What happens to the shelf life of veggies if you cut them up?
Seems pretty harmless, but if you've ever cut up an avocado and then walked away for 10 minutes, you know that sometimes the air and knife can be mean to your food.
I was more interested in my snacking veggies, like carrots and celery and green peppers; durable nuggets of produce goodness that I can pack in my lunch and nibble on whenever. I just am not a fan of bringing whole pieces to work, and I get funny looks if I pack a paring knife with me.
So, I asked Google. "Hey Google, what happens when I cut my veggies up ahead of time?"
For once, the first result was not only helpful, but exactly what I was looking for!
"How does cutting, slicing, and chopping affect fresh vegetables?"
It's a semi-tough read, getting somewhat technical and biological about "harming" the veggies (bear with me, it gets better).
But basically, what I took away from the article, was that you should have the shortest amount of time possible from cutting the veggies to consumption for most, but that the sharper the blade, the less "stress" you cause the veggie, and the more fresh your veggie stays. For durable veggies like carrots and celery and the like, you have more time before expiration than you do with more sensitive veggies, like lettuce and mushrooms (although they are technically a fungus and not a veggie). You would also want to research and store like-veggies together in a proper container.
All in all, I know I can go ahead and chop up my carrots, celery, and green peppers and put them in tupperware for the week. I can also dice onions for any weeknight meals, so long as I use them in a few days. It will help make meal preps go faster, and portions stay controlled better.
Happy eating, y'all! :)