Hanging out with my mom over Thanksgiving weekend was a lot of fun. We went grocery shopping together. She taught me a couple of new tips when buying produce, and she reminded me of some previous tips I already knew about but were useful. Here’s Mom’s tips when buying produce:

#1. The green bell pepper: Look at the bottom of the pepper. Males have 3 bumps at the bottom and will be lighter because they are seedless. Female green peppers have four bumps and have seeds inside. This is important to note when buying peppers by the pound, you want to buy the lightest pepper (less seeds = lighter), so buy male. If buying peppers individually (1 pepper = $1.50), go for the biggest pepper because it doesn’t matter how much it weighs.


#2. The lemons, oranges, or grapefruits: Pick the heaviest in relationship to size. This means that you want to hold the citrus fruit in your hand. The heavier means the more juicy and delicious. Try picking up a few to see the difference in weights.


#3. The cantaloupe: To pick the juiciest, most flavorful cantaloupe, press around the area where the stem used to be. If it is ripe, it should give a little to your pressure. Also, smell the area of the stem. It should be fragrant and smell like a cantaloupe which means it will have more flavor.


#4. The carrot: They should be firm and not have any moldy spots. Also make sure there are no splits in the carrot. If they’re split, they’ll have less flavor.


#5. The potato: Buy firm potatoes with smooth skin and no black spots. The skin should be uniform in color and look “clean” with not too many scrapes or cuts in it.

Thank you Mom for your great tips! Hope you enjoy them. The cantaloupe that smelled the best in the store was delicious when we brought it home to eat. Happy grocery shopping.

By Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN