Reclaiming your health truly starts when you begin making food for you and your family from scratch in your own kitchen. Equipping yourself with the tricks of the trade will help you feel much more able and excited to cook at home. In our first tutorial, we showed you a super efficient way to dice an onion; now it’s time to learn how to cut even more of those round veggies.
There’s an overwhelming trend at the grocery store: pre-cut and packaged vegetables. These items are sold as a super convenient way to ensure that you cook your family a healthy meal at home. While the allure of these products is obvious, there are some important hidden costs that come along with the convenience. By avoiding pre-cut & packaged veggies you can save (lots of) money, reduce your environmental impact, and avoid preservation techniques like food irradiation!
Pre-cut veggies cost a lot more
The greatest allure of pre-cut vegetables is that they are quick and easy. Though you may be making a dent in time, you may not realize that you are making a large dent in your wallet too. A quick peek at the price of pre-packaged fruits and vegetable vs. fresh ones may give you a wake up call. At the time of this writing, an entire pineapple at a local grocery store was $1 less than just 24 oz. of pre-packaged pineapple. On top of the cost, the FDA still recommends washing pre-packaged veggies just like you would with whole ones, so the time saved is questionable.
Pre-cut vegetables have a big environmental footprint
The most obvious way that pre-packaged vegetables impact the planet is in the packaging itself. Single use plastics are filling our landfills at an alarming rate, and much of it has made its way into our oceans. The development of plastics is also directly related to air quality. On top of the plastic waste, many pre-packaged vegetables are shipped long distances, which means more fossil fuels being used. Cutting out pre-cut fruits and vegetables is a great way to reduce your personal environmental impact.
Irradiation is a truly controversial topic
Have you ever noticed that those pre-diced products don’t seem to get brown around the edges like the veggies that you cut at home do? What keeps these foods “fresher” longer is a method called irradiation. This process is still a controversial topic for food safety. While the argument is that irradiated foods are free of microbes and bacteria, many feel like the process makes food “dead”. In some cases, nutrients have been lost and taste was affected after the irradiation process, and the Center For Environmental Safety calls the process a “Gross Failure”. Those that are concerned with GMOs may be concerned about this process, as it is not a normal process that occurs in nature. Do yourself and your family a favor and cut out unhealthy processed foods by doing it yourself!
Empower yourself – Cut Your Own!
The steps for cutting a round vegetable may seem silly, but it really is that easy. Remember, you truly do need a sharp knife to get the good cuts.
That’s it. No really, that’s it. You have more superfood kitchen skills than you thought. Apply this method to more than just potatoes and tomatoes. Try it with zucchinis, cucumbers, beets, radishes… you get the picture.
Tomato tips: removing the seeds after cutting it in half to create a flat surface will reduce the amount of liquid greatly. Be sure to cut off the stem with a paring knife after cutting it in half.
Looking for something delicious to go with your perfectly cut veggies? Check out the Nutiva Store.
What kitchen skills are you interested in learning? Do you have a favorite way to cut vegetables? Let us know in the comments below!