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GREEN BAGS TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS : DO THEY REALLY WORK?

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I just received a package of 63 Green Bags as a gift. They are supposed to preserve food longer by absorbing the ethylene gas that produce gives off, and finally spoils it.

Has anyone else used them? There are bags for fruit and Vegetables, Cheese, Bread, etc.

One question I have is ..do you leave fruit like Pears in the bag to ripen, or do you allow them to ripen in the open, then bag them?

Any suggestions for using these will be greatly appreciated.

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  1. I think so, yes. Here's a recent thread you might find helpful. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/436328 I don't know the answer to your pears question, but I would leave them out of the bag to ripen, if it were me.

    I didn't know you could use them for anything other than produce, though. Interesting.

    ~TDQ

    5 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      I tried the bags (different brand) and they didn't work. The strawberries had a very funny taste to them after only one day and by the 2nd or 3rd day, they were rotten. The bananas also didn't stay well. I will never use them again. I believe jojogirl is right about never putting produce in plastic.

      helski

      1. re: helski

        I would never put the following items in the green bags: bananas, strawberries, avocados, tomatoes.

        ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I have used them a lot for bananas (I was on a boat and fruit needed to last a while). They work great. Maybe you were using a different green bag than I.

          2. re: helski

            I tried the Forever Bags. The bananas looked perfect, after 5 days, so I took them out to see. They were all mush!! The peaches are still good, but the tomatoes are ruined.

        1. NEVER put produce in any plastic bag. I recently saw an ad for these bags and they talk about eliminating the ethylene gas.I had quite a chuckle. If you keep your produce bag free you will need no green bags. MY dad was a produce buyer for large supermarket chains, and he taught me this years aggo.

          22 Replies
          1. re: JOJOGIRL

            So JoJo - why a chuckle after seeing the ad? Do they not eliminate the ethylene gas? (Or reduce it) Do you just put your produce bag-free into the crisper drawer?

            I've used these bags on occasion for lettuce and mushrooms; they seem to work quite well.

            1. re: LindaWhit

              The chuckle was because the bag people are selling a product that cures a problem, that shouldn't exist in the first place. If you keep tomatoes on your counter in a bowl they will taste better. Greens should be washed dried and rolled in paper towels,put in crisper drawer and they won't wilt. I just can't think of anything that does ok in any kind of plastic bag. Of course you can't keep produce for weeks, and keep the freshness.

              1. re: JOJOGIRL

                I don't think anyone is asking for produce to remain fresh for weeks. However, you've only listed two things - tomatoes and lettuce greens. If you have the space for a counter/table bowl of tomatoes, great. Washed and dried greens in a paper towel fine. However, for other items, such as mushrooms, the Evert bags - definitely.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  MUSHROOMS IN PLASTIC?? Never , paper bags only please!!

                  1. re: JOJOGIRL

                    Well, you just continue to store mushrooms in the manner you wish to, and I'll continue to use the Evert-Fresh bags, should I need them.

                  2. re: LindaWhit

                    Lived across from a Monterey Mushroom Farms for years and they always said use paperbags for mushrooms and gifts they gave us in plain old paperbags stayed really nicely. Plastic bags make for slimy shrooms..

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      I think it was Cooks Illustrated that said the best way to store mushrooms is in the original store container with plastic wrap. I've done it that way for years.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Linda how long did your mushrooms last? I sometimes run out of lunch bags and might want to try the green bags. I had never considered putting mushrooms in them. Thanks for the idea!

                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                          I usually use them up pretty quickly, SalV. And I also make sure that there is a paper towel in there to absorb any moisture (replacing it as needed). But at least a week or two?

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            I think I will try that. What the heck.

                      2. re: JOJOGIRL

                        Stacking strawberries in paper towels in the crisper extended their life dramatically for me.

                    2. re: JOJOGIRL

                      JoJoGirl - I have (just because I'm disorganized) had produce not in bags, in regular plastic bags and in the green produce saver bags. My experience is that the green bags do work, at least for me.

                      1. re: lupaglupa

                        I have been using the green bags ever since Wal-Mart started handling them. My lettuce lasts longer, my bananas last longer, strawberries lasted til I used them, 3 days later. Any vegetable or fruit I have saved them in have lasted until I used them. I do not re-use the bag for a different fruit or vegetable, but have had excellent luck in re-using them for the SAME fruit or vegetable 3 times. With the great results I have experienced, I do not understand why others have been disappointed.

                        1. re: Pauline B

                          I don't understand it either, Pauline. Even Dr. Oz says they don't work. But they sure work for me.

                      2. re: JOJOGIRL

                        Speaking from personal experience, un-bagged produce doesn't do well in the fridge. Even conventional plastic bags are better than un-bagged.

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          I'm open to a test. I have in my fridge right now, a head of broccoli-rape, string beans, romaine lettuce, button mushrooms, a red pepper, carrotts, celery, parsley.Actually, i should have my parsley in water in a juice glass ,like a plant,on my sink, but I just washed and wrapped in a paper towel.So I am going to split everything in half and put some in a plastic bag. I'll let you know how it works out. ( If my dh doesn't cook the broccoli-rape)

                        2. re: JOJOGIRL

                          I'm with you, JoJo! My hubby bought me these bags. I keep thinking, if leaving fruit out in the fresh air isn't going to get rid of the gas, how is closing it up in a bag with the gas going to help??? OK, I tried 'em. Fresh bananas on Friday, not a mark on them, and nice and firm. Put 'em in the bag, sealed it up. Opened it up Monday. Smell of over-ripe bananas would knock you down! Still nice and yellow, not a spot or mark on them, but so mushy and soft you couldn't even peel them, and the taste was very strong, just like a regular brown banana. Haven't tried anything else in them, just got some more produce to experiment with, but I know for a fact Bananas don't work!!!

                          1. re: Luvcameos

                            My bananas went rotten after a few days. Black spots all over and when my husband peeled the banana, it had rotten spots inside. No more bags for us. And the strawberries didn't last either and had a horrible taste to them (probably the gas). I won't use them.

                            helski

                            1. re: helski

                              Same here on the bananas & strawberries..after only 4 days...

                            2. re: Luvcameos

                              Yes, Luvcameos.....that's exactly what happened with my bananas AND tomatoes! I was using the Forever Bags. Bananas looked perfect but pure mush inside!!

                            3. re: JOJOGIRL

                              If these bags work as well as their customer reviews at the other site say they do, they may provide a good compromise between the two problems of produce storage: Produce stored in closed containers, including plastic bags, rots. A lot of produce stored will dry out if not stored in them. You're right in your later posts about tomatoes needing to be kept on the counter; chemically, the taste of tomatoes is ruined by refrigeration (so of course it's best to buy tomatoes that have never refrigerated), and about mushrooms. Again, for chemical reasons, they keep best stored in the fridge in a paper bag, in layers on mushroom deep, with paper towels between the layers.

                              They are definitely exceptions, though most produce is best on the counter rather than in the fridge--and it goes bad fastest on the counter, too. Green Bags are advertised (and positively reviewed) as being effective on the counter, too. If they really eliminate or reduce the ethylene gas that is one of the things that cause rot, then they should work to some degree, perhaps allowing produce to last as long on the counter as in the fridge, so less flavor is lost. I don't know, but I"m going to try them.

                              One other thing: Not storing food in plastic bags does not eliminate ethylene gas. Most people store most produce in the fridge, which means that, even without individual containers, it's enclosed in plastic drawers...

                              I'm going to try these. If they don't work, I'm a $10 sucker. If they do, then they really pay for themselves the first time I use them.

                              1. re: nbkek

                                For the evert-fresh bags, I pay less than $5 for 10 bags -- at a health food store in San Francisco. You can also order from their website or call them and they'll tell you who sells them in your area. I love them.

                            4. I use these bags: http://www.reusablebags.com/store/eve...

                              And all I can say is, they are amazing. Some can chuckle at reading this... but they're not "plastic" bags. They keep green beans fresh for a few weeks. Crisp, not brown, not slimy. Just as good as the day I bought them. Now I cannot vouch for any lost nutritional value, that I don't know about, but the LOOK, FEEL and TASTE perfect for waaaaaay longer than unbagged, paper bagged or plastic bagged.

                              I also keep my tomatoes, unrefrigerated, in them and I've had some cherry tomatoes for three weeks on my counter, in this bag that are still perfect.

                              So if I were you I'd buy a small set and test for yourself.

                              I'm sold on them.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: Jennalynn

                                I saw them for sale on QVC so i will look online for them. Another thing i noticed from these posts, it seems i use my produce much sooner after purchase. Any how I am willing to learn something new. ty.

                                1. re: JOJOGIRL

                                  I also bought these from QVC and did not really see much of a difference. I thought that celery and green beans lasted slightly longer but lettuce which is always my main problem seemed to go bad just as quickly. Are the bags from QVC the same brand as the ones they advertise on the infomercial?

                                  1. re: baseballfan

                                    I just checked on the bags, they are on 'HSN '. 50 bags for $19.00. debbie myer green bags.

                                    1. re: baseballfan

                                      The trick with lettuce is to have it really really dry before you put it in the bag (that's actually the trick with everything and the bags). If there's moisture, they won't work as well. I've kept arugula in them for 3+ weeks and it's been perfect.

                                      They're great for me because I live alone, so I can keep things longer and don't throw as much away.

                                      I've found the medium and small work the best. The large is really BIG.

                                      1. re: Jennalynn

                                        I still have a few lying around. I am going to give them another try. I am always in a hurry so no doubt the lettuce was not as dry as it could be when I put it in the bag.

                                  2. re: Jennalynn

                                    Jennalynn,
                                    How long do the bags last? Are you still using yours? I'll be watching for your reply. Thanks.

                                  3. I have used these bags for veggies, and they work very well..To ripen pears, put them in a brown paper bag for a couple of days, then use them....

                                    1. I use the green evertfresh bags for produce like lettuce, carrots, cukes and I find everything lasts twice (at least) as long. Of course, no tomatoes in fridge.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: walker

                                        i thought i made that word up... "CUKES".... loves it!