Weak greens and peach fuzz: Six fun & fresh fruit and veg facts

From the particulars of peach harvesting to why some leafy greens are sturdier than others, I learned so, so much at the virtual Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops short course at UC Davis this summer. I’m still going through my notes, but wanted to share some of my favorite new fruit and vegetable facts below. So, you can have your trivia and eat it too :-)

And if, like me, you love learning the particulars about produce and its journey from farm to plate, consider attending next year's course. For a sense of what it's like, check out my dispatch and stay tuned for more EatOrToss posts inspired by all that I learned.

And now, some delicious trivia:

From field to clamshell: When strawberries are picked, they’re placed directly into the plastic clamshells we buy them in.

Flower power: Asparagus stalks get more fibrous on the outside as they age because they’re building strength to support flowers.

The fuzz: Peaches are normally brushed to remove their fuzz, which is made up of tiny hairs called trichomes.

Who’s bigger now? Avocados grow on large trees; papayas grow on small trees.

A nitrogen weakness: When leafy greens are exposed to too much nitrogen while they’re growing, their cells are larger, which makes their leaves weaker.

A cutting truth: Researchers have found that lettuce’s shelf life is less if it’s cut with a dull knife, which is more likely to damage more cells.

This is the second of two dispatches from the 2020 UC Postharvest Technology Center’s Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops Virtual Short Course. Many thanks to the center for having me in the course!

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