure to always check the quality of the products to enjoy the best fruits and vegetables available.

How Do We Know if the Fruits and Vegetables We Want to Buy are Natural?

When choosing fruits and vegetables, it’s essential to know how to identify natural products that haven’t been excessively treated with pesticides or other chemicals. Here are some tips and tricks to recognize natural fruits and vegetables:

  1. Labels and Certifications Organic certification: Look for labels indicating that the product is certified organic. In many countries, this means that the products have been grown without chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms. In the EU, organic products are marked with the green leaf logo. In the US, USDA Organic certification is a trusted indicator. Label terms: Terms like “natural,” “pesticide-free,” and “grown organically” can be helpful indications, but they are not always strictly regulated. Official certifications are more reliable.
  2. Appearance of Fruits and Vegetables Size and shape: Natural fruits and vegetables tend to vary in size and shape. If all the apples in a box are perfectly round and of the same size, they may have been treated to look that way. Color: Natural products don’t have extremely bright colors. Their color should be vibrant but not exaggerated. Avoid products with very vivid colors, which may indicate the use of chemicals to enhance appearance.





Other blog posts

E102 – Tartrazine
What is food additive E102 (Tartrazine) ? E102 (tartrazine) is a synthetic azo dye food additive with the molecular formula C16H9N4Na3O9S2, meaning it is not found in nature in its pure form. This food additive is derived from…