These produce bags claim to keep food fresher longer—but do they work?
Sustainability with swag(ger).
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The irony of being a restaurant chef is that I only get the chance to really cook at home once or twice a week. I’m the first to admit that too often I don’t get to the fresh goodies in my fridge for several days—sometimes six or seven—at which point, I’m dealing with droopy greens and radishes that lost their snap somewhere between Thursday and two slices of pizza at midnight.
When products like The Swag Produce Bags come along, I’m always more than a little intrigued. The promise of reusable, sustainable materials coupled with keeping my veggies fresher longer and thus reducing my food waste… Well, you have my attention.
How do they look and feel?
The Swag Bags are cute and they’re available in a variety of sizes with bright, colorful trim. I got the four-piece starter pack and I really appreciated the extra-long, large option, which is perfect for carrots with their tops still intact, bunches of kale, and long, thin veggies like leeks, rhubarb, and celery. It’s always a puzzle storing those kinds of things!
The smaller bags are great for things like berries and salad greens, ultimately helping to improve overall fridge organization and hopefully extend the shelf life of my produce.
Using The Swag Produce Bags
I divided my weekly produce haul and stored half of it in The Swag Produce Bags, while the other half I stored in my normal, haphazard way (old Tupperware, a repurposed plastic bag or two, bunches of greens and carrots shoved into the crisper, and general widespread fridge chaos).
The instruction booklet says to dampen the bags, and then fill with your fresh produce and place in the crisper. Via The Swag Bag Instagram feed, I discovered that a spray bottle is handy for dampening and spritzing them as they dry out during the week. The layers of fabric allow produce to stay hydrated and breathe, and between uses just run them through the laundry. For things like garlic and onions, the bags can sit in the pantry, and keep everything dry and mold-free.
What I liked
While the Swag Produce Bags didn’t make any discernable difference in the freshness and shelf life of my produce, I love that they’re a sustainable way to store fresh goods. It was so nice opening my fridge to lovely, coordinated fabric bags each day as opposed to a mess of plastic.
What I didn’t like
I wanted the Swag Produce Bags to really blow my mind. On paper I love everything about them! However, after a full seven days and a side-by-side comparison, and then another five, I couldn’t see any discernable, widespread difference in my divvied-up veggies.
Are The Swag Produce Bags worth it?
I wouldn’t buy the Swag Produce Bags with the expectation of fresher veggies, but I would buy them as a sustainable, nice looking way to store my produce. Afterall, they’re still low-waste in that they replace the plastic options out there.
If you’re interested in a product we’ve tested that successfully extended the shelf life of produce for our tester, check out the Lasko fridge ionizer.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.