Mighty Green Bags

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By Heidi Lewis

“Here I come to save the day!” Mighty Mouse’s musical  manifesto heralded this tiny superhero’s arrival to save  and protect us. But since Mr. Mouse is no longer in syndication, it looks  like we’re gonna have to do the saving ourselves. The crush of serious  news about pollution and global warming that comes into our homes via  airwaves and inboxes can be daunting. As millions of us have found, the  cure to “the overwhelm” is to start with small ways to reduce waste and  recycle every day—little steps up the mountain.

In our TakeHome cases, we sometimes pack tender greens and  veggies in translucent green bags. These bags are green in  color and function—they’re useful for keeping produce fresh longer so it  won’t be wasted, and they’re sturdy enough to be used many more times.  The plastic bags are coated with a zeolite clay called oya. The clay was  discovered in caves of Japan, where farmers would store their produce  so it wouldn’t spoil. This natural mineral adsorbs the ethylene gases the  bagged items emit, and inhibits respiration.

The wonderful bounty of produce we enjoy can have a plethora of storage  requirements. We can use the different temperature areas of our fridges  and pantries, as well as the produce’s own naturally occurring ethylene to  control food spoilage. Some foods, like zucchini, cucumber, and berries,  contain a lot of water, so place a paper towel with them to wick away  moisture. Ideally, do not store produce of different varieties or stages of  maturity together.

From elementary science fair experimenters to consumer reporters,  many have charted varying results with these green bags. Please tell The  FruitGuys if you find them useful. Above all, keep them and reuse them.

Reuse: Rinse bags well with warm water (and a drop of mild dish liquid,  if necessary). Invert and place over a bottle or rack to dry completely.

Storage: Store bags away from direct sunlight, and use again for your  next fresh produce. Rinse and repeat.


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