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Produce on display at La Boqueria market in Barcelona, Spain.

Produce is a generalized term for a group of farm-produced crops and goods, including fruits and vegetables – meats, grains, oats, etc. are also sometimes considered produce. More specifically, the term "produce" often implies that the products are fresh and generally in the same state as where they were harvested. In supermarkets the term is also used to refer to the section where fruit and vegetables are kept. Produce is the main product sold by greengrocers, farmers' markets, and fruit markets. The term "produce" is commonly used in the U.S. but is not typically used outside the agricultural sector in other English-speaking countries.

In parts of the world including the U.S., produce is marked with small stickers bearing price look-up codes. These four- or five-digit codes are a standardized system intended to aid checkout and inventory control in produce markets.

Seasonal produce[edit]

A produce market in Germany

Although in most parts of the world some forms of produce are available year-round, produce is at its best and least expensive when in season. The seasonality of produce depends on regional variables such as climate and weather, and the seasons of the year.

Below is a general list of produce seasonality for north of and south of the tropics, including Canada, the United States, Europe, Japan, etc.

Spring fruits are apricots, strawberries, cherries. Spring vegetables are peas (sugar snap and snow) and more delicate cabbages including mustard greens, baby lettuce, baby spinach and watercress. Also in season are artichoke, asparagus, avocado, new potatoes, rhubarb.

Summer fruits include some berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) and stone fruit (nectarines, peaches, and plums) as well as melons. Summer vegetables include beets, corn, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, tomatoes and zucchini.

Autumn fruits includes apples, cranberries, grapes, figs, pears, and pomegranates. Autumn vegetables include many cultivars of wild cabbage (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, endives, and kale). Root vegetables (garlic, ginger, parsnips, turnips and yams) and winter squash (acorn squash, butternut squash and pumpkins) are also in season. Corn is in season and peas, seasonal in spring, are also seasonal in late autumn.

Winter fruits include citrus (clementines, grapefruit, oranges, and lemons) and pomegranates. Winter vegetables include hardier cabbages (kale, leeks, radicchio, and Brussels sprout). Also seasonal in winter are some root vegetables (rutabaga, turnips, and radishes) as well as winter squash.

Some produce, such as onions, lettuce, spinach and strawberries are seasonal year-round in subtropical climates.


Vegetables are optimally stored between 0° and 4.4° Celsius (32° and 40°F) to reduce respiration. Generally, vegetables should be stored at a high humidity (80 and 95 percent relative humidity), but cucubits (sqash family) and onions prefer dry and can mold when moisture is high.[1]

Bacterial contamination[edit]

Raw sprouts are among the most risky produce.[2]

Rinsing is an effective way to reduce the bacteria count on produce, reducing it to about 10 percent of its previous level.[3]

Wastewaster can be a source of contamination, due to contamination of water with fecal matter with salmonella or other bacteria.[4] After Denmark eliminated salmonella in its chickens, attention has turned to vegatables as a source of illness.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fairbanks), Morgan, R. (University of Alaska (1991-01-01). "Vegetable storage in root cellars and basements in Alaska". Publication - University of Alaska, Cooperative Extension Service (USA). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-18. 
  2. ^ "Hold the Raw Sprouts, Please". Retrieved 2016-09-18. 
  3. ^ DeRusha, Jason. "Good Question: Does Washing Fruit Do Anything?". Retrieved 2016-09-18. 
  4. ^ a b "No more salmonella in Danish poultry". Retrieved 2016-09-18. 

External links[edit]

The dictionary definition of produce at Wiktionary