Pros:Does slow down spoilage; bags are reusable; reasonably priced
Cons:slider closure doesn't always work after many uses
The Bottom Line: If you have a produce spoilage problem, these bags are worthwhile!
I wasn't surprised to see Hefty come out with their OneZip Fresh Extend Bags, riding on the coattails of the success of the Debbie Meyer Green Bags. While I never did get around to trying the Debbie Meyer Bags, I did decide to go ahead and test out these Hefty bags designed to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh longer.
Recommend this product?
These bags come in one size, 1.25 gallon, measuring approximately 11.5 inches by 12.5 inches, and feature Hefty's OneZip slider closure. These are light green in color and also have a space for labeling. They are available in box of 20 for $5.49 and a box of 12 for $3.49.
Hefty does not talk about the technology behind their bags like Debbie Meyer's, but if you've watched any of the Debbie Meyer ads, you know that that brand boasts about its ability to absorb the ethylene gas that speeds up the ripening, rotting, and spoilage of fresh fruit and vegetables. I would imagine that Hefty has employed a similar design in this bag, but they really don't talk about the ethylene gas issue in their marketing. About all they say about these new Fresh Extend bags is that they are specifically designed to minimize spoilage and keep produce fresh longer.
Instructions for use: Hefty recommends storing unwashed, uncut, dry fruits and veggies in bags. Do not mix produce in one bag. If they do have moisture when you bring them home from the store, do try to dry them off first, as well as placing a paper towel inside the bag to collect any additional moisture.
Life before Fresh Extend Bags
While I generally tried to use up most produce within a few days, there were times that I'd have produce such lettuce, fresh herbs, as well as grapes and strawberries in the fridge a bit longer. Within a few days the lettuce would often get wilted or start turning brown (depending on the variety), the fresh herbs went limp, lost their aroma, and got soggy, and the fruit was simply not appealing, with the grapes getting soft and the strawberries starting to shrivel. I also had cauliflower that would start turning brown within a day or two of buying it.
Life now with Fresh Extend Bags
I can't believe how well these bags work. My lettuce still looks good after a week and my fresh herbs still smell and look good as well. I'm really happy that my fruit is looking better, too, with the grapes no longer mushy and the strawberries generally much fresher. Perhaps the biggest miracle was that I could store my cauliflower for several days without it turning brown. The taste of the produce was generally the same, although I did find the stored strawberries seemed to lose their sweetness.
However, I think you may find results may vary. Produce here in Colorado during the winter months is not as fresh as produce I used to get in California. Obviously, the fresher your produce to begin with, the better the results will be. I'm glad Hefty didn't make any ridiculous claims of produce lasting 10X longer (as does Debbie Meyer's). I also found that it's a good idea to stick a paper towel in every bag. I didn't do this at first and found that my results were not as good. You'll also need to take care to dry off vegetables that have been sprayed down at the grocery store; otherwise you will start to see spoilage.
Another nice aspect of these bags is their reusability. I rinse them out with hot water and let them dry in my drain rack and use them again. Generally I use them about 3-4 times. Debbie Meyer does promise their bags can be used 10 times each, but Hefty doesn't say with theirs. I found the results still to be good, but the issue is actually the slider. I've had this issue with Hefty bags before - that being that after constant use the OneZip slider no longer effectively keeps the bags closed.
I think these bags are worthwhile and reasonably priced. For me they've made a vast difference and I am certainly throwing out less spoiled fruits and vegetables. 4 stars.
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