Growers and shippers in Georgia said good late-summer growing conditions should bring a plentiful fall harvest of bell peppers, cucumbers, squash, eggplant and other vegetables. "We've had some rain but nothing to hurt anything. Everything looks decent, and supplies should be good unless we have some kind of tropical storm," said Fresh Link Consolidation General Manager Steve Sterling.
Expand your vegetable repertoire by picking up unique varieties at the farmers market and experimenting with them at home. Veggies such as kohlrabi are great for slaws and salads while mizuna can be cooked into stews and stir-fries.
A small study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showed that 64% of preschoolers said they liked a vegetable when it was served with a low-fat dip, while only 31% of participants said they liked the vegetable by itself. Researchers also found that pairing celery or squash with a flavored dip resulted in greater intake among children, compared with the vegetables eaten alone.
School-nutrition professionals in Madison, Wis., are working to improve the nutrition of meals despite outdated facilities and other challenges. An important step, officials say, is a donation that allowed schools to install salad bars. District foodservices director Steve Youngbauer said students are more likely to find vegetables they like to eat when they are given the selection offered in a salad bar.
Organic food doesn't come cheap, so budget-minded consumers are having to pick and choose which fruit and vegetables to spend their money on. Experts say it's worth springing for soft, fleshy items such as apples and peppers, which tend to absorb high levels of pesticides, but that it's fine to go conventional for thick-skinned fruit and vegetables such as bananas and avocados.