Pre-Cut Produce Reduces Food Waste
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Pre-Cut Produce Reduces Food Waste

Posted on Monday, June 13th, 2016 at 6:44 pm
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A study found that serving pre-cut sliced apples encouraged students to eat apples at lunch. This could work for your family too!One way to stay healthy is to have a diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. In order for that to work, you have to actually eat the fresh produce. Have you noticed that the fruit you bring home from the grocery store is ignored by your family? The way to entice them to eat is simpler than you might expect.

Researchers at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab conducted a study in eight schools. The researchers noticed that many of the apples that were being sold to children as part of the National School Lunch Program were ending up in the trash. The researchers wanted to find out why that was happening.

Was the problem that the kids didn’t want to eat apples? Or were the apples too difficult to eat? The researchers started having the schools serve sliced apples instead of whole apples. They found that fruit consumption jumped by more than 60 percent when apples were served sliced. A further study strengthened that finding.

Part of the reason why the sliced apples were more convenient to children than the whole apples was because of the size of the fruit. A whole apple can be difficult for small children to hold. Kids who have lost some teeth will have problems biting into the apple.

The other reason sliced apples were more popular than whole apples has to do with convenience. It’s a lot easier for small children to eat a few pre-cut apple slices than to attempt to eat an entire apple. The convenience isn’t limited to kids – adults like convenience, too.

You may have noticed that your local grocery store has started carrying packages of pre-cut fruit and vegetables. People buy them because they are easier to eat than whole pieces of fruit. One extreme example is the watermelon. They are heavy and difficult to carry from your car to your kitchen. You have to cut the watermelon open, and then cut it into smaller pieces before you can eat it. That’s a lot of work for busy families.

Compare that to the simplicity of a plastic carton of pre-cut watermelon. The smaller package is light and will fit into your refrigerator much easier than a whole watermelon will. The pre-cut pieces of watermelon make a quick and easy snack.

Does your family avoid the fresh fruit and vegetables that you bring home? One solution is to cut up the produce before offering it to your family as a snack. Or, you can start buying pre-cut produce from your grocery store. You will end up saving money because more of the food you bring home will be eaten (instead of thrown away).

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.