Your Food Can Talk

Vegetables and fruits background.
“Listen up, human. We’re trying to tell you something.”

Your Produce is Alive!!!

It lives. It breathes. When you close the refrigerator door, the citizens of your fridge even communicate amongst one another through chemical signals.

So how you store and prepare your veggies affects them. And who you store them with affects them as well.


1. Ripen your avocado.  Want to ripen your avocado faster? Store it in a brown paper bag with a couple of bananas. The bananas emit ethylene gas, which speeds the ripening process.

2. Save your avocado with onion. Chop up some onion. Place it in an airtight container with your avocado or guac. If possible, keep the pit. The gasses from the onion will slow browning.

3. Torture your lettuce. This is kind of disturbing. Your lettuce is still living. If you tear it up, it begins to produce higher amounts of anti-oxidants to protect itself from the horrors of your inhumanity.

On the downside, the torture makes it respire faster. I mean – wouldn’t you respire faster if someone was tearing you apart? So once torn, it won’t last as long. (Neither would you!). But if you plan to eat it in the next day or so, tear that ish up and watch the anti-oxidant levels rise.

Preparing Your Veggies

How you prepare your veggies has an enormous impact on their nutritional value.  Some nutrients are destroyed by heat. Some are enhanced by it.

Some fruits and veggies are made less nutritious through the process of freezing/thawing. Others (quick respirators) lose nutritional value so quickly that you are better off freezing them than not!

There is no universal best way to prepare your fruits and veggies. It all depends on the item in question, and perhaps on what your goals are.

BUT there is a nearly universal bad way to do it: Boiling!

Forget about the problem of heat. For most plants, boiling will leach water soluble nutrients into the boiling water. Unless you’re using that water in a soup, stew or broth, you’re basically losing those vitamins.

All of these tips come from one of my favorite books, Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson.  You should check it out.  It’s a wonderful read.

For tips on carrots, see my post on How to Get 8X More Nutrition from Your Carrots
For tips on garlic, see my post Garlic, You’re Doing it Wrong.

If you have any tips like this, I’d love to hear them and share them 🙂

Happy Vegging!


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10 thoughts on “Your Food Can Talk”

    1. Yes! Steaming is better than boiling, because at the very least you aren’t losing those water soluble nutrients.

      According to Jo Robinson, Broccoli is one of the quickest respirators, so it’s one of the fastest foods to lose nutritional value long before it looks bad.

      According to her, broccoli begins to significantly lose cancer fighting compounds within 24 hours of harvest. She suggests that this is a food that you should eat as fresh as you could possibly find, or you might be losing most of the benefits.

      She doesn’t say much about frozen broccoli, but she generally says that the thawing process can be more damaging than the cooking process in general. So go directly cooking.

      Because broccoli already has such a high respiration rate, she recommends against buying precut broccoli florets.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I didn’t know that about the banana and avocado. I will have to try that. I keep my avocados from going brown by keeping the pit in and squeezing lemon juice all over it and putting it in a zip lock bag or tightly sealing it with saran wrap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do that too. You can do that also w/ the onion. The only thing is w/ the onion you don’t have to keep it airtight.

      I basically just store them together whenever I have half an avocado left over – why not.


  2. Hello Dori! What a fantastically hilarious article about talking food. I loved it! Especially the lettuce information. Thank you for all the produce knowledge you provided too!


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