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You might have a healthy grocery list, and maybe you're grocery shopping on a budget, so how do you choose fruits & vegetables that are actually fresh, ripe, and awesome? Here are 5 tips to always choose good oranges, grapes, kale, peppers, and much more!

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Merchandise from Mike (including "Reading Changes Us" and "Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost" posters!):

eHow Video on How to Pick Fresh Leafy Green Vegetables:

Lifehacker article on How to Select Fresh, Ripe Produce:

What's Cooking America's Vegetable Buying Guide:

"How to Adult" is a "life skills" edutainment channel brought to you by Executive Producers Hank Green and John Green. Subscribe for new videos every week!


Created and Hosted by:
Emma Mills & T. Michael (Mike) Martin
Mike is also a Young Adult novelist. His book, THE END GAMES, is available at all online booksellers, including
Indiebound ( ) and Amazon: (

Written and Directed by:
T. Michael Martin

Edited by:
Nathan Talbott

Executive Producers:
Hank & John Green

[How to Adult intro]

Mike & Emma: Hey!

Emma: To quote Benjamin Franklin, "What person among us has not felt the frightful pierce of disenchantment after finding themselves with a rotten cantaloupe on special at Trader Joe's?"

Mike:I just got the chills.

Emma: Right?

Mike: So let's talk about how to avoid that gravest of all disappointments, here are five tips on how to find the ultimate fresh produce.

Emma: Jane Austen right?

Mike: Nailed it.

Emma: Tip number 1 for melons and fruits, get friendly. Like pick up the produce. To quote Lifehacker, "The surface should be largely smooth and even." If you feel any dents under the surface that's a frown-face maker, the fruit was probably dented during shipping, or is rotting.

Mike: So the flesh should be like my guns.

Emma: Firm.

Mike: With a little give. If they're, like Emma's guns, rock hard, they're not ripe. 

Emma: I tried to get Mike to cut that line, but then the Benny Franklin quote, "It's too true to get rid of."

Mike: But to quote Lifehacker again, "Citrus fruits that are too firm are probably dry on the inside." Also, pay attention to weight. If the fruit is heavy for its size, then that's a good indicator that it's nice and juicy.

Emma: but I gotta tell you it's not all about the sense of touch.

Mike: Makes sense to me, and that's why we have tip number two, follow your nose, like Toucan Sam, give that fruit a good sniffin'.

Emma: You don't need to nose slam it, but you should get a light and sweet aroma with a hint of awesome. Light plus sweet equals fresh fruit. Too strong a smell can be over-ripeness. If you have a fruit that's like your great-uncle Bobo at Thanksgiving...

Mike: sour and stinky...

Emma: you probably have a fruit that's past it's prime. 

Mike: But you know Emma, it's not just touch and smell that can help you.

Emma: Well color me surprised, and that brings us to tip number three, color me good. Pre-ripened fruits like bananas should have even color with no dark spots, and citrus fruits like oranges should have no white spots and no out of place colors on the surface.

Mike: Melons are a little bit different, avoid denting and bruising, but, to quote Lifehacker, "Don't toss out a vine-ripened melon for a little scarring on one side. As long as it's not tender or thinner then the rest of the rind, it's likely only the place where the melon rested on the ground while ripening." But what about choosing vegetables that suffuse the soul with unspeakable joy?

Emma: Are you talking to me?

Mike: Right

Emma: Oh, I was confused because you were quoting Shakespeare just then.

Mike: Easy mistake. Tip number 4: for veggies follow the fruit rules. Kinda. Sometimes. As with fruits, it is important that vegetables have a surface that is quite firm and evenly colored.

Emma: Firmness is key, especially with veggies like peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, and onions. With fruits you like a little give, but in vegetables it is a sign of over-ripeness. And in some vegetables there are spots that especially should not be soft. It varies veg to veg, but we'll link you to an awesome vegetable buying guide in the doobly-doo below.

Mike: To again quote our Lifehacker friends, "Most vegetables don't give you clues to their ripeness by smell the way that fruits do, but use common sense: steer clear if something doesn't smell right. Root vegetables should be firm and tough, as well. Avoid root vegetables with cracks at the base, which means it's too dry." Now as you know, we're all about the Benjamin. But that's not the only green we're going to talk about.

Emma: I wouldn't say we're all about the Benjamins.

Mike: Okay.

Emma: I'd say that we have like, like a conscious concern for the Benjamins. 

Mike: Well...

Emma: And how they factor into our lives. And that brings us to tip number 5: like a Benjamin, leafy greens are best when crisp. And like a pocket full of Benjamins, leafy greens are best when plump. This applies to lettuce and kale, most of the leaves should be intact and smooth.

Mike: Ah, snap!

Emma: That is Mike doing his impression of a leafy green when you break it. That is a similar type sound.

Mike: The same rule applies to peas in their pods, as well as to string beans or green beans. E-How has a really fantastic video on how to pick these vegetables, and we're totally going to put a link in the doobly-doo. 

Emma: That's all we've got for you today, if you have any tips for picking fresh produce, we would love to hear from you in the comments section below. In the mean time.

Mike: We've "bean" doing this show for a long time.

Emma: We're "plum"ing the depths here. 

Mike: "Orange" you wanting a catchphrase?

Emma: I know I'm "pine"ing 

Mike: Well one day, "apple" a surprise and reveal it to you.

Emma: That will be a "grape" and glorious day. But today is not that day.

Mike: Don't "kale" us.

[Outro music]