Are you sick of picking up limp carrots from your crisper? Do you discard way too much fresh produce weekly? In my house, I shop with the best intentions and then by the end of the week, plans chance, energy levels drop, and I don't always use what I buy. I set out on a quest to find out which products keep your fresh fruit & vegies fresher for longer.
THIS BLOG POST IS STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS. We will continue the experiment.
We have chosen to test drive 7 different ways to keep fresh food fresher for longer in your fridge and we're road testing them all with a variety of different food. It's going to take us a couple of months to complete the product, but we're publishing as we go, so please keep checking back for updates. We have started with broccoli, carrots and cabbage.
We are testing (1) beeswax wraps (2) vegan wax wraps (3) Agreena silicone wrap (4) Fresh & Crisp plastic breathable from the supermarket (5) a plain damp canvas bag (6) a padded damp canvas bag (7) 4myearth bread bag / food bag / snack bag (all made from the same material).
Going in, it's important to know that only two of these products are actually designed with the primary goal of keeping your produce fresh (number 4 and 6). We don't / can't sell either of them. We sell the other 5 and this experiment was devised to find out whether we have any pre-existing products that will do the job. When I discovered in my own home that we have one clear product that does (the beeswax wraps), I decided to perform a detailed experiment and to document it, pitching them and other products against the two that are designed for your fresh produce.
Shop the winners
This piece of broccoli came from a local fresh food co-op. All 7 pieces are cut from the same piece and all looked the same going in.
Day 3 - all pieces still look the same but the beeswax is a little firmer than the rest. It's a minimal difference.
Day 7 - visually, there's not a lot of difference, but when you touch, feel and bend, the beeswax wrap is the clear leader of the pack, followed by the Agreena wrap and the plastic breathable. We allowed the canvas to dry out over the weekend and there is significant degrading in the padded canvas bag because it wasn't in the crisper with the others either. If you don't have the patience to wet the fabric bags daily, they really aren't of much use. We will retest them at a later date kept damp.
Day 10 - BEESWAX WRAPS ARE THE WINNER
We didn't take any photos today as they all still 'appear' ok from a distance. It's not until you start touching them that you can see what's best. The Beeswax Wraps are the only thing that held the broccoli firm over 10 days. Notable runner up mentions go to the plastic breathable bags from the supermarket and the Agreena Wrap
These carrots all came from the same batch of our local fresh food co-op. You'll notice they don't look like the uniform little soldiers you find at the supermarket. All were in equal condition at the start of the experiment.
Day 3 - all carrot look the same but when you pick them up to see if any of them may want to bend or give a little, the beeswax carrot is just a little firmer than the rest.
Day 7 - visually in this photo, you still can't see a huge difference, but in person and when you try to flex them, the beeswax wrap carrot is the clear winner. In second place (tied) is actually the Agreena Wrap and the Plastic Breathable from the supermarket followed very closely by the vegan wrap. I am really disappointed in the performance of the padded canvas bad in particular, but this does need a disclaimer. I did allow the bag to dry out (the single canvas bag too) and decided for the sake of the experiment not to re-wet them. Since I have read so many reviews online with people saying they found it annoying to keep wetting them, I wanted to see how necessary it was. And it is. If you're not going to wet the canvas bags daily, they are a complete waste.
DAY 10 - BEESWAX WRAPS ARE THE WINNER
It was the only carrot that didn't start to get bendy. A close runner up was the breathable plastic bag from the supermarket and then the Agreena Wrap, but it was too bendy for my liking and I would have used it for vegie stock and not much else.
The cabbage used in this experiment is all cut from one whole cabbage. It came from my local fresh food co-op. It is not packed as tightly as what you find from the supermarket (they would have rejected it), but it was ultra fresh and all slices were of equal quality going in to the experiment.
Day 3 - this is the first product to have a noticeable visible difference after just 3 days. The outer leaves on 3 of the 7 wedges are still firm, the rest all started to flop. The beeswax wrap, the Agreena silicone wrap and the damp single canvas bag are the three that did not flop. The rest did, including the two products designed to keep your food fresh. We were pleasantly surprised by the Agreena wrap, expected the beeswax and disappointed by the two specialty products. We weren't expecting the 4myearth to win, but we're pleased it's holding its own. They are not designed to keep food fresh, but 4 and 6 are, and they flopped.
Day 7 - the cabbage is giving us the most visual aids so far in the experiment. The beeswax wraps, agreena wrap and the single canvas bag are still the only three that haven't flopped. The beeswax wrap is still firmer than the other two. We did neglect both canvas bag options and didn't re-wet them. The padded canvas bag is significantly limper, but the bag did dry out and it spent a couple of days not in the crisper. It is worth pointing out that for ease of use, if you're not going to wet canvas daily, don't bother with the. We have left cabbage in a beeswax wrap for well over 3 weeks and it was still crunchy and crisp. We will continue with these until we see significant changes in the visual appearance of these.
Day 10 - BEESWAX WRAPS ARE THE WINNER
You can see the theme here right? Excuse my dodgy phone photo here. The piece of cabbage on the left is #1, the beeswax wrap. On the right, the Agreen Wrap. Everything else flopped, some very badly. The fabric bag experiment will be repeated and kept damp. I have read reports of some going mouldy when you wet them every day, so we'll see how that works out.