Top 4 Reasons to Avoid Pre-Cut Produce

Pre-cut produce saves time, but at what cost?

We’d all love to save as much time as possible doing the things we have to do (running errands, working, doing laundry, cleaning, chopping veggies) in order to have more time for the things we really want to do (relaxing with friends and family, playing with the dog, watching Netflix, stalking your friends on social media).

In the case of pre-cut produce though, the time saved isn’t worth it. Here’s why:


1. Food Safety

Vegetables come with their very own nature-made packaging. It protects their tender insides from bacteria and dirt when they’re out and in the field, as well as when they’re traveling to you in your meal kit. When you chop vegetables, you are creating a greater surface area for potentially harmful microbes and bacteria to creep in.

The longer that surface area is exposed to just about anything — air, moisture, packaging, etc. — the greater the likelihood is of contamination by food-borne pathogens. Pre-cut produce is also excessively handled and processed, which increases the risk of unintended contamination.


2. Loss of Flavor

As soon as you cut into a fruit or vegetable, some of the chemical compounds — what we perceive as flavors — start to decompose. The longer you wait to cook and eat those vegetables, the less delicious they will taste, and the less flavor they’ll add to your meal.

Although some foods, like garlic, need to rest after cutting in order to unlock their full flavor, this is not true in most cases. Even garlic begins to lose flavor after only 10 minutes.


3. Loss of Nutrients

Like flavor, essential nutrients in fruits and vegetables degrade post-prep. Antioxidants are especially susceptible to degradation when they’re exposed to oxygen or light, which is why antioxidant-rich foods are important not to pre-cut.

Carotenoids (the plant version of vitamin A) is commonly found in tomatoes, carrots, and red bell peppers, and starts to degrade as soon as the vegetable is “wounded” (aka chopped, diced or sliced). Why lose those cancer-fighting, vision-enhancing nutrients if you don’t have to?


4. Cost

If it wasn’t clear until now, I’ll just say it: WE ❤ SUPPORTING LOCAL FARMERS! Pre-cut produce would make it a lot harder to do that. We get to support our lovely, local farmers by purchasing produce from them in its whole form. If we sent pre-cut produce in our kits, these relationships would fade. The only way we would be able to continue to source local ingredients, and also send prepped produce would be to prep in-house. Unfortunately, the price of our kits would have to go up significantly to account for that labor cost. Additional packaging to accommodate prepped produce would also increase costs and our environmental footprint.


From the collective PeachDish team to you: our #1 goal is to send you the most fresh, delicious and nutritious ingredients, straight from our neighboring farms to your door. Keeping our ingredients in their whole state help us guarantee you receive the most crisp, fresh and flavorful produce. Trust, you will be able to taste the difference, and it's fully totally worth a few minutes of slicing and dicing (and who couldn't use the practice anyway, right?).