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Understanding the Term - FRESH

Fresh Produce

Could you tell whether you’re eating fresh food after biting into an apple or while tasting the salad? The realisation of it often comes right after the first few bites if you carefully taste your food.

Our team at Vegetory often finds ourselves wondering:

What are those “Fresh Moments” for consumers? And how can we offer the leafy greens truly the freshest it could be?

To figure out the answer for all these questions, we decided to delve deeper into the concept of freshness, in order to explore the meaning behind this word.

What Does Fresh Mean?

According to Oxford Dictionaries, the word “fresh” means (of food) recently made or obtained; not tinned, frozen, or otherwise preserved. It’s simple to understand – any food which is obtained just recently in its original state without being processed can be considered as fresh.

To further interpret the meaning of “fresh”, we searched at the Merriam-Webster English Dictionary and found the word is defined as “having its original qualities unimpaired; not altered by processing”.

From this information, it’s understandable to see why freshness is such a sought after quality for grocery shoppers. No one wants their food to be impure, impaired or processed to an unreasonable degree, particularly when it comes to their fruits and vegetables.

However, the truth is people still tend to buy subpar produce such as lettuce that has been sprayed with chemicals, travelled hundreds of kilometres and is one week old by the time it gets to your fridge. It’s no surprise that you end up with wilted greens in just a few days after buying them in the grocery shops.

At Vegetory, we find that unacceptable. We believe that, as growers, we have a responsibility to provide you with only the best greens. That’s why we grow greens that not only satisfy your sensory experience, but also meet the definition for true “freshness”. To us, “vege” is more than a brand-name, providing fresh and zero pesticides vegetables is the foundation of our business.

3 Factors That Decide Food Freshness

Now that we have understood what the word “fresh” means, let’s take a look at some of the factors that help you in getting fresh food. While there are many contributing factors that affect the food quality, we have found three factors to be the most crucial of all.

1) How was your food grown?

The method of production is one of the most important factors that decides the overall freshness of your food. As the world modernised, production systems have increasingly become industrialised and centralised to ease production. At the same time, food providers have evolved from small, local growers to massive factory farms. They primarily focus on producing huge quantities of fruits and vegetables, going to great lengths to rapidly increase yields. This is not a bad thing.

However, in order to grow as large scale as possible, some conventional farms have implemented agricultural practices at the expense of the produce’s original qualities and are often deviated from the values of the end-consumers.

These practices include using questionably-studied Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMOs), topsoil-degrading fertilisers and harmful pesticides. Even large-scale organic farms apply organic pesticides and oftentimes engage in less-than-ideal practices.

These practices can ultimately result in some food that are not fresh and not safe.

Why Vegetory is better?

Vegetory grows all of our produce at our indoor hydroponic farm under a clean and controlled environment. We offer our plants exactly what they need to grow healthily and closely monitor the elements that affect their health and quality. Hence, there are no pests or diseases that require us to apply pesticides. Also, we do not use GMOs or other growing practices that our consumers mistrust.

This means that your food from Vegetory most certainly “has its original qualities unimpaired” – fresh!

2) How was your food being handled?

A number of steps are often involved when getting produce from the farm to your local grocery shops. This might include harvesting, packaging and shipping. Your food is handled by an array of individuals along the steps. All of this is important to note because each step of the process can impact the freshness of your produce.

Food-borne illness is another concern when handling produce. Each additional person that touches your food before it gets to you introduces a new opportunity for cross-contamination. This concern grows even larger when greens are cut in some way to prepare ready-to-eat salad. Doing so increases the surface area that bacteria can attach to and contributes to a bigger risk of contaminated produce.

Why Vegetory is better?

Vegetory cultivates all its greens in a super clean environment where strict rules are adopted to ensure the cleanliness of vegetables grown. We choose not to process our products in any way and we engage to the best agricultural practices during harvesting, packing and shipping, in order to minimise contaminations. Most importantly, we don’t spray our vegetables with any type of chemical solution, so you never need to worry about the harmful effects of chemicals.

3) Where does your food come from?

A good question and here’s the answer – Malaysia spent RM 45.4 billion in year 2015 on fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables and meat imports from 120 countries. Even some common vegetables and fruits that can be grown in our country are imported from Thailand, China, India and Singapore.

There’s a good chance that the vegetables you see on shelves were shipped from thousands of kilometres away. As a result, most packaged greens are more than one week old by the time they even arrive at your local grocery shops.

Two things to concern about here – your produce’s shelf life has already been decreased by a week or more. The second is that those vegetables you bought in order to be healthy are likely losing their nutrients after weeks.

This definitely doesn’t meet the definition of “fresh” that we mentioned above.

Why Vegetory is better?

Vegetory grows its produce in urban area and that enables us to deliver our vegetables within a day or two after harvesting. We can guarantee that our customers are receiving fresh products to complement with their healthy diet.

We are the definition of “fresh”. Next time you’re looking for clean and healthy local greens, make sure you buy from Vegetory.

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Author: Christine S.H. Lee

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