Can special products keep veggies fresh?

Consumer Reports

Tossing out fresh fruit and vegetables that have gone bad feels like throwing money down the drain.

A couple of years ago, our Try it Out Tuesday team checked out Debbie Meyer Green Bags , which claim they can make produce last longer. 

We found they do work to some extent, but must be sealed tightly, and are no "magic bullet" to make things last for weeks and weeks.

Now, a new product called FreshPaper , sold at Whole Foods, claims to keep produce fresh for two to four times longer. It's made from a mixture of spices, including fenugreek, which supposedly inhibits bacteria growth.

FreshPaper put to the Test

Our parters at Consumer Reports Magazine wanted to check it out. Testers placed two sets of blueberries and strawberries with FreshPaper into a fridge—one set in its original store packaging, the other in airtight plastic containers. In a different fridge they placed another set of berries without FreshPaper.

Testers checked the fruit every day. The FreshPaper did not appear to have any effect on the blueberries. After two weeks all the blueberries looked pretty much the same—no matter which container.

The strawberries in their original store packaging without FreshPaper showed some mold growth. The strawberries with the FreshPaper didn't have any mold, but they were starting to spoil—same as the berries without the paper.

As for the strawberries in the airtight containers, almost three weeks later the ones with the FreshPaper and the ones without the FreshPaper showed signs of spoilage.

Consumer Reports says that your best bet is to store fresh produce in a cool, dry place. And no matter how great it looks in the store, resist the urge to buy more than you need.

As always, don't waste your money.

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Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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