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Are Vegetables Dead When You Buy Them at a Grocery Store?

Some of us have been told in the past that fruits and vegetables are actually dead when you buy them at a grocery store. It turns out, however, this is not true. Research shows that some picked vegetables, such as carrots and broccoli, die only when they are eaten.

This research was carried out by Rice University and published in Current Biology in 2013. The study discovered that about a week after some fruit and vegetables were picked, they continued to respond to light. This means that fruits and vegetables in the produce aisle of grocery stores are still very much alive. In fact, they even continue to produce compounds that protect them from pests thanks to their circadian clock.

Experts believe that this knowledge can be used for benefit, such as to maximize the natural pest defense qualities of plants and reduce the use of chemical pesticides. The knowledge of circadian rhythms may also be utilized to maximize the nutrients of plants for consumption.

More about food:

  • Up to 33% of all food for human consumption is wasted. Food is wasted more in developed countries than in developing countries.
  • As of 2013, 65% of those who eat gluten-free foods do so because they believe it is healthier, rather than due to gluten intolerance or sensitivity.
  • The typical lunch at American schools has 1,400 calories and includes one bread item, about 1.5 ounces of meat, one starch, a half cup of vegetables or fruit and 8 ounces of milk.
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