NEW YORK — We hear it time and time again — “Eat your veggies!” From the grocery aisle to the farmers market, vegetables are plentiful. But it is all too easy to wind up with wan, dried-out carrots from the supermarket or overpriced broccoli from a farm stand.
Here's how to get the best-tasting vegetables at the right price:
Why is that? When a vegetable isn't in season locally, it may be coming from hundreds or thousands of miles away, trucked or flown in. That adds significant transportation and fuel expense to the cost of vegetables — which aren't as fresh as in-season produce. So buying in-season is cheaper, and you get fresher, tastier vegetables.
Check out online guides to make sure you're getting the most for your money.
If you join a CSA program, you'll pay around several hundred dollars up front and then get a box of fresh vegetables from one or two farms each week, usually June through November. It's expensive to pay all that money up front, but if you eat a lot of vegetables, it generally adds up to less than you would pay if you bought vegetables elsewhere.
However, you don't have much of a choice in what you're getting. So if you're picky about what vegetables you eat, or you just don't eat that many vegetables, consider going to a local greenmarket instead.
“If you won't eat beets and you have no idea what to do with a celery root, you'll end up paying more for the vegetables you do use,” says Jack Bishop, editorial director of public television's “America's Test Kitchen.”