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Debbie Meyer green bags.

Do they work as advertised?


These are sold on HSN or online and supposedly allow storage of veggies an fruits for up to 10 days.

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  1. Not sure if they work, but I was intrigued since I have a constant problem with rotting produce, and I just ordered some. Warning about ordering from the website, before you can place your order, you have to screen through about 10 different screens trying to upgrade you to something more expensive, including the following pitch:

    "We ship our products in the order in which they are received. You can expect your order to ship in 2 to 6 weeks. For only $5.84 for your entire order, we can move you to the head of the line, ensuring that your order will be one of the very first to ship from our warehouse.

    Would you like to upgrade to priority treatment?"

    I did fall for the upgrade for the "deluxe" bags, which the website claims are even better. I ended up placing an order for 2 sets of bags and with tax and shipping it came to $56.19. I suspect the whole thing is probably a huge rip-off and that I could find a similar product elsewhere much cheaper.

    I was so turned off by the whole order process that unless the product is the best thing since sliced bread, so to speak, I would not order again just on general principle.

    1. My mother in law dropped a bunch of veggies off with us on her way out for a vacation and they were in green translucent plastic bags. She told us she had purchased the bags from Market of Choice and not to toss them when we ate the vegetables. Of course we were totally skeptical but after we watched a bunch of cilantro (NOTORIOUS for turning to mush in no time in my experience) stay perfectly fresh and non-wilty for well over a week (and this on top of however long it may have been languishing in my mother in law's refrigerator), we were believers.

      So yeah, in spite of myself (like, what-EV, they're just bags!), i think they totally work. I don't know why or how though.

      9 Replies
      1. re: TimeMachine

        I've used them for years, although not Debbie Meyer. I use Evert-Fresh, which work the same way and have been around longer, I think. I buy my produce cheap at the Asian market or the farmer's market and store them in those. They work great for some things, less well for others (bananas don't do so well -- they'll be green on the outside and mushy inside).

        You can order them online through third part retailers or call them and they'll give you a list of the places in your area that carry them. When I called I was expected to have to punch in my zip code and go through some electronic system. Instead a lady with a heavy Texas accent answered the phone. When I told her I was calling to find out where I could buy them, she said "oh, just a second, i know I've got that list somewhere." I could hear her rustling through papers. I was so charmed by that I became a customer for life.

        I highly recommend them.

        TimeMachine, they work by absorbing the ethylene gas given off by produce as it ripens.

        1. re: JonParker

          How long before they become saturated with ethylene? Or is there some procedure for baking them to restore?

          I've got a ventilated "crisper" drawer in my refrigerator, which also works on the same principle (blow off the rotten gasses), so I shouldn't need these, right?

          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

            The bags last for four or five uses, but they get progressively less effective over time. I've never tried to restore them, and I don't have a ventilated crisper.

          2. re: JonParker

            Debbie Meyer bags are just Evert-Fresh bags in a "new" packaging. They're the same product.

            1. re: ceenote

              are they?
              I just bought some of the Debbie Meyer....they seemed different once I opened them.

              1. re: Budino

                Yes they're the same.

                on the evertfresh website under "how to buy" is a link to the debbie meyers green bag site. http://www.evertfresh.com/howtobuy.html

                so i called evertfresh to see what was up, and the woman told me that debbie meyers took over the evertfresh label

                1. re: ceenote

                  thanks for posting and taking the steps to check out what happened! that's what I suspected.

                  They do feel different, but they seem to work the same...

          3. re: TimeMachine

            Time Machine: I got a tip from the folks that provide my CSA veggie box each week, that works very well to keep cilantro fresh. The Full Belly Farm method is to snip off the tips of the stems and put the cilantro into a glass of water (not all the way up, but covering the stems part way. You then leave it on the counter. If it starts to wilt, just cut off some more of the stem. It really works!

            1. re: oakjoan

              Also works well for celery, parsley, basil, etc. If you think of cut fresh herbs as cut fresh flowers, and treat them similarly, they can last a long time.

              And with celery, you can put a couple of drops of food coloring into the water and watch it get sucked up the stalk.

          4. There's some stuff in a previous thread that is useful for bags:


            1. argh - lost my long-winded post.

              Anyway, we also use the Every-Fresh bags, and I wholeheartedly recommend them. We're a two-person household with a full CSA share, and they're invaluable. The key is to put your produce in them as soon as you get home from the store/farm/market. I've had cauliflower remain pristinely white and crisp for well over a week, and they're phenomenal with salad greens - no slimies!

              1. A little on a different note - has anyone heard or used ExtraLife Disc's?

                1 Reply
                1. re: dmfnole

                  Yes, I love them. I've used the ExtraLife Discs for about 3 years now and they really do make a difference in how long my product keeps, especially leafy greens.

                2. I have seen those bags on tv and have wanted to try them, but was reluctant. I LOVE veggies and eat alot of them, but I also lose alot due to rot. Based on what I've read here, I think I'm going to give them a try. I'm so tired of having to throw food out! Thanks for the posts!

                  1. I almost bought some but I read some reviews on the Home Shopping Channel and there were some really upset folks that saynig they did not work and were asking for refunds, etc. But, who knows. Check it out hsn.com or whatever it is. I

                    1. One review can be found at this link: http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news original date - 2/27/2008 "Try It:Debbie Meyer Green Bags"

                      1. I recently ordered some too (I think about $15 plus shipping costs from HSN). When I get them I will let you all know how they work/don't work for me.

                        1. I just received my Debbie Meyer order. What a rip off. For over $50 (yes, that is not a typo), I got these long bags that are too narrow for a head of lettuce (they are about right for asparagus). And shipping took forever because I didn't fork over extra money for "priority handling" (not, priority shipping, but priority handling). You are hereby warned not to order from the greenbagsdirect website. As someone mentioned above, apparently Debbie Meyer bags are just Evert-Fresh bags in a "new" packaging. (And I'm sure the Evert-Fresh bags are a fraction of the price), Well, there's a sucker born every minute and unfortunately this time it was me.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: omotosando

                            Sorry 'bout that. We tried to warn you.

                            Here comes the science:
                            Study at an agriculture university determines that zeolite films
                            are not effective at ethylene absorption.

                            Bottom line: they don't work.

                            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                              Except that they do work. I tested them against a regular grocery store bag and the vegetable crisper in the fridge, and the Evert-Fresh bags definitely retarded spoilage significantly.

                              Whether that means that they are not zeolite film or that the study was flawed I don't know. But the bags do work.

                          2. My complaint wasn't that the bags don't work, but that (1) greenbagsdirect.com is a rip-off price-wise - selling a commodity product at grossly inflated prices; and (2) that the bags they sent me are awkward and sized for nothing but long thin vegetables such as asparagus (and even for vegetables such as asparagus, the Debbie Meyer bags are awkward to use).

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: omotosando

                              The way you do anything is the way you do everything. If they're ripping you off with sizing and shipping, they're going to be ripping you off in other ways too. Like, is there really "zeolite" in there? How can you find out?

                              Still, if they do work as promised you should be able to cut them up and put your produce and a slice of a green bag into another bag and seal it and expect the green back slice to absorb the stuff it's supposed to be absorbing. So they remain useful.

                            2. Well, my green bags arrived yesterday.

                              I got an assortment of sizes that self-seal from HSN. Still, none of them are big enough to hold a head of iceberg lettuce in its entirety. Odd, I would thank a large, wider size would be popular.

                              Anyway, I went out and bought a lot of strawberries, which have a habit of rotting extremely fast in my fridge. I didn't wash them because I wanted them to stay dry. I put them in the bag where they remained overnight.

                              This afternoon, I took them out of the fridge and noticed there was some moisture in the bag so I took the berries out carefully, wiped the bag dry and put them back in, minus a handful which I washed and ate.

                              So far, so good. Nothing rotten. Berries tasted fine.

                              We'll see about Day 2.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                Do you have a control group? In order for an experiment to demonstrate that the bags keep things from decomposing, it needs to be run such that the *only* variable is the bags.

                                In particular, a controlled experiment on strawberries would make sure that the berries in the bag and the berries not in the bag were both removed from the berry basket that the farmer placed them in. Given that the price of zeolite is <$100 per metric ton, if they worked the way Debbie Meyer claims, it is more than likely that berry producers would pack their product in zeolite impregnated baskets in order to increase shelf life with only the tiniest increase in the cost of production.

                                1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                  Yep, I got some packed seperately in a baggie.

                                2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                  If you really want a good trick to keeping strawberries, try putting them in a glass jar, unwashed.

                                3. I have the Evert green bags and I don't know why (I was skeptical, too), but I think they do keep produce longer based on my experience using them throughout CSA season last year. If the Debbie Meyer bags are the same, then, yes, they work. I have that same challenge most people who participate in CSA's do, and that is I just get oodles of produce and need to store them until I can get to them.

                                  Although the Evert bags do technically work, I'm somewhat frustrated with them because what I end up with in my fridge is a disorganized mountain of produce in identical green Evert bags. And while they are "see-through" it's sometimes hard to tell celeriac from rutabaga, for instance.

                                  What I really want is two more crisper drawers. But, since I don't want to buy a new fridge, what I need is some kind of big-rectangular tupperware-like product that mimics a crisper drawer. Tidier. Easy to stack. More see-through.

                                  Is anyone aware of such a thing? I've been admiring FreshVac products, but it seems you can only buy them as a "set", instead of by the piece. Has anyone tried these?



                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    The freshvac things look nice, but again, they're using using sciency words to make you think they do something they don't actually do.

                                    There is not a vacuum inside. Not even any significantly reduced pressure. All they've done is add a whistle to some tupperware.

                                    It works like this -- air pressure is 14 pounds per square inch. And the pressure of a vacuum is 0 pounds per square inch. So if you had a 4"x8" container, the pressure on the lid alone would be 4 x 8 x 14 = 448 pounds. So a vacuum container this size would have to be built to withstand almost 500 pounds on the lid alone.

                                    You can also get a good idea roughly how much reduced the air pressure is inside one of these things. How hard do you need to press down to squeeze out the "vacuum"? One pound? Five pounds? Let's say you press down on the lid with the same force as you would use to lift a 5 pound bag of sugar. That means the lid is resisting with 5 pounds of pressure and when the lid seals and you stop pressing, the lid continues to push upward with five pounds of force. What holds it down once your finger is off? Exactly, the pressure from the air above. Which must be 5 pounds greater than the air pressure inside. We know the pressure outside is 448 pounds, so inside it must be 443 pounds. Which means the Fresh "vac" has only reduced the pressure inside by about 1%.

                                    Or more graphically, it's like the outside of the box has the air pressure of Los Angeles and the inside has the air pressure of Phoenix.

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      Have you checked out the Extralife Green discs? http://www.amazon.com/ExtraLife-3-Dis...

                                      I've had a lot of success with these prolonging the life of my produce, and they seem like a lot less hassle then these bags seem to be. I haven't tried the bags so I can't really compare, but I like being able to just throw my produce in the crisper with a disc and have it last forever.

                                      1. re: Chris VR

                                        No, I haven't tried them, but, based on your recommendation, perhaps I should. Everytime I buy those Evert bags on Amazon, the green disks come up as "you also might like..."

                                        They still don't solve the "too-much-produce-for my-two-little-crisper-drawers" problem, though. Do you think I could just by some largish rectangular food storage containers (sounds like I don't need to buy the FrechVac per Chuckles comments) to serve as additional "crispers" in my fridge and toss the disks in those with my produce?


                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          I'd think so- and I also wonder if you get enough of those disks in your fridge, maybe you wouldn't need a container at all.

                                          1. re: Chris VR

                                            Ah, okay, I see your point. I'll try it and let you know how it sorts out!


                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            There are Rubbermaid food containers that are shoe-box shaped, and almost as large. With the addition of a damp paper towel, I find that most produce keeps well in them The produce itself should not be wet when it goes in. For berries, no damp towel. I routinely buy several quarts of strawberries at a time from a street vendor. When I get them home, I leave them in their baskets, uncovered, until they are at room temperature and feel dry. I hull them and place them in rows, unwashed, in a Rubbermaid container with a dry paper towel on the bottom. Note: DO NOT include berries which already have mushy spots or mold. When the container is full, I lay a paper towel on top before putting on the lid, which I leave unsealed at one end. Into the fridge. Several hours later, take the container out an open it - dry off the condensation that has formed on the underside of the lid, and replace the top towel with another dry one. Reseal completely and refrigerate. Any time you remove berries, replace the top towel if it is damp - after a day or so, it won't be and can be omitted. I often take up to 2 weeks to finish the container, and they are still good. Maybe they'd last even longer. I read in Cooks Illustrated that the bags in which pre-washed salad greens are sold are composed of materials designed to maintain their freshness, so you should clip the bag shut when storing unused greens, rather than transferring them to a baggie. Perhaps these salad bags could be re-used.

                                      2. Day 2 for my strawberry trial with the Green Bags. Once again the bag had accumulated moisture so I gently poured the berries out and dried it with a paper towel. All berries looked okay. I cut into several and they were good. Yesterday the berries in the baggie looked okay. But not today. One was moldy, the others are well on their way.

                                        Today I packed other green bags with some fresh parsley, iceberg lettuce (Had to cut into wedges to fit into the bag), and some fresh basil. For my "control groups," I have some of all three put in paper towels.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                          Day 3 and Day 4, the strawberries in the green bag are still fine. The ones in the baggie are totally spoiled.

                                          All the green produce so far, bagged and otherwise, is fine.

                                            1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                              I had a little trouble with my computer yesterday so this report is a day late. On Day 5, I opened the strawberries. They looked great, nice and firm. I washed then cut some up. I can not even BEGIN to say how vile they tasted. Absolutely rotten. Thinking it may have just been a singular berry, I cut a few more...BLECHH to the nth degree.

                                              This is EXACTLY like what another poster said about bananas. For all intents and purposes the fruit looked perfectly good, but it tasted perfectly vile.

                                              Huge disappointment,

                                              As for the greens...the parsley in the green bags is looking a bit wilty but it's okay and as good as some I put in a baggy, Iceberg lettuce was fine and I had a salad with it tonight. Basil appears fine in both baggie and green bag.

                                              So we shall see how these greens do.... But I must admit now, I am very very leery of them. I still can't forget how bad those berries tasted.

                                              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                I may have mentioned this previously, but my grandmother's method of storing strawberries seems to have the best results: put them unwashed in a glass jar, and store in the fridge.
                                                It must be glass. They must be unwashed. And they keep about a week (if they don't get eaten sooner!)

                                                1. re: Budino

                                                  Budino--I assumed a covered glass jar?

                                                  And thanks, I will try it.

                                                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                    If you're trying to test the "green bags" I think strawberries and bananas and tomatoes are not good fruits to test. But, if you're interested, specifically, in storing strawberries, then you must read rworange's strawberries in a glass jar series: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/32434...


                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      >>" I think strawberries and bananas and tomatoes are not good fruits to test"

                                                      I think what would make a good test would be taking a fruit or vegetable that is a high producer of ethylene and putting it into a green bag along with one that is highly sensitive to ethylene. And also put a pair of the same into a non-green bag.

                                                      For example, bananas, apples, melons, tomatoes produce high amounts of ethylene (but aren't terribly sensitive to it). Lettuce, cucumbers, spinach are all highly sensitive to ethylene (but don't produce much). So put a cucumber and an apple into a green bag and put a cucumber and an apple into a non-green bag and see if there are differences over the next few days.

                                                      At the same time, see what happens if you put cucumbers in one refrigerator drawer and an apples in another. It could be that simply separating the producers from the sensitives will get you the same results as the expensive bags.

                                            2. Another odd thing. The advertising for the bags clearly states that the active ingredient
                                              is a mineral found in Japanese caves. We've established that this mineral is zeolite
                                              and the agriculture department at the University of California, in research attempting
                                              to help food producers increase the shelf life of their products, has found it useless.

                                              But now over here on this website,
                                              they claim that the active ingredient is the same as that recommended by the USDA
                                              in "handbook #668". The USDA recently rearranged their website making it difficult to
                                              find this handbook, but a backup copy exists here:

                                              The product which this handbook recommends is potassium permanganate, and it
                                              does not mention zeolite at all. Potassium permanganate is a very common and
                                              familiar chemical often used as a disinfectant. It costs about $5/pound and can be
                                              ordered from a lot of places online. This is probably equivalent to several thousand
                                              green bags:

                                              For further research, here's a patent on embedding packaging films with zeolite:

                                              I was unable to find an MSDS on these green bags but one must certainly exist. This
                                              would tell us precisely what they contain. It might be a good idea for anyone ordering the
                                              bags to request the MSDS since putting unknown chemicals in contact with your food
                                              isn't always the best strategy. OSHA more or less requires them to be provided.

                                              1. My grocery store now has green produce bags that say they help keep the product fresh. I am wondering if it is the same technology? Regardless, they are free and I have some vegetables that are over a week old and still crisp and tasty.

                                                1. The potassium permanganate route has turned up a bunch of interesting things.

                                                  There are a number of ethylene removal systems available for the floral and produce
                                                  industries. Ranging from large-scale filters for trucks and refrigerators down to individual
                                                  packets for use in packaging and displays. It looks like one of the most economical
                                                  routes would be these little packets which, although they're only about 12 cents each,
                                                  are sold in crates of 2000. Which is a bit expensive and far too much for home use:
                                                  But maybe if a bunch of people went in on it together?

                                                  There are people who want to do the precise opposite -- pick and ship unripe fruit and
                                                  then dose it with ethylene just before selling it. Here's one system for doing that:

                                                  The folks at the University of California have published information on the ethylene
                                                  sensitivity and production of a lot of types of fruits and vegetables. Here's a convenient
                                                  republication of that data:
                                                  Interestingly, strawberries produce almost no ethylene and are not sensitive to it. So
                                                  that adds to the mystery of why a green bag should have any effect on them, since the
                                                  only thing a green bag claims to do is absorb ethylene.

                                                  Here's a consumer-sized amount of potassium permanganate in an egg-shaped
                                                  container for $14 which claims to work for a year:

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                    Huh. Fascinating. Interestingly enough, the ExtraLife disks that ChrisVR recommends above contain the potassium permanganate. http://www.dennisgreenltd.com/ExtraLi...

                                                    They say it also doesn't work on bananas--but, they say it will help keep your potatoes and onions from sprouting!


                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      Huh, never even thought to try one in with my potatoes! I've actually had pretty good luck storing potatoes now that I seem to have hit upon a good method. I store them in a paper grocery bag (if they came in plastic, I remove them from the bag and put in the grocery bag) and then just keep the top of the bag rolled tight, and store on the floor of my pantry. It seems to work great. But now I'll throw a disk in there too, and do another bag for my onions.

                                                      1. re: Chris VR

                                                        Yes, I'm going to try the disk with my potatoes too. Way too many of ours sprouted. Our onions were fine.


                                                  2. I again repeat the warning to not order from www.greenbagsdirect.com. As noted above, with shipping, I paid close to $50. My mom just saw the same bags on close-out at Bed, Bath & Beyond (or maybe it was Linens 'n Things, I forget) for $1.99.

                                                    1. After more than a week of testing my new green bags...so far they are working okay on "green" things like lettuce, parsley, bay leaves....

                                                      They did not work on strawberries.

                                                      I am currently testing carrots and green/yellow/orange peppers.

                                                      So far, honestly, I am not overly impressed.