Here's Why You Shouldn't Buy Pre-Cut Cucumbers

Each time you peruse your grocery store's produce section, you likely notice all the pre-cut fruits and veggies. Pineapple, grapefruit, melons, cucumbers, broccoli, salads, you get the idea. If you're too busy during the week to cut up produce yourself, these pre-cut options may seem like a great alternative.

However, pre-cut produce isn't exactly all it's cracked up to be. For starters, you should avoid pre-cut produce because it's more expensive. But even beyond the higher price point, pre-cut produce has a shorter shelf life and a much greater risk of contamination by salmonella or other pathogens. Furthermore, the pre-cut option comes packaged in plastic, which adds the potential for chemicals to leak into your food, according to HuffPost.

But enough with the generalities. Let's take a look at one common pre-cut veggie in particular — the cucumber. Sure, cucumbers may look nice and juicy, all sliced up and packaged for your convenience, but the illusion simply isn't worth the tradeoff.

Pre-cut cucumbers are prone to getting mushy

While a higher cost and risk of salmonella may be off-putting enough, those aren't the only reasons to avoid buying pre-cut cucumbers. According to Allrecipes, cucumbers are actually among the worst veggies to buy pre-cut, as they're prone to getting mushy and slimy. And who wants to eat a mucky cucumber?

Part of this comes down to the preparation of the cucumbers, as cucumbers are usually waxed to keep them juicy and fresh. Once they're sliced up, that protective barrier is gone. The second part of the equation comes from the storage of the cucumbers. They store best wrapped in paper towels to soak up outside moisture and placed inside a bag (per Brooklyn Farm Girl). However, you'll want to leave the bag open, so the veggie can still get some air circulation. Pre-cut cucumbers, on the other hand, are sealed in air-tight plastic containers with nothing used to soak up the extra moisture.

All that being said, you can buy pre-cut cucumbers if you're crunched for time, but overall, it's best to just buy them intact. Besides, it's not like it takes that long to cut up a cucumber anyway, especially if you have a mandoline.