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How Do I Choose the Best Organic Blueberries?

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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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Not all organic blueberries are created equally and local, fresh varieties are typically preferred. To choose the best ones, find a nearby blueberry farm that follows organic farming practices, and check over the blueberries to ensure that they are firm and dark in color. Smelling and tasting the berries can also be helpful, as even fruits that look fresh may not be at their peak. If you do not have a local organic farm in your area, you can follow the same tips at your local grocery store with blueberries that are labeled with your country’s certification logo.

Although the actual farming practices are relatively similar for all products labeled as organic, at least when it comes to the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, the best organic blueberries will typically be found at a farm or farmer’s market close to home. The difference between freshly-picked blueberries and those shipped several thousand miles to your grocery store can be significant, especially when it comes to the freshness of the product and the impact that the shipping has on the environment. To find a local farm, you can either check your phone book or search online.

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Once you’ve made your way to a farm or farmer’s market in your area that grows and sells local, organic blueberries, you should look over the produce available for sale. The best berries are plump and firm: any soft spots or wrinkling indicates that too much time has passed since the blueberries were picked. For the best flavor, look for those that are a dark blue, rich plum, or nearly black in color, as this indicates ripeness. Light purple, faded blue, or red berries will typically taste sour. As you are looking over the organic blueberries for sale, check the top, bottom, and sides of the container; oftentimes, the berries at the bottom will be older than those on top, giving you only half of the product for which you are paying.

Many organic blueberry farms allow customers to taste the product prior to buying it, although smelling the berries can be a good indication of their taste if your farm or market does not allow this. Simply put, even the freshest, ripest-looking blueberries can be off in flavor depending on the type of berry that it is and the manner in which it was grown; therefore, tasting it first can save you money and future disappointment once you bring the organic blueberries home. If you cannot taste them, then smell them: if the smell is of strongly-sweet, fresh berries, it will likely taste that way. If they have little to no smell, or an undesirable odor, however, they may not be fresh or are likely lacking in flavor.

If you do not have a local farm or farmer’s market in your area, you can look over and potentially taste the berries offered at your local grocery store. To ensure that the blueberries are actually organic, look for the official logo used in your country for products that are certified as organic. In the US, they will be labeled as "USDA Certified Organic," while, in the European Union, the blueberries will likely have a logo of stars in the shape of a leaf on the packaging. In Canada, products are labeled as "Canada Organic/Biologique Canada," and Australian organic blueberries will have an "Australian Certified Organic" label.

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