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04 September 2008

Produce connoisseur. How do you get produce home from the store?[More:]

Do you toss them in a store-provided plastic bag? If so, do you tie it? Use a twisty tie that I used to see next to the bags but not so much any more? Leave it loose? Blow air into it and spin it a few times?

Or do you place the produce gingerly in your basket without a bag, smug that you are saving your 0.00000001% of the environment?
I generally use a bag, unless I'm just buying one- yesterday I bought three apples, which I bagged, and one onion, which I didn't. No twisties.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 04 September | 23:37
I just place the produce into my canvas tote bag. I live a mile from my coop so it doesn't stay in my bag too long. And yes, I am totally smug that I haven't asked for a plastic bag in over 5 years.
posted by special-k 04 September | 23:38
I usually use a bag, twist it around a bunch and tie it in a slip knot. I don't use a bag if I'm only buying one and it's for the next immediate meal - like if I want an apple for lunch and I will eat it in less than 10 minutes.

special-k: doesn't it gross you out putting produce on the conveyor belt at checkout where all of the other... who-knows-what has been?
posted by rhapsodie 04 September | 23:41
I only use a bag if I have to- something damp from the sprayers, or corn with lots of silk, for instance.
Or bulk mushrooms and beans. Since, well, shit, what else do you do?
posted by kellydamnit 04 September | 23:49
rhapsodie: Not really because I thoroughly wash it before I put it in the fridge. It's no worse than all the other places the produce has been.

posted by special-k 04 September | 23:54
I should note that I take reusable mesh bags with me for the smaller stuff.
posted by special-k 04 September | 23:55
I do use a plastic bag, but I have a shelf of them that I've (somehow, unwillingly) accumulated. So when I go to the farmer's market I bring a big handful of them and then rinse them out afterward (if necessary) and let them dry before sticking them back in the cupboard. I don't seal them in any way unless I'm buying individual leafy greens (baby spinach or something); then I'll puff them up and roll the top down a few inches before tying the corners together so I end up with a big puffy bag of foliage. If it's beans or other small individual things I'll spin the tops around a couple times but not knot it.

I also carry one or two ChicoBags with me in my purse or jacket pocket most of the time so I can try to avoid getting bags when I go to the drug store or what-have-you. It's really hard to catch the cashiers before they start bagging things sometimes.
posted by Fuzzbean 05 September | 00:12
I should note that I take reusable mesh bags with me for the smaller stuff

Nice... I should do that. I already use my own grocery bags, I could just keep them together. I use green bags for the main grocery bags, which I LOVE. Wegmans sells them, as does my co-op. (I believe they make Target's as well.) As someone who spent a lot of time on the other side of a wegmans register I can say from a bagging standpoint they're the best out there. They fit on the same trays as the plastic ones, and have a hook at the top to secure them, so you can fill them like any plastic bag. And the stores here all sell them for $1 each, so it cost like $6 to totally make the switch.

When I was a casher I HATED when people brought bags. In theory I respected it, but I would try and wrestle things into round bottomed mesh bags or god knows what, and I'd get crap for having a bad scan time for the day. That was like fifteen years ago, though. Bags are better now.
Stores need to make an effort to have the cashers ask "do you have bags" before they start, though, like how they used to ask paper or plastic.
posted by kellydamnit 05 September | 00:24
I've always wondered how much a pain in the ass those canvas or mesh bags were to fill. My local grocer sells some, they look a lot like those Green Bags but they are black and emblazoned with the store's big ugly logo in ugly gold. I just can't get over their ugliness and branding enough to buy them.

Has anyone used a Flip and Tumble bag? I've considered getting one or two to keep in the car for quick trips to the store.
posted by rhapsodie 05 September | 01:24
rhapsodie, those look pretty similar to my ChicoBags. I love mine and they are great to toss in the glove compartment or a pocket. My only complaint with them is that they take a few seconds to unfold from their pouch, so if I know I'm going to be using a bunch (farmer's market, etc.) I'll unfold them before I get there and hook them over my arm to use as necessary. I also don't *quite* trust them to hold a full 25 lbs. The seams start stretching out around 20 lbs, but this might not be an issue with the Flip and Tumbles.
posted by Fuzzbean 05 September | 01:39
I usually bag everything and then store it at home in the bag. After the produce is gone, I use the bag for something else.
posted by Ardiril 05 September | 02:17
I use cloth bags most of the time, but occasionally forget or don't plan ahead. Cashiers don't assume you need a bag around here -- «Avez-vous besoin d'un sac?» is asked about 95% of the time. A lot of the time I carry larger purses like tote bags, so I just stick stuff in there.

I use plastic bags for kitty-box scooping, so it's alright to have a supply, but unfortunately about 50% of them have holes in them by the time I get them home anyway, and thus end up in the recycling box.

I like cloth bags that can go over the shoulder, because they're easier to carry. But my purchases are limited by what fits into my bike basket anyway, so it's not like I ever have that much.

As for produce, I will typically only use a bag if it's a tonne of small things like mushrooms or something potentially messy (blueberries in a clamshell come to mind).
posted by loiseau 05 September | 02:25
I have rules for which produce go in bags and which don't. 'Dude finds them inscrutiable, but they're pretty simple - if we're going to eat the rind, then it needs to go in a bag until we bring it home. Things like onions, corn, etc come in nature's bag. I'd like to start using reusable bags at the store, but the ones they sell there seem really flimsy.
posted by muddgirl 05 September | 07:57
Why o why don't they sell bags that have a good shoulder strap?

I would buy a half dozen of those green bags if I could sling them over my back. As it is, I can't even get one shoulder into them.
posted by small_ruminant 05 September | 11:36
I carry mine like a shoulder bag. I'm 5'2", though.
posted by kellydamnit 05 September | 11:45
When I have a car, I'll use reusable bags. But I'm not going to lug them around now on my body, no way.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 05 September | 11:48
TPS, seriously look into the kind I posted. They're so much easier to carry than plastic. The wide handles don't feel like they're cutting into your hands at all, which was always my biggest complaint about carrying groceries. With the reuseables my roommate and I can carry the groceries up in 1 trip instead of 2 or 3.
posted by kellydamnit 05 September | 14:27
I open my door on Tuesday morning and a box awaits me, full of delicious, locally-grown edibles. Sometimes a few paper bags (mushrooms, spinach) or cardboard trays (tomatoes) but mostly loose in the box with cardboard dividers.

This advertisement has been brought to you by your local CSA! Join now!
posted by goo 05 September | 14:48
we have something like that here, too, goo. Problem is, the farm is on the far side of the next city over, and everyone has to go pick the stuff up once or twice a season.
It isn't that I don't trust my car for a three hour round trip... I just know that would be more strain than I want to put on it now and can afford to fix.
posted by kellydamnit 05 September | 21:09
Holy cow, I just found my blog in Spanish? || Sheezus...