03/06 Health & Wellness Tip – Produce Guide

Where do you start for National Nutrition Month?
I’m starting with the proposition that we should be eating more whole foods and less processed foods.

One of the best things my husband and I did years ago was join a CSA, community supported agriculture. Every week we got a basket full of fruits and vegetables, mostly vegetables. We didn’t know what we were going to receive each week and we didn’t even know what some of the vegetables were. It forced us to try new foods that we wouldn’t have tried otherwise. Sometimes, we need to be forced to try new things, especially when it comes to food as we tend to get in a routine eating the same thing day-after-day, week-after-week. We enjoyed trying the new foods and researching what we received.

This is my go-to produce bible - Dr. Richter’s Fresh Produce Guide ©2000

This is my go-to produce bible – Dr. Richter’s Fresh Produce Guide ©2000

Fortunately, years prior to that, I bought a produce book. I consider this my produce bible! Every week I was able to pull this book out to investigate what this item in my hand was, how to store it, and how to eat it. This book saved me and it still saves me! I still pull it off the shelf frequently.

Since I love this book so much, I recommend it to everyone. I have looked for it and, as far as I can tell, it is no longer in publish. You can still find it online to purchase used copies and I believe there is an updated version.

Here are other produce books. I haven’t used any of these, although I have thumbed through a few of them at a book store.
• A Guide to the Produce Aisle by CQ Products
• Fresh Produce Guide by Integrated Marketing Services
• Field Guide to Produce by Aliza Green
• Melissa’s Great Book of Produce by Cathy Thomas

There are most likely apps in today’s technology world that you can use to get the same information in any of these books.

Personally, I prefer the simplicity of my spiral-bound book that I can thumb through.

by Michele Spear