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Produce misters

I visited two grocery stores today and after picking up a bag of wet carrots, I wondered again why the need for these things? I figure it must be to clean the produce somehow, or make it looked dewy or something, but I just find it annoying, particularly when the grocery store also stocks these areas with packaged items (like the bag of carrots) or some of the vegetarian items that are sometimes stuck in with the vegetables, while numerous other (usually central) produce shelves go unmisted. No rhyme or reason.

Plus you stand a good chance of getting misted when you reach for something. It just seems like a lot of dampness sitting around for something that isn't particularly useful. Unless there's something I'm missing ?

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  1. produce sits out in open air. If it dries out, it becomes limp and unattractive. The misting keeps the produce moist and fresh.. The sheen from the water make it more attractive and appealing to the eye as well.

    4 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      Plus, you get to pay for the water sticking to the produce. I hate the practice.

      1. re: MGZ

        morwen has the simple answer and solution below......

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        The water gets inside, collects and the produce sits in it and starts rotting. Or in some cases sprouting. When I have to buy produce from the store I've taken to turning the unwrapped stuff upside down and shaking out as much water as I can before putting it in my cart. Same with wrapped produce. After selecting my bag, I'll tear a hole large enough to run as much water out as possible. I want to pay for as little water weight as possible.

        1. re: MGZ

          Really? This is serious?

        2. re: fourunder

          Lettuce I can understand, but I would make what I think is a fairly safe guess and say that over half of the produce in the mister section was fully packaged.

        3. I agree with fourunder's comment. However, I think a third marketing ploy comes into play. The produce is misted excessively, which leads to quicker decomposition. In the case of greens, that water runs down the leaves and into the core of the plant where it collects and settles. In a very short time it aids rotting. Which means you'll have to go back sooner to buy more. Same thing happens with produce in perforated breathable bags. The water gets inside, collects and the produce sits in it and starts rotting. Or in some cases sprouting. When I have to buy produce from the store I've taken to turning the unwrapped stuff upside down and shaking out as much water as I can before putting it in my cart. Same with wrapped produce. After selecting my bag, I'll tear a hole large enough to run as much water out as possible. I want to pay for as little water weight as possible. At home, the greens go into the salad spinner and a dry bag before refrigeration and the prebagged stuff gets dumped into a colander and rebagged in a dry bag. Those misters are more about marketing than they are about good produce and the consumers wallet.

          2 Replies
          1. re: morwen

            If I get a rotten head of lettuce, I just tell my grocery store and they give me another one. So I really don't think they are interested in causing the produce to rot. Lettuce is sold by the head, so weight doesn't matter. As for other vegs, I think most of us give them a shake if my market observations are typical.

            1. re: escondido123

              No the head isn't rotten when bought but a day or so later if you haven't spun it clear of water and rebagged it, you'll be pulling slimy leaves out of the bag. Do I think they're doing this on purpose? No, not really. I don't think they're thinking about it at all. At some point some plumber installed the system, set the timer, and left.

              As for by the pound or by the head, it switches back and forth here depending on season and price. What looks good and gets put up is the lower number. You have to pay attention to the small print after the price indicating pound or head. I recently picked up a 5lb bag of carrots and had water gush out of the perforations. At home I drained them completely and stuck them in a bag specifically for storing produce. A few days later those carrots were slimy and sprouting. They and the receipt got taken back to the store.

          2. my 3yo likes it...
            some of the stores have thunder and lightning effects that go off when the misters do...

            4 Replies
            1. re: srsone

              HA HA! That's pretty smart...especially if they serve as a warning BEFOREHAND, rather than simultaneously as the mist begins. I got rained on under those things once. You should see how carefully I select my produce now! ;)

              1. re: kattyeyes

                yes usually the thunder and lightning starts first so u know the (rain) is coming...

              2. re: srsone

                The Wegman's I shopped at in NY had thunder before the system came on but I never noticed lightning! Unfortunately, over in the dairy section they had a band of animatronic singing cows with an activation button at kid level.

                1. re: morwen

                  it was either winn dixie or sweetbay that had both.....dont remember off the top of my head...

              3. Whenever I reach for something those darn things ALWAYS start spraying. My teenage son gets such a kick out of it when we're grocery shopping together. It never fails!