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May 5, 2011 07:43 PM

Curious, do you bag single veggies in the store or not?

Mostly, I cook for one; me. I always bag an onion, a cabbage head, an eggplant, a head of lettuce, a celery bunch, etc. I'm not talking about multiples like potatos, nuts, citrus(es), green beens, chilis, etc. I was at my local store and saw a person not bagging anything that was in the cart. I re-use the bags, so don't beat me up about not being green. It made me think, am I "over protecting" my veggies since I rinse them once I get home?

Just curious, is it regional, hereditarily, economical, personal preference, pre-packaging, etc.

Thanks everyone in advance for your comments!


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  1. I always bag single veggies. I reuse the bags; in fact, if I didn't have those bags in the first place, I'd have to buy them, so I'd much rather get them for free with my produce.

    2 Replies
      1. I also always bag my single items. Even if rinsing at home, there is no reason to add extra mileage on the food you're goiing to eat, and if we are to believe what we are told, shopping carts can be extremely unhygienic.

        Occasionally I make an exception for something like a head of garlic where I know that the product that will be consumed is entirely inside the peel.

        10 Replies
        1. re: jlhinwa

          Besides, I can always use the bags, we have a dog (you know what the bag is for) and also take our surplus bags to a couple of thrift stores in the hood. The thrift stores don't want to buy bags, nor do their customers to keep the price down). I don't like thrift stores that much, but a friend does, and the women at a store we went to said that they really like getting grocery bags to use for purchases.

          1. re: EWSflash

            "used" plastic bags are also great as packaging material ... takes up space and is alot more cushioning than just packaging peanuts.

          2. re: jlhinwa

            "and if we are to believe what we are told, shopping carts can be extremely unhygienic."

            But don't you touch the shopping cart and then touch the produce as you pick it out. And maybe even touch your face after touching the cart? And touch many other "unhygienic" things in the store? Seems like you go a bit overboard, but that's what you choose to do and I respect it.

            To answer the question: I bag multiple items but not single items. It seems silly and wasteful (for me) to bag 1 lemon or 1 onion, etc.

            1. re: ttoommyy

              but shopping carts are meant to be handled. they have babies drooling in them, they sit in the parking lot and birds fiy over, and they are rescued from the neighborhood where who knows who has been pushing them around for a week before grabbing a new one. ever seen the traffic grime that you can rub off a shopping cart? you know that sticky oily gritty residue that they pick up siting in the parking lot waiting for the cart boys? And i live someplace where they dont get slush sprayed on them. UGH filthy.

              1. re: KaimukiMan

                I had my son (a toddler at the time) in a grocery cart that had a sticky handle. I went to get somethng off a shelf and when I turned back he was chewiing on the handlebar where it was sticky (musta been sweet). Grossed me out but short story he lived through it without getting sick. In fact he never gets sick. Not that I recommend chewing on a sticky grocery cart handle...

              2. re: ttoommyy

                I agree that shopping carts are filthy just by their nature. I have a problem putting fruit and produce in a cart without bagging it first. I've seen babies with wet diapers sitting in the front section of the carts, and yes, the bird issue and grime, not to mention the hands of the person before me are an issue with me. If you are a man then you have no idea how many women place their handbags on the floor of a public bathroom then set that same handbag in their grocery cart. AAACCCKKK. When I enter any supermarket in this area, I grab a readily available sanitizing cloth and wipe my hands and the cart's handle with it. I just feel a lot better doing that. I guess I'm becoming a bit of a germophobe.

                1. re: The Drama Queen

                  You know the microbes (mostly bacteria) in and on your body outnumber your own body's cells by a factor of 10-20.

                  1. re: jlafler

                    absolutely. the vast majority of microbes have no ill effect on the body. but the few that do can do some serious damage. and yes, they are everywhere, and yes we are exposed to them constantly. But I wouldn't eat fruit that had been sitting in a public restroom either.

                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                      I couldn't have said it better. And when I know that women put their handbags on the floor of a public restroom, then put that same bag on the cart that MY food is going into it just makes me skeevy. On a separate note: Why in the name of heaven would anyone put an article of clothing on the floor, ANY floor, especially the floor of a bathroom. Beats the hell outta me.

                2. re: ttoommyy

                  I'm with you, ttoommyy -- I have no doubt that the cart is dirty -- but I'm not under any misconception that the veggies in the bin materialised out of a sterile environment and have landed completely spotless and hygienic in my hands, either.

              3. depends on the item - i try to limit my use of plastics as much as possible, so i reuse the produce bags and only bag things that really need protecting (or are sopping wet from the mister). so mostly just mushrooms, herbs, greens and the like...everything else stays loose, gets placed strategically in the cart to avoid damage, and gets a thorough cleaning before being eaten.

                2 Replies
                1. re: goodhealthgourmet


                  I only bag mushrooms, greens, beans and brocoli.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet


                    I also bag things like green beans, because there's no other way to keep them together.

                  2. I will not bag a single onion, garlic, orange or other item that will be peeled before using. Even though I do reuse the bags, I do not need that many of them. I will bag if I am buying multiples because it speeds up checkout.

                    I will bag anything that is wet (thanks to those produce sprayers). Although those bags are not going to be dried and reused.

                    At the farmer's market, I will bag small items if I am buying in quantity, but for most things I will just put them all into the canvas bag that I bring.

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: pamf

                      yep - that's me. Broccoli becomes a mess if you don't bag it, too.

                      Otherwise no bags (even if I did get yelled at for not putting the bananas in a bag and just slapping a sticker on one of them. The clerk felt it wasn't sanitary. I know. It's a banana. The peel comes off. But she was following me around the produce department snarling at me, so I took the stupid bag to shut her up. And threw it away when I got around the corner.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        Where do you shop? Big Brother's Produce Mart???

                        I try to bag as little produce as possible, but I do make a good effort to be super organized in their placement on the conveyor belt as to make it easier for the cashier to keep them together when ringing it up. I'm probably not even putting an imaginary dent in the overall usage of plastic, but it does my conscience a pinch of good.

                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                          I think she was having a bad day.

                          I figure if it made her feel better to make the STOOPEED AMERICAINE take a plastic bag, hey, whatever.

                          I had a lot of things to do than were a lot more important than standing around and arguing with a minimum-wage produce clerk about a stupid plastic bag.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            "I figure if it made her feel better to make the STOOPEED AMERICAINE take a plastic bag, hey, whatever."

                            Did this happen somewhere other than the States?

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                "I live in France."

                                Well, could the reason she made you bag the produce is because it is store policy? I know it is in many supermarkets in Italy. Maybe she was just doing her job.

                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                  No. I'd been in that store a hundred times before, and I've been there a hundred times since, and nobody bags their bananas. It was just her. (haven't seen her since, by the way -- maybe she was sent round the bend by a guy putting a sticker on a guava.)

                                  Italy is a whole nuther planet as far as produce bagging goes -- not only do you have to bag every stinkin' thing, but you're supposed to wear gloves while you do it! I saw a guy get yelled at 8 ways to Sunday for daring to pick up ONE apple with his bare hands.

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    "Italy is a whole nuther planet as far as produce bagging goes -- not only do you have to bag every stinkin' thing, but you're supposed to wear gloves while you do it! I saw a guy get yelled at 8 ways to Sunday for daring to pick up ONE apple with his bare hands."

                                    That may have been me the first time I was in Italy! lol :)

                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                      I was dumbstruck -- especially considering there were enormous cut wheels of Parmesan lying open to the air in the store, and racks of all kinds of whole hams -- with the requisite mold on the rinds -- hanging less than 5 metres from the produce that couldn't be compromised. Weird.

                        2. re: sunshine842

                          I would have either told her to shut her effing pie hole or slapped her. Don't mess with me while i'm shopping.

                            1. re: EWSflash

                              I just wasn't in the mood that day.

                              (One of those where the little voice inside your head says "walk away now, so you don't end up facing homicide charges in a foreign country over a stupid banana")

                              Other days, it's "bring it, Babette, I'm ready".