When you grocery shop, does all your produce go in plastic produce bags?
Stop The Madness, Please!
Every time I go grocery shopping I see someone putting bananas in plastic produce bags. My earth loving heart can’t take it. Why on earth do bananas need to go in a plastic bag? They’re already attached together as a bunch! There are a variety of other produce items that I see going into plastic produce bags and during my last trip, I couldn’t believe my eyes. A plastic carton of strawberries in a plastic bag. I just don’t understand! I wish I was a millionaire so I could afford to hand out reusable produce bags to my heart’s content but alas, I am not, yet!
Why Do We Put Produce in Plastic Bags?
Is it something we’ve just always done? Did we watch our parents do it and just continued the tradition when we flew the nest? I know, we’re just trying to keep everything nice and organized, right? Wrong, I’ve seen any number of people put one lemon in a bag, one orange in a bag, one cucumber in a bag, you get my point. Why does a cantaloupe need a bag? WHY! Hard skin fruits and vegetables do not need a bag. You’re not going to eat the skin anyway so does it really matter!
Will produce last longer and stay fresher in plastic bags? Turns out the answer is not yes.
Should Produce Go In Plastic Bags?
Depends on the question. Are you worried about germs and bacteria OR are you concerned with how your produce gets stored at home? Sure, grocery carts are dirty but I got news for you, that produce probably isn’t clean before you put it in your cart anyway.
If your concern is germs and bacteria, just remember, that produce in the grocery store is not clean. It’s been passed through well, there’s no telling how many hands have touched that produce from the time it was harvested to the time you select it. How many people have sneezed or coughed on it? How many people have picked their noses or had their hands god knows where before they picked up that apple, decided it wasn’t the right one and put it back. It’s dirty before it even ends up in your cart or basket. All produce should be washed, not when you get home but before you cook or consume it.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Any purchase you make by clicking these links will earn me a small commission but will not cost you anything extra. Please see my Disclosure page for more details.
Wash Your Produce
My Public Service Announcement – rinsing with water isn’t enough. You’ve really got to be good about washing your produce. It’s like washing your hands during cold and flu season, you.just.have.to.do.it! The best time to wash your produce is just before you prepare it to cook or consume. For things like berries and mushrooms, it’s best to wash those just before cooking or consumption.
Of course, if we’re talking about greens, you can wash those, spin them dry in a salad spinner and then use or store them. If you leave them in plastic bags, they get gross and slimy. I may or may not have learned this from personal experience.
I use this to store my greens:
There are several produce washes on the market but if you’re in a pinch or don’t prefer to buy produce wash, you can simply let your produce soak in a bowl of water and a splash of white vinegar for 5 or so minutes. Then rinse it and have at it. It really is that simple.
I’ll be climbing down from my soapbox now. Cut a girl some slack, we all have our triggers. Unnecessary use of plastic produce bags is mine. All I ask is that you consider whether the produce you are buying really needs a plastic bag. If it doesn’t, don’t use one. If it does, consider investing in some reusable produce bags. You can learn more about those right here. And please, always recycle your plastic bags!
Plastic pollution is such a problem not only in our country but in the world, we all have to do our part to reduce our consumption. I won’t climb on that soapbox here, you can read all about the problem of plastic pollution right over here.
Make it a green day!