Inflation Fighter - RV Enthusiast Magazine

Inflation Fighter

by | Oct 27, 2022 | Cool Gadgets, RVEXPERT

Photos by author
Escalating food costs make it more important than ever to shop smart and prevent spoilage. Storing fruit and vegetables in special green bags limits deterioration over longer periods of time — without altering taste and texture.

Storing fruit and vegetables seems like a simple enough proposition, but for most RVers, there is a certain amount of spoilage that translates into a waste of money and more runs to the grocery store to replenish food. The Internet is chock-full of products designed to store food, including the more common plastic bags and containers (which, at the least, may help you stay organized). Most containers, however, are bulky, taking up precious space in the smallish confines of a typical RV refrigerator.

My wife, Lynne, discovered the solution to spoiled produce many years ago — special green storage bags designed to prolong the life of fruit and vegetables. The first ones were marketed without much hype, and we were told that they were invented in Japan. Nowadays these bags are marketed under the Debbie Meyer Green Bags moniker and are readily available on the Internet (debbiemeyershop.com).

a packet of Debbie Meyer Green Bags sit on a counter top
a medium, large and x-large Debbie Meyer Green Bag are laid together for size comparison
Debbie Meyer Green Bags are readily available on Amazon in various size packages. The 20-bag option has eight medium, eight large and four X-large bags. These special storage bags absorb ethylene gas that is emitted during the natural ripening process, which prevents fruit and vegetables from spoiling. The bags are BPA-free and made in the U.S.
It’s hard to imagine how bags can make such a difference in produce longevity, but they extend freshness for many days — and in some cases, even weeks. Fruit and vegetables release ethylene gases as they ripen naturally, which promotes aging and spoilage. The bags somehow absorb these gases, thereby isolating the produce during storage, which prevents premature spoilage. While the bags can be used to store produce inside the refrigerator on a shelf, the big side benefit is the ability to compress filled bags into the limited space in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. There’s no doubt that storing produce in bags is more space efficient than using containers.

The process is quite simple. Fill a bag with one type of fruit or vegetable (don’t mix), twist the open end and fold over. You should not use twist-ties or plastic clips because they can damage the plastic. Also, the produce must be dry before placing in a bag. We’ve found that the best method is to load the produce directly from the shopping bag and wash each item before eating.

four apples are placed into the x-large size Debbie Meyer Green Bag
The X-large bag is used to store apples, which will last an amazing length of time — sometimes up to a month without any deterioration or flavor loss.
the opening of the x-large Debbie Meyer Green Bag filled with apples is twisted closed
After loading the bag with produce, the end can be twisted and folded down to keep the contents secure. Do not use twist-ties or plastic clips, which may damage the bag. Fruit and vegetables should be dry when loading the bags and should not be mixed with dissimilar produce.

Know that the bags will naturally collect moisture and should be wiped out with a paper towel as needed. As a matter of fact, we wash the bags and place them over a cup or similar item and allow them to air dry. While the instructions on the Debbie Meyer bags suggest the bags can be used several times, we’ve had some of our bags for the better part of a year and they still work fine.

Debbie Meyer Green Bags are available in 20-, 32- and 40-bag packages; we bought the 20-bag version on Amazon for $11.99, which includes eight medium, eight large and four X-large bags. The larger bags are best for romaine lettuce, squash, cucumbers, apples and other similar size produce; the smaller bags are good for berries, etc. The company claims that bananas will last nine days, but we’ve yet to test that claim because we eat them too fast.

a paper towel is used to blot excess moisture in an empty Debbie Meyer Green Bag
One trick we learned is to wrap the produce in paper towels to absorb excess moisture. This technique works well on cucumbers, zucchini and cut peppers. Excess moisture should be blotted with a paper towel.
an inside out Debbie Meyer Green Bag is placed over a tall cup to allow the bag to air dry
The bags can be wiped clean and allowed to dry for future usage. Here a bag was turned inside-out and placed over a tall cup to allow it to air dry. While the manufacturer does not recommend a time limit for the bags’ usefulness — other than suggesting that they can be reused several times — we’ve had some bags last up to a year with proper care.
close up of the bottom drawer in a refrigerator, filled with produce wrapped in Debbie Meyer Green Bags
When produce is stored in the Green Bags, every nook and cranny can be utilized for storage in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer; containers take up too much space.
The Green Bags are strong enough to withstand quite a bit of tossing around on the counter and in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. They are BPA-free and made in the U.S. Based on today’s prices for produce, the Green Bags are a great investment; in our household we rarely see deterioration of fruits and vegetables — unless, alas, they ended up on the bottom of the drawer and we forgot they were there.
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