Pros: Does keep fruit fresh longer by sucking out the ethylene
Cons: ...along with sucking out the flavor
I am a banana snob. Basically, if it's not yellow, I'm not eating it. If it looks like it just has a minor bruise, I'm willing to cut around it; otherwise, I save bruised or slightly ripe bananas for making banana bread. The problem here is that I really like to eat bananas and would prefer to do that than make banana bread that may or may not get eaten by my kids. If there is a product that can make bananas last longer, I am all for it.
After being mildly intrigued by the Debbie Meyer green bags at the grocery store, I was even more intrigued by the price on Gourmet Trends Forever Bags. Both bags basically have the same concept behind them and enticing photos on their box of various fruits and vegetables looking fresh inside the bags. $9.99 didn't seem like a big investment to see how well these guys worked, so the Forever Bags came home with me.
About the Forever Bags
Basically, these are yellowish bags that are supposed to keep your fruits and vegetables "fresh" longer than traditional storage methods (out on the shelf or just tossed in the refrigerator). The idea behind these and similar products is that fresh fruits and vegetables release ethylene gases as they ripen and by storing these foods in containers where the gases stay in the air, we actually end up speeding up the aging process. Forever Bags are made with a lining designed to absorb and remove the ethylene, so that the fruits and vegetables can take longer to ripen.
One box of Forever Bags comes with eight 9" x 15" bags and eight 12" x 17" bags, as well as sixteen white wire twist ties, to keep the bags closed once the fruit or veggies are inside. Each bag is supposed to be usable for more than 20 times, giving you the ability to use the box contents over 300 times.
Using the Gourmet Trends Forever Bags
There's nothing fancy about using these bags. The main thing is that the fruits or vegetables need to be dry before putting them in the bag. You also do not want to put more than one type of produce in each bag (so, only apples in one bag, onions in another, and so on--no mixing). Moisture will most likely collect in the bag, so I sometimes put a paper towel inside, as Hefty recommends with their Fresh Extend bags.
After putting the stuff in the bag, you should seal it with a twist tie. This would be a good point to mention that the twist ties that come in the box suck. They are like the ones used to tie off bread loaves in the 80's, which can be hard to work and will definitely not hold up for the twenty uses the bags are supposed to be good for.
I first used the Forever Bags to store a newly purchased bunch of bananas, hoping to be able to have them last longer (aka "yellow") than the three day average we were getting this summer. I got excited when I noticed they were still yellow on the fifth day, so I opened up a banana to eat. Wow. That was really terrible. The texture was mushy and the banana tasted gross. I know it's not just an issue of my picky taste buds when I offered it to my banana-loving toddler who will eat anything I put in front of him and he rejects it. My son tried a bite of the banana, spit it out and wanted nothing more to do with the banana. Two thumbs down so far.
After another disappointing round with bananas and the Forever Bags, I was afraid to see what these would do to the flavor of my onions, peppers and tomatoes, but we had a ton of apples, so I did a full-on experiment. I put two apples in a Forever Bag, two in a Hefty Fresh Extend Bag, and left the rest on the fruit shelf in the refrigerator, as we normally do. After a week, all of the apples looked the same, but when they cut them up for half-time snacks for my daughter's soccer team, I decided to put the apples from the Forever Bag at the bottom of the container and hope the girls didn't make it that far, because they tasted very bitter, while the other apples had a crisp taste.
The apple experience was enough for me to realize that while Gourmet Trends Forever Bags keep produce looking good longer than traditional storage methods, it comes at the cost of flavor. I would definitely not recommend using Gourmet Trends Forever Bags.
Thanks to dlstewart for finding this listing for me a very long time ago.