HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

Bag Lettuce...do they all smell like a Chemical Factory?

Never buy the stuff but bought some baby spinach that was a on sale and it had this strong chemical odor...is this the norm?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I buy arugula in bags but have never noticed an odor. 'Course maybe because arugula has its own smell.

    1. most of them do, because of the solution the packers use to clean it. i find the odor so offensive that i stopped buying the bagged stuff a long time ago. since i ended up washing it anyway, it wasn't any more convenient than buying it loose or in bunches.

      1. It may be the norm. I have smelled an odor every time I've ever used a bag. Not a bad odor, but certainly not the smell of fresh lettuce. Obviously it's what they wash it in.

        1. Last place I worked we bought it in commercial sizes (5lb bags). We had to open them the day before and put them in bus tubs in the walk-in to air out the plastic/chemical stench. It was fine after doing that.

          1. I just smelled a "clamshell" of pre-washed spinach and don't smell a thing. And I have very sensitive smell. Do you think it's the bag rather than the product itself?

            4 Replies
            1. re: c oliver

              I've always thought it was the bag as it doesn't have a "smell" when I buy in a plastic box or the bag helps keep the cleaning solution strong. It got so bad for me that I just can't buy those bags anymore.

              1. re: grouper

                interesting point. it's very possible that the clamshell packages are more breathable/porous than bags, allowing the chemical odor to dissipate.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I think you're right. My mom taught me this ridiculous process to go through to buy bagged lettuce (I almost always buy the clamshell) and it still doesn't work half the time. In order to get the least smelly bag, you have to make sure the bag is not very wet and that it has very little air in it. Once you get air/wetness, that thing is going to smell to high heaven when you open it up. I still look for the dryest clamshell, but I rarely open one up that smells.

                  1. re: queencru

                    I look for a relatively dry bag, too. Also a good sell-by date. Finally, if you see even one decaying leaf, don't buy that bag.