How to choose fresh greens

According to General Electric, Americans throw away almost a fifth of the food in their fridges. That swampy slime in your crisper (that’s your vegetable drawer) is a nutritional and financial sinkhole. The problem partly lies in the fact that some produce is more than a week old by the time it hits the shelf. To make sure you get the freshest stuff there is, follow these tips from Aliza Green, author of Field Guide to Produce

Do stem research

This is where mould, like the white stuff on berries, often starts, and where brown-coloured rot begins on vegetables such as baby marrows and squash

Handle the goods

Pick up a piece of fruit. If it’s heavier than you expect, it’s a juicy keeper.

See green

Lettuce, green beans and broccoli should be a deep, even green, almost blue. (But not potatoes – cut off any green before eating your spuds.)Know your buds With asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower, the tighter the buds are closed, the fresher the produce.

Turn over leaves

Broken leaves or yellowed, faded areas mean leafy greens are about to spoil. For packaged salad, look at both sides of the bag to inspect the leaves.

Give ugly a chance

An ugly tomato misshapen, splitting on top is full of juice and will be tastier than a smooth, pretty one.