What to know where you can find the freshest and best food that New Zealand has to offer?
Offering in-season, locally grown and recently picked fruit and vegetables, farmers’ markets let you enjoy produce at its peak.
Find one close to you at www.farmersmarkets.org.nz
Tip! Scout out the market before you buy, to compare prices and quality. Also, ask questions. “The producers can tell you about growing conditions and ways to prepare the produce,” says nutritionist Kathryn Elliott.
“There are generally two types of box schemes some let you order specific fruit and vegetables, while others deliver in-season produce and are usually more cost-effective,” says Elliott.
Hop online to find one that suits your needs.
Tip! If you’re ordering an in-season box, prepare to be flexible with how you cook.
“To avoid wastage, think about the order in which you use produce leafy greens won’t last well, whereas pumpkin and carrots last all week,” adds Elliott.
Online shopping is offered by major supermarket chains, and allows you to order groceries from your desk and have them delivered for a small fee. It suits people who buy the same things week in and out, plus those keen to avoid temptation.
Tip! “Be willing to spend some time at the beginning setting up your shopping list, to save time in the long run,” says Elliott.
Grow your own
Don’t have a backyard? A little sunlight in your home or unit is all you need to grow your own food. “Fresh herbs, tomatoes and leafy greens like English spinach, silverbeet and lettuce all grow really easily,” notes Elliott.
Tip! “Start off small with a few things you’ll use a lot of,” she advises. “If you want to branch out, online seed clubs have fruit and vegetable varieties that you won’t find at supermarkets.”
Run by people who pool finances to buy in bulk, food co-ops typically sell minimally packaged, ethically produced foods. “While many stock fresh produce, it’s in basics like rice, pasta, oats, legumes and olive oil that they shine,” says Elliott.
Hop online to find your closest food co-op.
Tip! Go prepared with your own reusable food containers and carry bags. Also, check out their opening hours in advance they tend to close early.
You'll find plenty more nutrition and food tips in the May issue of Good Health magazine or subscribe at magshop.co.nz.