It’s been over a year since we started eating healthier. I’ve come to the realization that the fresh produce section of the store is my new favorite department. In the time since we started, August of 2011, I think we’ve purchased and consumed more fresh produce than we have in the rest of our entire marriage combined.

Think I’m joking? I’m not.

We used to buy lettuce or fresh vegetables or whatever but often, it went to waste. Wilted or turned bad before we got to it. Our pantry included canned vegetables and that’s usually what we prepared with our meals.

Rethinking how we’ve been eating, we now purchase fresh produce all the time. Our regular haul of greens looks something like this…

We’ve been eating one or two salads a day along with a rotating menu of vegetables, including sautéed asparagus, broiled green beans, roasted cabbage to name a few. We also add lettuce, tomato and onion to every sandwich. A beautiful crystal basket is the centerpiece of our kitchen table and it’s filled with a variety of seasonal fruits. We serve fresh fruit at every dinner and pack it in the kids lunches on occasion.

Because we’re eating so much, we buy what we think will last for the week but we end up making a few trips to the grocery store per week to replenish our supplies. Listening to myself, I sound like a health freak. Unfortunately, I need to eat well and exercise to make up for the horrible sweet tooth/snack tooth that I have!

We have even added a Napa Salad to the menu and let me tell you… Napa Cabbage is hard to come by. The clerks at the grocery stores seldom know what it is and have to ask us what it is so they can look up the code.  If you haven’t tried Napa Cabbage as a salad, you’ll have to. It isn’t cabbage-y at all. Just Google Napa Cabbage Salad and you’ll see a ton of recipes. I’ve made a note on my editorial calendar to share our version of the recipe… along with our recipe for homemade Plantation Dressing. Yum. Those will be posts for a different day. Sorry.

The only thing that is difficult about buying so much produce is the fear that it will go bad in the refrigerator. That’s money down the drain. Yes, we eat it pretty quickly (two heads of lettuce a week without a problem) but if we have a busy schedule and eat out for a few days, we definitely see the impact in the produce drawer.

That’s frustrating when it happens.

Thankfully, we haven’t had to worry as much lately about that since I received an Ozonator to try out.

An ozone-what? An Ozonator. It’s a small gadget that you place inside your refrigerator and it generates ozone. This product is patented and ozone has been approved by the FDA for use as an antimicrobial agent. Here’s a great explanation from the website:

Ozone oxidizes, and thereby destroys, undesirable organic materials present in our food, air, and water. Then, once it has done its job, excess ozone reverts back into useful oxygen. You could not dream up a better, more ideal disinfectant and oxidizer than ozone!

In other words, ozone is okay to use to kill the harmful bacteria that can make your fresh produce go bad before you use it.

One concern I had before receiving it was the size. I couldn’t really tell from pictures just how big or small it was. In my head, I imagined that it would take up a huge amount of refrigerator landscape. Fortunately, I was wrong. The Ozonator is small. Let’s compare it to a mayonnaise jar. The Ozonator is shorter and wider than a mayonnaise jar in one direction but smaller in the other. Picture this – You know how you step on jars to recycle them and they end up oblong and kind of flat? That’s about the size this is: A squished mayonnaise jar. The bulk of the size is to accommodate the 4 “D” batteries it requires.

We’ve been using it for a few weeks and have noticed that foods like grapes aren’t looking like raisins if we don’t eat them fast enough.That’s usually the case… I buy grapes for lunches then if the kids decide to have hot lunch, the grapes don’t get eaten as quickly as they could or should. With the Ozonator, it seems like we’re buying a little extra time.

If your New Years Resolution includes eating healthier, this is an investment you might want to consider. There’s nothing more discouraging that being in the mindset to eat healthier, spend the money on fresh foods then discover they’re bad when you go to prepare them!

Aside from the fact that I like the smell when it’s been running, seems like it’s helping to keep our foods fresh longer. Since we go through produce fairly fast, I haven’t put the Ozonator to any kind of side by side test – although there are examples on their website and links to research that has been done. As long as I’m not having to throw cash in the trash (aka pitching produce in the garbage), I’ll be happy.

For more information on the Ozonator, visit their website or find them on YouTube.

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