Fresh fruits and vegetables are good for you because they are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidents but a lot of them are not really fresh as you think they are. Some shops in London order huge amounts usually imported from other countries where they are stored in the stock room for days. Fresh fruits and vegetables are only really fresh when they are just picked off the tree otherwise it’s not really fresh, it just looks fresh.
What usually happens is fresh fruits and vegetables are picked off the trees in other countries, put on a truck and driven to wholesalers or importers and exporters. The food can be in their stockroom for hours, or even days. After marketers have bought it is again stored in the warehouses until the right exporter will pay the right price for it to be shipped abroad. A good deal of time usually hours or days are spent in aeroplanes and ships which the food is sitting there. When it reaches the destination of export again they are in warehouses until the right wholesaler gets hold of the stock to sell it to the right shopkeeper.
Once the food is sold from the wholeseller to the right retailer again it is stored in stock-rooms. Shop keepers buy a huge amount of stock at once so they can sell at cheap price like £1 a bowl. Until all their bowls of Fresh fruits and vegetables are sold the rest are stocked in warehouses or stock rooms all getting old and stale. What many shop keepers do specially in East London in ethnic communities specially in the Bangladeshi community is they try to sell the good looking ones which they think they are really fresh at a high and expensive price, some of them even being sold be weight. When shop keepers come to their senses that not many people are buying their expensive produce and it is going bad then they lower them to cheap prices such as £1 a bowl.
I had been to some shops and a market in East London – Whitechapel market seems to be one of the worst places to buy so-called “fresh” fruits and vegetables. The stall holders sell bad and rotten fruits and vegetables for £1 either in bowls, trays or packets. A lot of the traders in that area sell fruits and vegetables for £1 which is very cheap because you gets lots for that price but when you look closer you can see the produce is actually bad and vegetables like mulla or aubergine are cut off in some sections and not sold whole because they have become rotten and when customers see these rotten veg they won’t buy them. Even though the traders sell you 3 or 4 of the veg in one bowl it is still not good as when you take the veg home and cut it you find more sections inside which are bad but disguised.
Banana’s that are turning black or turned black and you can see bruises on are sold in whitechapel and watney market. When you take them home and as they ripen they turn even more black and you can see they are damaged due to mishandling. Many of the traders also buy a lot of unripe green banana’s which have not been kept at the right temperature or has not been left on the tree long enough and in the market they are a pale yellow which does not ripen properly and does not taste good either. These are being sold by under-educated traders who just want to make a quick dosh.
The same thing goes for plums, tomatoes and mangoes. Mangoes get sold for £6 a box in Bondor Bazar and Kasa Bazar which are not always so ripe but once the mangoes are ripe and turning bad then the prices are lowered to £5, or £2.50 a box and rarely £1 for two in a bowl. Chillies, as well as tomatoes once a lot of them are going bad then a lot of them in packets are sole for £1. The banana’s are bought in excellent condition but once they start to ripen their true colours start to show – the damage done due to mishandling them and not placing the slowly and carefully.