Two words that were completely foreign to me until a little over a year ago.
- The technical definition: Degrees Brix (symbol °Bx) is the sugar content of an aqueous solution. One degree Brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution and represents the strength of the solution as percentage by mass. … The °Bx is traditionally used in the wine, sugar, carbonated beverage, fruit juice, and honey industries.
- My definition: A measurement to determine the quality of fruits and vegetables. The higher the number the more sugar and minerals it has. The higher the number, the better it is.
- The technical definition: an instrument for measuring a refractive index
- My definition: the tool I use to measure the quality of the food I produce in my garden
Once I discovered that there was a way to measure the quality of the food we are producing, I knew I had to jump in. Why? Because humans, by nature, are numbers people. We want to put a value on everything. Measurements and values are how we decide what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Sure, the taste of the food and how it looks is JUST, if not more important, but wouldn’t you want to know the actually quality of the food if you had the opportunity to do so? And so, I measure Brix.
Something that came to light after learning about this and purchasing this refractometer was the fact that the food we purchase from the grocery store is typically “average” in quality. And that’s only if you’re purchasing food IN SEASON and from somewhat local producers. The food we spend so much money on at the grocery store is only giving us “average” quality sugar and minerals. And that’s the organic produce (conventional is even worse). I tried testing our home grown food, and when picking too early in the season, I was getting “average” readings as well. So this just proves that picking food too early, as it has to be in order for it to be prepared and shipped to the stores we purchase it from, we are losing quality (or never actually getting to a “good” or “excellent” quality) in the food and receiving just “average” goods. If that doesn’t drive me to want to grow more of my own food, I don’t know what else would. We are plant based. We depend on our fruits and vegetables to receive the nutrients we need. I want “excellent” quality food and the highest levels of everything I can possibly receive from whatever food it is that I’m putting in my body.
The process of testing is quite simple.
- Pick the produce you want to test
- Juice some of the fruit/veggie (use a juicer, hand or mechanical, even a garlic press works)
- Place a few drops of the liquid on the reading screen (the dropper comes with the refractometer)
- View the levels through the viewfinder on the refractometer (it’s very apparent and the meter will show a defined line)
- Compare your reading to the chart
It will look similar to this when you look into the refractometer:
Here is a chart similar to the one I use when measuring my food. It’s fun and the refractometer is fairly inexpensive, all things considered (like knowing how healthy our food is). 😉