When you can smell fresh cantaloupe or peaches just by standing near them in a store or farmer’s market, you can tell they’re ready to eat. But there’s no sure way of knowing how fruit will taste besides actually tasting it. Cantaloupes, when ripe, will be soft at each end. Ripe peaches are soft but not mushy. Most fruit will ripen if left out of the refrigerator for two or three days. And overripe fruit like apples, peaches and bananas can be used for baking pies or cobblers.
The best bet for the freshest fruit is locally grown, as it hasn’t been shipped hundreds of miles and has probably been recently picked. Farmer’s markets are becoming more popular as people realize the benefits of eating locally grown produce. Small family farmers are less likely to use strong pesticides on their crops. Certified organic fruit has no pesticides or other chemicals, but some small farmers try to grow things as organically as possible without being certified by a third party. Some grocery stores now also sell produce from local farmers.
Organic fruit retains more of its flavor than non-organic. Fruit with a thin skin, like apples, peaches and strawberries, are best bought organic because they absorb more chemicals than thicker-skinned fruit like oranges and bananas. Some added chemicals are now known to contribute to disease and other ailments like allergies, and are best not consumed.
Fresh fruit, which is full of vitamins and other nutrients, is a necessary part of most diets and can be a delicious way to stay healthy.
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