The good news is that greens are easy to store. The bad news is…well, there isn’t any bad news! Greens are fantastic!
Consider this scenario:
You just returned home from a grocery shopping trip. All of your greens are in those thin plastic produce bags that you picked up from the grocery store. So, you simply stick your greens in the fridge. I mean they are already in the bags, right?
Here are some improvements you could make:
- Take those thin plastic produce bags and stick a paper towel in them. The paper towel will absorb excess moisture. Two factors that increase the spoilage of your greens are excess air and moisture. The plastic bag takes care of the air part and the paper towel takes care of the water part.
- Check your produce bags to make sure there isn’t a reservoir of water sitting at the bottom. Many grocery stores constantly spray their produce with water (which I find super annoying). A lot of this water sits in the grooves of your greens until it eventually ends up at the bottom of your bag. So, check your bags and pour out excess water.
- If you use resealable plastic bags (e.g. Ziploc bags), you may find this technique useful. Take a bag of greens and exhale a huge breath into the bag. Now close the bag. This quick technique will help your greens stay fresher longer. I used this technique a lot when I use to buy 5 pounds of spring lettuce from my local farmers’ market. I would eat about a pound a DAY! Well, I couldn’t store them in the huge box they came in, so I divided them into smaller bags. I would line both sides with paper towels and right before sealing the bag, I would exhale a huge breath into the bag. This exhale replaces a lot of the oxygen in the bag with carbon dioxide. I am not sure about the science behind it, but it works!
- The last strategy is to use specialty produce containers or bags. These containers work by allowing the greens to breath. The downside with using produce containers for greens is that they won’t always fit the size of your greens. In contrast, produce bags can hold large bunches of greens and thus they may be a more viable option. However, these bags wear over time and eventually need replacement.
CAUTION: Before you use any of these strategies, take caution! It’s easy to use these techniques as a way to support excess spending. Usually, people are interested in food storage strategies because a lot of their fresh produce spoils before they get to eat it. However, this often occurs because they purchased too much produce in the first place. When you buy the amount of food you need, you will eat a greater portion of the food you buy and less of it will be wasted. In addition, when you buy what you need, you will find that you don’t need sophisticated storing techniques like produce bags and containers; instead, a paper towel in a plastic bag will do.