Farm to Table: How to Choose the Freshest Produce | Organic vs. Non-Organic, Seeded vs. Seedless – Watch Now.

Unlock the secret to choosing the freshest and highest quality fruits and vegetables with insights from our special guest, Raphaela Polanco of Atlanta Harvest. This episode of Naturally Brown Woman takes you on a journey through the fascinating world of produce selection, emphasizing the importance of supporting local and sustainable farming practices, especially those of Black farmers.

Raphaela starts by discussing the rising trend of consuming fruits in their original, seeded forms. This shift towards natural produce is driven by growing awareness about nutrition and the implications of hybridization and seedless varieties. Seedless watermelons, for example, have become a standard in many grocery stores due to agricultural modifications aimed at increasing yield and consumer appeal. However, the nutritional integrity of such modified produce is often questioned. Raphaelaexplains that while seedless fruits are safe to eat, they may not be the best choice for optimal health. Consuming fruits and vegetables as close to their natural state as possible is essential for maximizing their nutritional benefits.

The conversation then shifts to the importance of organic produce. Raphaela breaks down the difference between certified organic and organic methods. Certified organic produce must adhere to strict regulations, including the use of certified compost, while organic methods may involve more traditional practices like using homemade compost. Supporting farmers who use either certified organic or organic methods is crucial, as it ensures the produce is free from synthetic herbicides and pesticides, making it safer and healthier for consumption.

Practical tips for cleaning and storing fruits and vegetables are also shared to help retain their nutritional value. For instance, soaking berries in a solution of water, vinegar, and baking soda can remove residues and keep them fresh longer. Similarly, knowing which produce to refrigerate and which to store at room temperature can significantly extend their shelf life and maintain their quality.

One of the episode’s highlights is the exploration of the nutritional powerhouses found in the mushroom section of your grocery store. Raphaela discusses the culinary versatility of lion’s mane and king trumpet mushrooms, which can transform plant-based meals into gourmet experiences. Lion’s mane mushrooms, known for their cognitive benefits, can be pan-fried and pressed to create a vegan steak, while king trumpet mushrooms can be sliced into rounds to make vegan scallops. These mushrooms not only provide a meaty texture but also offer substantial nutritional benefits, making them an excellent addition to any diet.

The discussion also debunks common myths about sprouted potatoes and ripe tomatoes. While sprouted potatoes are safe to eat as long as the green spots are peeled off, ripe tomatoes should be firm and have a distinct smell, indicating their freshness. Additionally, the importance of choosing locally sourced and in-season produce is emphasized to ensure maximum nutrition and reduce environmental impact. By supporting local farmers, consumers can enjoy fresher produce and contribute to reducing the carbon footprint associated with transporting food over long distances.

A significant portion of the episode is dedicated to the state of Black farmers in the United States and the critical importance of supporting them. With only 7% of farmers in the US being Black, there is a pressing need to ensure their financial viability and the quality of produce available to the Black community. Raphaela highlights the challenges Black farmers face, including access to resources and land ownership. To address these issues, apprenticeship programs have been established to train a new generation of farmers, sharing knowledge and skills to combat food insecurity in underserved communities.

The episode encourages listeners to support local Black farmers by visiting, where they can find more information and resources. By supporting Black farmers, consumers can help promote food equity and ensure that underserved communities have access to high-quality, nutritious produce.

In summary, this episode of Naturally Brown Woman with Raphaela Polanco offers a wealth of knowledge on selecting and storing fresh produce, the benefits of organic farming, and the importance of supporting Black farmers. By making informed choices and supporting local and sustainable farming practices, we can all contribute to a healthier, more equitable food system. Tune in to this enlightening episode to elevate your produce game and champion food justice.

Visit: Download the free FARM TO TABLE produce guide