PURCHASE, N.Y. and QUINCY, Mass., July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Summer is the perfect time to find an abundance of locally grown, fresh produce from neighboring farms. The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC is proud to re-launch its Local Route program in all of our stores to guide customers to fresh, locally grown produce while they shop. Each week, Stop & Shop's produce departments will highlight local farms and feature fresh items from those farms.
Stop & Shop has been a leader in the buy local movement for many years, supporting local farmers and suppliers in the states where we operate stores. When consumers and retailers purchase products from within their own communities, not only do local companies benefit, but so does the local economy as money and resources stay within that community. Stop & Shop is a proud participant in Jersey Fresh, Connecticut Grown, Grown on Long Island and Harvest New England.
Customers can find local products in Stop & Shop stores throughout the year, but during the summer months many "in season" produce items have come right from the ground in a nearby town or county.
"This summer add fruit and vegetables to every meal for a burst of color, texture and nutrition. Mix colorful bell peppers into an egg-white scramble, add tomato wedges to a turkey sandwich, slice cucumber or frozen grapes for a refreshing snack, and garnish grilled fish with peach salsa. You should aim to make half your plate fruit and vegetables since they keep you feeling fuller longer for fewer calories," said Julie Menounos, In-store Nutritionist for Stop & Shop New England Division.
Here are some popular local produce items that are currently in season and tips on how to select and maximize freshness.
- Green beans – They should be a bright green color with velvet-like texture and no discoloration. You can tell they are fresh when they easily snap in half. Don't wash them until you are ready to use them and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
- Corn - Look for husks with a good green color and pale colored silk. Gently pull the top of the husk away. If the kernels are discolored, dented or missing from several rows, that means the corn is not fresh. To store, simply keep un-husked corn in the refrigerator. If you husk the corn, place in storage bags before refrigerating. Eat as soon as possible for maximum taste and freshness.
- Tomatoes - When buying tomatoes, look for those with a deep, rich red color. They should be without wrinkles, cracks or bruises. If a tomato yields to light pressure, it's ripe. Tomatoes are sensitive to cold and should be stored at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Tomatoes will keep up to a week, depending on ripeness at the time of purchase.
- Cucumbers – Cucumbers should be firm with a bright even color throughout. Be sure to avoid those that have soft spots or blemishes. If not using right away, store in your refrigerator's crisper drawer.
- Peppers - Choose peppers that are firm with smooth skin and a fairly even shape. The coloring should be uniform, with no blemishes, soft spots or wrinkles. Store green peppers in the produce drawer of your refrigerator for 5–7 days.
Visit www.stopandshop.com for more details and search recipes for fresh new ideas to lighten up your summer meals with locally grown produce!
About Stop & Shop
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC employs approximately 63,000 associates and operates more than 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey. The company helps support local communities fight hunger, combat childhood cancer and promote general health and wellness – with emphasis on children's educational and support programs. In its commitment to be a sustainable company, Stop & Shop is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and EPA's Smart Way program; has been awarded LEED (EB) certifications for 54 of its existing stores; and has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores. Stop & Shop is an Ahold company. To learn more about Stop & Shop, visit www.stopandshop.com or www.facebook.com/stopandshop.
SOURCE The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC