In this week's Project Nowaste post, I wanted to talk to y'all about produce preservation products. Say that ten times fast.
First off, there are bags like the green bags called Evert Fresh. They claim to keep your produce looking fresher and lasting longer than regular produce bags. They also advertise that the bags will keep produce fresh 3 to 10 times longer and will reduce vitamin loss by up to 50%. Supposedly they can be reused 8 to 10 times.
How do the bags work? Well, they remove ethylene gas, the gas that is produced by some fruits and vegetables. The ethylene gas released by your apples, tomatoes and the like quickens the ripening of produce. The Evert Fresh bags claim that they slow down this process. They also claim to have natural minerals in the bag to absorb ammonia and carbon dioxide which are damaging to fruits and vegetables. Finally, they reduce moisture and thereby reduce bacterial growth.
Don't want to deal with bags and you'd much rather just huck something into the crisper bin of your fridge? Well, there's the option of the E.G.G. (Ethylene Gas Guard) or the ExtraLife Fresh Produce Preserver disks.
The E.G.G. is like a plastic Easter egg stuffed full of potassium permanganate bonded to zeolite. I have no idea what this means, but the take-away lesson, kids, is that the payload this egg is carrying helps reduce the amount of ethylene gas in your fridge. The beauty of the E.G.G. is that you can remove the zeolite package and dump it on your plants. It's like catnip for plants. Or something like that.
Anyway, you can refill the plastic E.G.G. with more of this pomegranate dilithium crystal stuff and you'll have minimal waste. It doesn't sound like they have the other magical minerals to prevent premature aging and wrinkling. So you'll need Botox for that. But zeolite does manage moisture levels, absorbing moisture when it's too high and releasing moisture when it's too low.
The ExtraLife disks supposedly absorb 97% of ethylene buildup and each disk lasts 3 months before it gets sentenced to eternity in landfill purgatory. So, if you were to choose between the two products, I think the E.G.G. is the way to go. Just make sure to teach your kids that the permacultured neolithic chrysalis inside the E.G.G. isn't edible.
Has anyone tried these products? What do you think? Can you really prevent the ubiquitous bag full of black, slimy spinach, at least for a few more days?
[Please note: I am in no way promoting the purchase or use of these products. A reader had asked that I do some recon on them. I much prefer that people buy their produce in reusable produce bags and store them in BioBags if limpness is an issue.
As for the Evert Fresh Bags, if your produce is currently entombed in plastic and you go shopping infrequently, this might be a better alternative for storage. So, as much as I'd like to throw out a "WWFPFD?" (What would Fake Plastic Fish Do?), not everyone has the time or interest in planning out their plastic usage. Just saying.]