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Fresh fruits and vegetables - are you buying them?


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I keep hearing concerns about fresh fruits and vegetables during this time of coved-19 concern.  Are you still buying and eating them, or are you only buying frozen or canned?  How likely are you to be infected by fresh?  

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Of course! I'm buying even more in fact, because that's the best way to stay healthy, eating good food. If we stress eat, we're just more likely to get sick.

I have no clue if some worker could pass the germs on, but you know you're gonna go somehow. Wash.

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I am buying things that are packaged.  Strawberries, blueberries, lettuce or salad mix that is bagged or in plastic containers.  Bagged potatoes and onions.  Bagged carrots.  Mushrooms that are packaged and wrapped.  Pre-bagged oranges and apples.  Whole watermelons and cantaloupes (when the time comes).  Those I will let sit awhile and clean before I cut.  Pre-packaged tomatoes.  Nothing that is loose and handled by many people.  I read an article this morning which said that loose stuff is probably handled by ay least 10 people.

I will also not be buying stuff that is cut and packaged at the store.

I also have canned and frozen stuff.

Edited by mlktwins
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Not only am I buying them, I am imploring people to PLEASE buy them....I just had a post about it last night.

There are people who are not buying these things.  And the stores are going to have to throw them away.  Please buy them.  Please buy the ones you wouldn't normally and then try to be creative.  Please, buy them and use them BEFORE you use your frozen/canned stash.  Srsly.  Buy and use produce.  Buy and freeze produce.  Please don't make stores throw it out.

It's good for you.  It's good for our economy to continue shopping regularly.  It's good to not waste all the effort and natural resources than went into growing this stuff.

I haven't read anything that describes this corona virus as any less vulnerable to the basic washing and food prep concepts we already consider basic, so buy it, wash it off like you normally would, and then use it.

 

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I am buying fresh.  Everything gets washed or peeled before eating.    

The risk of infection from fresh produce is lower than the risk of going hungry if I don't.  My local stores have plenty of fresh produce.  Canned and frozen are in short supply.

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About half of what I eat is fresh fruit and veggies, so yes, I'm still buying them.  It seems like maybe a lot of people aren't though, because in the stores I've been in, there has been plenty of fresh produce when things like cans, bagged snacks, and pasta are sold out.

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We buy a large amount of fresh produce and are continuing to do so now. I usually get a cartful at the grocery store each week and we also get a weekly 20 lb. produce box shipped to us. I fill the sink with water and dish soap and give everything a quick soak, then rinse and let it dry in the dish drainer. Greens get spun dry in the salad spinner.

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Yes, but not just anything.

Potatoes, onions, carrots and celery are staples here, since I make a LOT of soup. For veggie soup I buy frozen soup veggies but add in a bag of shredded cabbage. No worries with that since it's cooked. I'm not worried about anything that's cooked. For fruit I'm sticking with things I can scrub--apples and mangoes mostly. I'm leery of any kind of berry, grapes, etc.

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I'm vegetarian, so I'm buying all the same things I normally buy, including berries and various fruit & veg that are sold loose. I shop once/week, and go as soon as the store opens — while everyone else is running towards the toilet paper aisle, I have the produce section to myself. I always have plenty of nonperishable pantry foods (flour, quinoa, rice, pasta, beans, lentils, etc.), so mostly I am just buying produce, plus every 2-3 weeks I add milk & eggs for the kids.

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Yes, absolutely. We need the nutrition. 

I do prepare fresh produce to be as safe as possible -- I wash everything washable, peel outer layers of cabbages, store the unwashable-but-cookable (like potatoes) away from the washed produce that is meant to be eaten fresh (which I would anyway). I am not using fresh leafy lettuces although that's a personal preference and *nobody's* advice. For now, I am using head lettuces and cabbages and frozen greens. I'll be growing lettuces all summer and making cold frames and a greenhouse for winter.

I went to my local store last night and found no meat, no cheese, a bit of eggs and butter and milk, no bread....I came home with a cart full of produce! They didn't have potatoes but I still have a lot.

I was concerned about the virus' ability to survive 24 hours on cardboard, so I took the eggs out of the flimsy cardboard cartons, washed them with soap, and put them in the refrigerator. I disposed of the cartons.

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Yes, most definitely, I'm happy that I've not had any difficulty finding fresh food. Potatoes have been scarce but I had replenished my store before the stores got so crazy.

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Yes, I have no concerns about produce.
I’m saving most of our canned and frozen veggies in case we need them or feel it’s more prudent to avoid the stores. For now, I’m still going to the grocery regularly—though much less often—primarily for fresh produce and to top off our general supplies.

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1 hour ago, Pawz4me said:

Yes, but not just anything.

Potatoes, onions, carrots and celery are staples here, since I make a LOT of soup. For veggie soup I buy frozen soup veggies but add in a bag of shredded cabbage. No worries with that since it's cooked. I'm not worried about anything that's cooked. For fruit I'm sticking with things I can scrub--apples and mangoes mostly. I'm leery of any kind of berry, grapes, etc.

 

Same here with the addition of greens like kale, collard and mustards. We cook them all. I'm not a huge fan of salads right now but DH is stubbornly buying romaine and shredded carrots. I put the carrots in shepherd's pie and stir fry. The lettuce gets washed in (scarce) veggie wash.

Edited by Sneezyone
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YES, yes, Yes!!!  Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables!!!

 

I am doing my best to clean them well beyond what I would usually do. (Wash outsides of tough fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, etc with soap and water same as my hands. 

Delicate produce I am currently putting in a bowl of water with a little H2O2  to soak for disinfection.  I will probably switch to a drop per gallon (or maybe it’s drop per quart - I have to look that up ) tincture of iodine. 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Pen said:

Delicate produce I am currently putting in a bowl of water with a little H2O2  to soak for disinfection.  I will probably switch to a drop per gallon (or maybe it’s drop per quart - I have to look that up ) tincture of iodine. 

 

 

 

It’s apparently a drop iodine per quart water— but doesn’t seem absolute.  Some sources say 4 drops. 

In any case an ounce bottle or two of iodine should last till my own baby garden greens are ready to start eating.  And I don’t have any risk factors against having a bit of iodine in my system. 

 

by G McDonnell · 1999 · Cited by 4209 · Related articles
Similarly to bacteria, it is likely that iodine attacks the surface proteins of enveloped viruses, but they may also destabilize membrane fatty acids by reacting with  
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2 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

Not only am I buying them, I am imploring people to PLEASE buy them....I just had a post about it last night.

There are people who are not buying these things.  And the stores are going to have to throw them away.  Please buy them.  Please buy the ones you wouldn't normally and then try to be creative.  Please, buy them and use them BEFORE you use your frozen/canned stash.  Srsly.  Buy and use produce.  Buy and freeze produce.  Please don't make stores throw it out.

It's good for you.  It's good for our economy to continue shopping regularly.  It's good to not waste all the effort and natural resources than went into growing this stuff

 

 

 

I agree! 

Use fresh as long as possible, save frozen for if needed due to needing to be home 100%.  Or no more fresh being available 

 

1 hour ago, regentrude said:

Yes. It's the best thing I can do for our health.

 

Yes. I agree with this too!!!

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3 minutes ago, katilac said:

Y'all are making me feel like a slacker in the produce-washing department 😄

Generally, if you are doing a basic wash off you are probably fine.  The truth is, most things, including this virus, aren't going to live on produce more than a few hours.  If I shop on Saturday, wash that day and set it in the fridge....the risks of ANY illness are small.  Like, really small.  With food stuffs, the bigger risk is usually bacterial things like botulism, salmonella, etc.  And the risks of those things don't change because of Covid  19

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Picked up some onion sets, asparagus, and garlic to start out in the garden while I was out today.  Can do those as soon as the ground can be dug up.

Also grabbed some herbs to repot-- basil and rosemary.  Wish they'd had oregano, too.

 

Edited by Tina
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3 hours ago, whitehawk said:

I think we've already been exposed via community transmission, but even if not, I would think produce is so much lower a risk than being around other people, I would definitely keep eating it.

If you're nervous, you could just buy things you will boil before consuming. Here's what I do for veggie broth:

Ingredients: a head of Bibb lettuce (or similar), several carrots, one or more onions, a few stalks of celery, a few leeks (optional), fresh or dried thyme, several peppercorns

  1. Heat water in a deep stock pot on high heat.
  2. Chop or shred the vegetables.
  3. Add everything to the pot. Boil, then simmer 20-45 minutes with the lid partway on. DO NOT add salt. It should develop a nice color (purplish if you used red onions).
  4. Strain, then return to pot and boil another 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool, then freeze in wide-mouth pint jars or other safe containers.

When I want to use a jar, I remove the lid and heat the jar in the microwave for a few minutes; you could also thaw in the fridge. This makes a nice base for soup (which, again, gets boiled) with, say, beans, garlic, and tomatoes, with rice or pasta or potatoes.

This is good, and you can add other things also.

I would say, avoid cabbage as it gives broth such a strong flavor that it's not 'background' anymore.

Also, if you want a richer flavor you can caramelize the onions first and then follow this recipe.  

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I have been buying berries from out of the area that are in those clamshells.  I suspect they are safer.  I should rinse them, but I usually don't.  Ditto tiny cherry tomatoes.

One veggie that no virus could survive on is artichokes, and I love those, so I've been eating them pretty often.  Anything that is steamed for almost an hour is going to be free of live germs, I'm sure.

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

Generally, if you are doing a basic wash off you are probably fine.  The truth is, most things, including this virus, aren't going to live on produce more than a few hours.  If I shop on Saturday, wash that day and set it in the fridge....the risks of ANY illness are small.  Like, really small.  With food stuffs, the bigger risk is usually bacterial things like botulism, salmonella, etc.  And the risks of those things don't change because of Covid  19

 

That may well be true!

I’m still doing washing !

 

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I live in the epicenter of the C19 outbreak. I might already have had an infection of COVID-19 in January through community transmission is my guess based on how my health was affected at that time. 

I buy and consume as many fresh veggies as I can (I also have a small garden that produces some varieties). I am vegetarian and I believe that this is the time that we have to eat as many fresh fruits and veggies as possible to strengthen our immune system in a natural way. I wear a mask, gloves, have a few chlorox disinfectant wipes in my pocket when I go out vegetable shopping. (I also eat daily vitamin supplements).

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Today at Publix there weren’t many shoppers at 10 am but the produce section was pretty empty. They were stocking, but had no heads of lettuce, onions, potatoes, or carrots.  Bananas, apples, and grapes were available but their entire cut fruit case was bare. 

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13 hours ago, Annie G said:

Today at Publix there weren’t many shoppers at 10 am but the produce section was pretty empty. They were stocking, but had no heads of lettuce, onions, potatoes, or carrots.  Bananas, apples, and grapes were available but their entire cut fruit case was bare. 

I had the same problem at Walmart. Empty shelf after empty shelf.  eat a sweet potato nearly every day but they have been hard to find lately. I lucked into some yesterday at Aldi though. Yay! But yeah, all the produce has been either gone or few in number. 😞 I'm shopping at a number of stores just to keep us in the basics. The apples I like have disappeared completely.

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I was at a Walmart Neighborhood Market this morning.  The only produce items I wanted that I couldn't get were blackberries and Tofurkey slices.  (My grocery shelves tofu and Tofurkey in the produce aisle.)  The only obviously in short supply item was potatoes.  There were a few bags of large baking potatoes and a pallet of pre-packaged microwave-ready small potatoes with seasoning packets, no other white potatoes.  There were plenty of sweet potatoes.   

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Absolutely! Buying lots here. I'm not about to go without my fresh veggies and fruit.

I also stole one of my kid's AeroGarden's and am growing lettuce, kale, parsley and basil. We don't have an outside garden so is the next best thing. Love it.

ETA: Broccoli sprouts are serious business in our house, too. I just bought a 12 pound bag for sprouting. That's a whole lotta sprouts.

Edited by BeachGal
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35 minutes ago, BeachGal said:

Absolutely! Buying lots here. I'm not about to go without my fresh veggies and fruit.

I also stole one of my kid's AeroGarden's and am growing lettuce, kale, parsley and basil. We don't have an outside garden so is the next best thing. Love it.

ETA: Broccoli sprouts are serious business in our house, too. I just bought a 12 pound bag for sprouting. That's a whole lotta sprouts.

What size do you have and how much can you grow in it? I've thought about getting one, but wasn't sure if it was really worth it or if some pots on the kitchen window sill would work just as well.

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1 hour ago, Corraleno said:

What size do you have and how much can you grow in it? I've thought about getting one, but wasn't sure if it was really worth it or if some pots on the kitchen window sill would work just as well.

 

It can hold 9 plants. Aero Gardens are pricey but they sure make indoor gardening easy. Just fill the reservoir with water, add some fertilizer, pop in the pods and let them grow. The only thing to do is refill the water now and then and add fertilizer. They also sell a diy kit that allows you to use your own seeds or cuttings. I just put in a new garden 2-3 days ago and the lettuce is already sprouting.

A kitchen window would probably work well, too. Our home doesn't get much sun but I'm going to try growing some arugula anyway. I bought some Ikea grow light bulbs on sale for $3 each which I might use if the arugula doesn't do well.

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I have bought a lot more fresh produce in the last several weeks than usual.  I'm prepping it and putting it out for the family to munch on, so they don't just seek out carbs.  Now that I've heard about teens purposely coughing on it, I may start adding some hydrogen peroxide to the rinse water.  I'm not terribly concerned, though.  With as many people as are in the stores now, it would have made the local news (or at least the NextDoor app) if it were happening here.  

 

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2 hours ago, aaplank said:

I was purchasing only produce sold in bags, but now I'm not sure if that's a good idea after reading this disturbing report. Part of me hopes that this is fake news. Teens purposely coughing all over produce. 

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/trending-out-of-control-teens-coughing-on-grocery-store-produce

 

 

I mean, whether they are or aren't, you know I'm washing all my produce super diligently right now.

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Yes, I am 30 minutes north of the northern Italian border.  Much of the fresh produce this time of year comes from, or through, Italy. People are still eating the fresh produce (many of the fridges don't even have a freezer compartment for storing frozen) and there has not been any indication that anyone has contracted COVID-19 from produce.

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