Why is quality important?
When it comes to vegetables, what would you prefer? Fresh, bright and flavorful? Or Dull, mushy/soggy, and have an off flavor? I sure would choose the first option. Everyone would prefer getting the best of the best vs. getting bad or old food for the same or slightly higher in pricing.
When it comes to the quality of vegetables, we come back to topics such as fresh produce, local ingredients, nutrients, and the physical appearance of the product itself.
Frozen vs. Fresh
I am sure most people out there understand the lack of nutritional values. Frozen bought vegetables is one of the main topics when it comes to lack of nutrition. You'll find that most canned or preserved vegetables still carry most of their nutrients. Most restaurants you go to, have delicious tasting food, this is because they typically buy or grow their fresh ingredients.
The main reason as to why many people choose frozen is because it is a lot cheaper, and it can store without going bad within 1-2 weeks. But my advice is to buy your fresh produce locally like from a farmer's market. (sometimes may be cheaper than you'd expect), and research ways to freeze ingredients or other storage ways to reach the ingredients shelf-life potential.
Local vs. imported
Many people forget when purchasing fruits and vegetables from your local supermarket, that there are stickers shown on either the packaging, sign, or the product itself. It will show whether it has been grown domestically. The picture below shows that these grapes are grown within Australia.
You’ll find that buying local produce that the quality and shelf-life of the vegetables are going to last longer and are a lot fresher. This practice will also mean reducing your carbon footprint, which can save the planet from too much carbon monoxide.
What happens to vegetable quality?
Fresh and higher quality produce tends to have a more vibrant color, old and poor-quality vegetables can be dull in color and have discoloration.
The taste of good quality vegetables is hard to beat and extremely noticeable. You will likely find these foods at their highest-quality, within their harvest season, and usually when they are at their cheaper time of the year.
You'll notice as soon as you take a bite or even cut it up, whether it is going to be good or bad. Most vegetables will be very light in weight when they are going off, and soft or mushy when you bite, or even fails to hold its shape.
The scent of the vegetables is crucial, fair few people refuse to smell their ingredients when picking them up from their grocery store. They also don't notice until later, and half of the product has gone inedible. This technic comes especially handy in farmer markets where everything is glammed up and crowded.
When it comes to nutrients, fresh is your absolute best option. Nutrients place a big part of your health, and without it, you risk the chance of lowering your immune system and getting ill. Your body also won't function and lead to many things such as skin disorders, digestive problems, and worse cases are things such as dementia.
In summary, there is no harm in trying your local and seasonal vegetables that your country has to offer. Try visiting a local farmer's market or even unpopular food stores, and you'll receive the highest quality and highest nutrients you can. When it comes to food, it may be easier to buy frozen meals or vegetables but think of the nutritional value and how much it has depreciated. Cut your vegetables up and store it in a freezer, to keep quality and the vitamins and minerals at an all-time high.