Food News Today transcripts for the week of September 3rd, 2012

September 07, 2012

Hear from a “food sleuth,” Japan’s prefab veggie factory and how to save big on your supermarket shop.

Good morning, Food News Today is sponsored by ConAgra Foods, who shares with me the desire to provide the most current, interesting, and unbiased food news.

>Daiwa House, Japan's largest homebuilder has introduced the Agri-Cube, a line of prefabricated hydroponic vegetable factories, aimed at housing complexes, hotels, and top-end restaurants. Daiwa calls it the first step in the industrialization of agriculture, and hopes to see the cubes become part of our everyday environments.

With the continued interest in where our food is coming from, and desire for locally grown foods in urban environments – as well as restrictions on what can be grown where the Agri-Cube seems a perfect fit… literally - measuring less than 16 feet long and 8 feet wide. Daiwa's Agri-Cube needs plumbing and electrical utility hookups, but that’s about it… and Daiwa claims each unit can grow about ten thousand servings of fruits and vegetables per year at an operational cost of about $4,500, or about 45 cents per head of lettuce. It’s delivered on a flat bed truck, and offered at a ripe price of $70,000, the Agri-Cube may soon be dispensing fresh fruit and vegetables in your neighborhood.

>We could be looking at something like the Agri-Cube to help bring fresh fruits and veggies year round and in times of unpredictable weather…. But in the mean time we need to be thinking of some easy tips to help make it through times of increasing food costs because of the drought. Obviously you should look for sales and stock up.  But it’s also a great time to revisit coupon habits.

Several simple grocery shopping techniques will help to save you cash at the register. Last year, shoppers saved 4.6 billion dollars with coupons! Coupons these days have an average face value of $1.54.

So, how can you get these savings? A focused, planned approach to grocery shopping and using your Wednesday and Sunday newspaper coupons will save you a significant amount each week.

Check your store’s circular, as well as social media sites before you go shopping. Use coupons and deals to make your list. Plan some of your meals around what’s on sale. Check the discounters — yes, those dollar stores! They often have more upscale food items for savings you won’t believe!

Buy what’s in season - when fresh produce is not in season, the price goes up.  If your looking for spring or summer fruits this fall, check frozen.

Frozen fruits and veggies are packed at their peak freshness, nutrition and season. Read the ingredient list carefully as some prepackaged fruits and vegetables have added sugar or salt — and should be avoided — but plain frozen produce will save you more than fresh out of season picks.

And always check out for more ways to save money.

>Earlier this week I spoke with Lesley Chesson a scientist who studies food adulteration, authentication, and origin; she uncovers the truth about where our foods are coming from and what’s really in them.

Thanks so much Lesley, keep up the fantastic work!

>Remember to log on to Food News Today DOT com any time to access the archives and replay past episodes. Thanks for watching.