In this week's edition of News That Anthropomorphizes Plants and Makes Me Feel Like a Murderer Every Time I Eat a Salad (lookin' at you, Switzerland), research has shown that produce responds to light-dark cycles for up to a week after harvest.
Fruits and veggies contain compounds called glucosinolates. Everyone loves glucosinolates because of their anticancer properties, but they're also beneficial in helping plants ward off hungry/cancer-conscious pests.
After subjecting cabbage disks (mmm....) to alternating 12-hour cycles of light and dark to mimic conditions in the field, researchers found an accumulation of the beneficial glucosinolates during the 'day' with peak occurring in the late afternoon. Syncing this with the circadian rhythms of looper moth caterpillars resulted in less tissue loss during exposure to the pests, so playing with light-dark cycles could help grocery stores to extend the life of their produce and maximize nutritive content.