When you do your grocery shop at a big retailer, you run the risk of being overwhelmed with all the variety of offers. Shelves are filled with dozens of different colorful packages of similar products, and the fresh vegetables and fresh fruits stands are very colorful and stuffed with seemingly delicious products. You have three options: pick the products that you think have the highest quality, pick at random, or go for the cheapest brand.
Although modern food quality control standards are relatively high, there is still a large number of unhealthy foods reaching the shelves of major retailers. This is problematic because the average consumer doesn’t know which products will provide him with great nutritional value, and which will be harmful in the medium to long term. Moreover, there are also low-quality products and others that lose their grade during transportation.
But how can you tell if what you have in front of you is, in fact, a low-quality product? That’s what you are about to find out.
It is very easy to tell if eggs are of good quality or not. All you need to do is take a quick look at the egg packaging and check their grade. If possible, you should only buy grade AA or grade A eggs – which is the same as saying you should avoid grade B. These two best types are the freshest and cleanest, and they are also much easier to prepare due to their excellent consistency.
In the rare case, you are buying eggs without packaging. You can tell which ones are good eggs by looking at their outer condition. Pick those with a shiny and smooth shell (without any cracks). Later, when you are frying your eggs, check the structure of the egg yolk. If it is firm and round, congratulations! You know how to select a fresh egg.
Cheese lovers know that it is extremely hard to find great cheese at big supermarket chains. Ideally, you should buy cheese in a specific market that allows you to taste the product before you buy it. But we know that most of the time this isn’t possible. Don’t worry! There are other things you can do.
Avoid pasteurized cheese: you should always look for raw milk cheese. This means that the producers didn’t use pasteurized milk in the production process, therefore retaining all its natural flavors.
How to smell a low-quality cheese: if you can’t anticipate the flavor of the cheese from its aroma, it most likely isn’t a great product.
Look for a long and balanced flavor: it is time to taste the cheese and find out if you made a decent choice. Great-quality cheese has a rich flavor with slight variations that lingers in your mouth for a long time.
Although there has recently been much debate about the negative impact of milk consumption on human adults, it is still a product that many people drink daily. And since that’s the case, you might as well know if you are consuming good-quality milk. There are two tests you can use to check the milk’s quality.
1 – Pour milk into a glass and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Wait a few seconds and see if there’s a noticeable color change. Low-quality milk filled with chemicals usually turns blueish in the presence of salt.
2 – This one is a texture test. Dip your fingers in a cup of milk and rub it. If the milk feels soapy and has an irregular texture, that means it was highly processed, and you should buy another brand. Now that you know almost everything about dairy products, let’s discuss other foods!
If you want to buy high-quality bread, you have to go to a bakery (or to a big supermarket that has its bakery service). Whether you like whole-wheat bread, brown bread or white bread, the important thing is that you buy it fresh.
So, you will have to touch it. Give the bread a gentle squeeze to see if it makes that satisfying cracking noise. That’s when you know it just came from the oven.
You might think that all honey is the same because it is a natural product collected from a beehive. Well, think again. Sometimes the product is adulterated by the addition of other sugars, syrups, or other compounds that alter its flavor or viscosity, thus changing the honey quality. Grab the jar of honey you have at home and try the following test:
Grab a glass of water and add a spoonful of honey. Wait a few minutes and check if the honey is dissolving in the water or staying still at the bottom. If it’s the latter, you know for sure your honey is of excellent quality.
6. Fish and meat
A fresh fish is a high-quality fish. But unless it has an obnoxious smell, it’s not always easy to tell whether the fish displayed on the supermarket’s fish department is fresh or not. The same goes for meat.
How to know if food is fresh: check the eyes. If they are clear and shiny, you probably are good to go. You can also see if the gills are red (and not gray nor brown!) and if the fish is still rigid and flexible.
How to know if the meat is spoiled: the first thing you should do is to check the package for an expiration date. Then you should check it for a foul smell and examine the meat’s texture – if it is too sticky, don’t eat it.
7. Frozen Products
While some products’ freezing process takes away some of their nutritional value, it is an excellent way to preserve them in perfect condition for longer, especially during transportation. However, there are some precautions to be taken when buying these products.
First of all, you should always grab them from the supermarket’s freezers at the end of your shopping trip, so they don’t melt in the cart. Second, make sure the product is completely frozen – it must be cold to the touch and not have any “soft” areas.