The Banana and the “Clearly Fresh Bag” Experiment

August 26, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Article, Product Review

As a vegetarian household, we naturally tend to keep around a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables around the kitchen. I’ll admit, though, I’ve been known to be wooed by the selection at the farmers market and then not get around to using the produce before it goes bad. I truly need the help to extend the life of vegetables so it doesn’t all go to waste. Apparently, I’m not alone. It has recently been reported that up to 40% of food is wasted and thrown away by Americans.

I have really been working on my produce over-purchasing habits so I don’t buy too much. (I think sometimes I have more motivation to cook when I’m at the store, but then life gets in the way.)  Of course, the folks in the “storage technology field” have put their heads together and figured out ways to extend the life of vegetables sitting on your counter or in your fridge. So, I have used everything from the little disks that you put in your vegetable to the life extending zip-top bags. And, from what I can tell, they do work.

Several months ago, I received some samples of these produce extending bags from the kind folks at Clearly Fresh Bags.

These bags have some sort of “BreatheWay” technology that pushes the carbon dioxide out while keeping the right level of oxygen in. That balance helps fruits and veggies last a little longer.

Armed with these bags, I wanted to figure out if they really worked. So, I channeled my inner 7th grader and came up with the classic science project to test the bags: “Will a Banana Last Longer in a Clearly Fresh Bag or Outside of It?”

I selected two bananas of the same ripeness. Placed one in the bag and one was just left to the elements next to the bag. I used the gallon sized bag which could comfortably fit a bunch of bananas and not just one.

And then I let the march of time go on…

And, on…

You can see the difference, even starting at day four, that the banana in the bag had fewer brown spots on the outside. By day seven, that became even more noticeable.

But, what you can’t see in the picture above is that the bagged banana grew a little fuzzy hairdo on the top of the stem. Um, ew. Fortunately, it didn’t make it down to the fruity part, so, luckily, the taste test could go on as planned. (I am nothing but brave for my dear readers, but not going to chance it with fuzzy fuzzy mold bits…)

I peeled the skin and noticed that the insides looked almost the same. Both had slight discoloring and were a little mushy to the touch in a few areas. But, after biting into each, the biggest different was that the bagged banana did taste a lot fresher than the un-bagged banana.

Do these bags work better than other brands? I can’t really say. But, in this particular experiment, they did work to keep the banana fresher than the banana that stayed outside the bag. I’ve been able to keep lettuce, beans, strawberrys and broccoli a little longer in unscientific experiments using the bags. So, I can say that at $3.99 for 10 re-useable bags, they really are not much of an investment to keep your fruit and veg around a little longer. And, perhaps, with products like these, we all can work towards throwing out less food.

 

 

KFC to Offer Vegan Chicken

June 04, 2008 By: Megabeth Category: Article

KFC, in an agreement with PETA, will now offer a vegan option in its franchises…in Canada.

Of course, the vegan and vegetarian community reaction to this is mixed. Many saying something along the lines of “Ugh. I hate KFC. I’d never step foot in one of those.”

I found the best reaction to this sentiment on Post Punk Kitchen by Hoveringdog:

Vegans complain about lack of vegan options.
Big, ugly corporation offers vegan-friendly menu item.
Vegans refuse to eat the vegan-friendly menu item of big, ugly corporation.
Big, ugly corporation discontinues vegan-friendly menu item.
Vegans complain about lack of vegan options

Either way, I think this is a step in the right direction…maybe they’ll get this option in some US locations soon. This is all good, of course, if they don’t deep fry the tofu-goodness in the same oil where they deep fry the chicken. (I have not found anything yet stating that this will or will not be the case.)

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Baseball Player Goes Vegetarian

May 28, 2008 By: Megabeth Category: Article

I may become a Brewer’s fan after reading about Prince Fielder in this article in the New York Times. Fielder is described as, “baseball’s only 265-pound slugging vegetarian.”

“Yeah, I’m a vegetarian — but still, some things are just nasty,” Fielder said. “I like salads. But sometimes, they get too creative. I like regular food, just no meat in it.”

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Vegetarian myths, debunked

May 08, 2008 By: Megabeth Category: Article

Every vegetarian is used to slim pickings when dining out, so we’re not asking for much—just for something you’d like to eat. I’ll even offer a handy trick. Pretend you’re trapped in a kitchen stocked with every ingredient imaginable, from asiago to zucchini, but with zero meat. With no flesh available, picture what you’d make for yourself; this is what we want, too.

Amen.

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