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Dec 3, 2012 03:24 PM

Carrying on vegetables and fruits onto the plane

have you ever carried on an entire head of lettuce or a bag of groceries?

i'm going back east to NY from Los Angeles next week and my las post got me thinking....i was going to put some unripe avocados and fruit on my check but i now want to bring a farmers market bag with some lettuce, strawberries, winter plums and some other goodies.

does anyone do this?

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  1. I do it all the time. Be aware tho that anything liquidy or semi (jam) is a no no if you're not checking luggage. But heads of lettuce, citrus, onions, just about anything is game. I did once have the embarrassing experience of having the tsa guy open my bag and carefully lift bags of half rotten lettuce, yellowed parsley and moldy onions that I had thrown in without looking cuz I saw no point in buying more at my destination 'when I already had perfectly good ones at home'!

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I would throw in a twist - you absolutely SHOULD be able to.

        I have never taken a full bag of groceries but I have absolutely traveled with fruits and veg before.

        I say "should" because there is always the possibility of getting a rogue TSA agent (and I travel a lot and trust me they are out there). It is near impossible to win an argument with a TSA agent who gets a wild hair and decides that for some strange reason they have decided you shouldn't be able to have something (even if you know otherwise and have traveled with it many times before). My experience has been that the supervisor on duty will always side with the misinformed TSA agent.

        That said, if you're traveling with food items they recognize you are better off as well. It is just a risk . . . .

        1. re: thimes

          true, very true. i once went thru chicago to NY from LA and forgot to declare an expensive new lip gloss and another cream blush in a stick. had them in my purse and got thru LA with them but not thru this guy in Chi-town. he pulled them out and tossed them! i told him it was honest mistake then he threatened to kick me out of the airport. lost about $70 in makeup but was glad i wasn't to homeland security for my crime!

          yes, you never know...someone may not like my organic farmers market goods from sunny LA!

      2. I know someone who regularly takes California produce with her back to Michigan. I take lemons back to my family in New York, but they're in my checked bag - I have take apples through TSA with no problem, though.

        I have reservations about going the other way, though: California is the major agriculture state, and due to natural barriers we're relatively free of various insect pests. Do not bring produce into the state, please: I lived through the Medfly affair in the 80s - caused by a traveler bringing back fruit - and don't want to do it again.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tardigrade

          i certainly won't be bringing back any iceberg lettuce from NY, no worries ;)

          to be fair and kidding aside, there's not much produce from NY that i'd even think about bringing back to LA at this time of year. maybe during end of summer those big tomatoes but won't travel well so probably not any time soon. but good to know about the flys. i do remember them.

        2. I brought a Romanesco broccoli from DC to Syracuse successfully. The TSA people were amazed, but accepting.

          1. I smuggled rhubarb from Switzerland to Greece, and I'm so glad I did! Can't find rhubarb anywhere here.

            1 Reply
            1. re: eviemichael

              Because it's important that you get what you want, the hell with laws.