Food products of bad quality may not only taste bad, but they can also cause health problems which makes choosing the right foods very important. For example, forchlorfenuron which is used to increase a watermelon’s size and weight can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and swelling when ingested. Don’t stress — we’ll tell you all about how to detect these dangerous watermelons and check the quality of other common products quickly and easily.
Here at Enlighten, we’ve come up with a series of practical tips that will help you check the quality of the food you eat.
1. Choose fresh and pastured eggs.
A simple test can be done with a glass of water to help you check the freshness of your eggs. Put an egg into a glass of water and see what happens. If the egg sinks and lies on its side, it’s fresh and good to eat; if it sinks but stands at an angle, it’s about 1-2 weeks old; and if the egg is floating on the surface of the water, it’s too old to be eaten. As the egg grows older, the shell lets in more air which makes an old egg float.
There’s also a way to tell the difference between farm-fresh pastured eggs and conventional eggs from a grocery store. Pay attention to the color of yolks. A pastured egg has a darker yolk of saturated color, while a conventional egg yolk is pale.
2. Do the sound test on your chocolate bar.
Some manufacturers may lie about the true contents of the cocoa in their chocolate. To check the actual cocoa butter content in your chocolate bar, snap it off and listen to the sound. The chocolate bar with high cocoa butter content will produce a loud “click” sound, while the bar with lower cocoa butter content will make a soft, dull sound.
3. Pick a good avocado.
There are several practical tips you can use to pick a good, tasty avocado. Peel off the stem of the avocado. If it comes off easily and there’s green underneath, the avocado is good and ripe. If there’s brown under the stem, the avocado is overripe and you will probably see dark spots around the pit when you open it. If the stem doesn’t come off, the fruit is not ripe enough to be eaten yet.
4. Throw away cracked watermelons.
If you cut open a watermelon and see cracks on its surface, it’s better to throw it away. Thesecracks may be caused by the chemicals some farmers use to make watermelons grow larger. When ingested, these chemicals may cause serious health problems including toxic poisoning.
5. Get rid of spoiled mussels.
Make sure that the raw mussels you are going to cook are all tightly closed. If you see an open mussel, give it a good tap. If it closes, it means it’s alive and edible; if it’s already opened, throw it away because this mussel is dead. When boiled or steamed, all “good” mussels open. If you see a closed one in the pan, it’s better to get rid of it.
6. Choose the best bananas.
pixabay.comZooFari / Wikimedia Commons
- The main difference between organic and non-organic bananas is that conventional bananas may be grown with the use of synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides. Organic fruit is grown with the help of natural substances. Many people notice that bananas labeled as organic tend to bruise more easily.
- When choosing bananas, avoid ones of grayish color. These bananas are not tasty and their color can mean that they were picked before they were ripe or that they were stored in improper conditions for too long. Choose bananas of vibrant yellow color. Don’t avoid bananas with small dark spots on the skin: these fruits are fully ripe and their aroma and flavor are at their best.
7. Choose shrimp with their heads still on.
If you want to buy fresh shrimp, choose the ones that have their heads on because those with no heads may turn out to be defrosted. Shrimp is usually frozen and transported without heads because shrimp heads contain a lot of fat which can spoil the shrimp texture when being stored for long. Other characteristics of good, fresh shrimp include a fresh ocean smell and firm eyes and legs.
8. Avoid bright and glossy dried fruit.
Some manufacturers may add preservatives to make their dried fruit look more appealing and prevent a loss of color. Such fruit may contain sulfites dangerous to your health. To avoid this danger, choose dried fruit with natural brownish or grayish colors rather than those that are brightly colored and shiny.
9. Choose strawberries of saturated red color.
There are several tips on how to select good strawberries. Try to buy local strawberries that are in season instead of buying imported ones, as they are usually picked before they are ripe. Look for strawberries of bright red color and avoid those with white spots around the stem as this may also mean that the berries are not ripe yet. Don’t be afraid of buying strawberries in imperfect shapes and different sizes since the same size and perfect shape don’t guarantee good taste — perfectly shaped berries could just be bred to grow this way.
10. Learn how to tell real butter from substitutes.
Butter is often faked and it’s very important to know how to tell real butter from the fake kind. Natural butter is made of cow’s milk and as a rule, it is more expensive than its substitutes. Real butter has a natural, non-radical color, it melts evenly and unlike substitutes made with vegetable oil, it doesn’t leave drops on its surface when melting. Substitutes containing vegetable fats also melt quicker than real butter made of cow’s milk.
11. Get rid of mushrooms if they get dark.
Spoiled mushrooms get sticky on the surface and become darker in color. When this process starts it can quickly ruin the mushroom, so it’s better to cook the mushrooms while they are still fresh.
Which of these tips would you like to try? Do you have your own ideas on how to check the quality of food products? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!