Food that is low-quality can taste bad, but it can also cause health issues. This makes choosing the right foods very important.
As an example, forchlorfenuron is a substance used to increase a watermelon’s size and weight, but it can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and swelling when eaten.
Here’s some practical tips on checking the quality of food:
1. Check the Freshness of Eggs
Test the freshness of your eggs with a simple test. Put an egg into a glass of water, and watch what happens. If the egg sinks and lies on its side, it’s good to eat, but is it sinks and stands at an angle, it’s around 1-2 weeks old. If it floats on the surface, it’s too old to be eaten.
You can also tell the difference between free-range and caged hen eggs – a free-range egg usually has a darker, more vibrantly colored yolk than an egg from a caged hen.
2. Snap Your Chocolate Bar
To check the actual cocoa butter content of your chocolate, snap it and listen to the sound it makes. A loud “click” sound means the bar has a high cocoa content, while the poorer-quality bar will make a soft, dull sound.
3. Choose a Good Avocado
Peel off the stem of the avocado – if it comes away easily and there’s green underneath, the avo is good and ripe. If there’s brown under the stem, it’s over-ripe, and if the stem doesn’t come off, it’s not ripe enough to eat yet.
4. Don’t Eat Cracked Watermelons
If you cut open a watermelon and see cracks on the surface, throw it out. These cracks can be caused by chemicals some farmers use to make the melons grow larger. These chemicals can cause health problems when eaten.
5. Tell if Mussels Are Fresh
Make sure raw mussels are all tightly closed before cooking. Give any open ones a sharp tap to see if it closes. If it does, it means it’s still alive and is fine to cook. If it doesn’t close, throw it away.
When mussels are boiled or steamed, the good ones all open. If there are closed ones in the pan, get rid of them.
6. Pick the Best Bananas
Organic bananas tend to be slightly smaller, and they also bruise more easily.
Don’t buy bananas that have a grayish color – this can mean they were picked before they were ripe, or stored in improper conditions. Don’t avoid bananas with small dark spots on the skin, as they are fully ripe, and the flavor is at its best.
7. Choose Shrimp with the Heads Still On
To buy the freshest shrimp, choose ones with the heads on. Those with no heads may have been frozen and defrosted, as freezing ones with heads on doesn’t work as well because of the fat content of the heads.
Fresh shrimp smell like the ocean, and have firm eyes and legs.
8. Don’t Buy Bright and Glossy Dried Fruit
Some manufacturers add preservatives to make dried fruit look more appealing, but these fruit may contain dangerous sulfites.
Choose dried fruit that has a natural brownish or grayish color, rather than bright and shiny ones.
9. Choose Bright Red Strawberries
Try to buy local strawberries that are in season instead of imported ones as they are usually picked before they are ripe. Buy strawberries that are a bright red color, and avoid those with white blotches around the stem.
10. Learn to Tell Fake Butter
Natural butter is made from cow’s milk, and is generally more expensive than substitutes. Real butter has a natural color, and melts evenly. It also doesn’t leave drops on the surface when melting, unlike substitutes. Fake butters also melt quicker than real butter.
11. Throw Away Dark Mushrooms
When mushrooms spoil, they go darker and get sticky on the surface. This happens quickly, and can ruin the mushrooms, so it’s best to cook them when they are fresh.