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Bagged lettuce
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  • Bagged lettuce

    Post #1 - April 7th, 2018, 1:24 pm
    Post #1 - April 7th, 2018, 1:24 pm Post #1 - April 7th, 2018, 1:24 pm
    Hi,

    I heard this tip, "When shopping for bagged lettuce, buy the least puffy bags. As the lettuce ages it off gases making the bag puffy."

    I haven't seen anything to support this. I will admit I rarely buy lettuce in a bag. I have no personal experience to draw upon.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #2 - April 7th, 2018, 3:40 pm
    Post #2 - April 7th, 2018, 3:40 pm Post #2 - April 7th, 2018, 3:40 pm
    My experience has been that you look for supermarkets that sell good product - and that can even vary by chain. I look for locations that sell a lot of the product and that most of the bagged inventory gets sold each day. And I watch how the product is merchandised.

    I don't care about the expiration dates at all. I have had bagged salads that are seven days past turn out very well and bagged salads that are seven days before date that have turned brown.

    For example, the bagged salads in my local Fry's (Kroger) stores are excellent. The produce staff restocks the bagged salads at least three times a day and they fly off of the shelves.

    If I head up to the new Fry's store in a largely Hispanic area, the bagged salads are stocked about once a day and they are not quite as fresh. There sales are much less than the store that I shop.

    If I head to the 99 Only store, the product is NOT merchandised under good refrigeration, is piled up, and is generally NOT in the best condition. And by the way, those are the flattest bags around.

    I will say that some of the puffiest bags that I have seen are at some of the salvage markets in the Midwest including some of the vendors in Detroit's Eastern Market, Cleveland's West Side Market, and St. Louis' Soulard Market.
  • Post #3 - April 7th, 2018, 4:30 pm
    Post #3 - April 7th, 2018, 4:30 pm Post #3 - April 7th, 2018, 4:30 pm
    We buy bagged lettuce regularly ( it is so much easier ). I look for the bag with the least amount of condensed moisture inside ( on the bag ). The lettuces that are not properly dried before bagging are the ones that will wilt the fastest.
  • Post #4 - April 7th, 2018, 7:35 pm
    Post #4 - April 7th, 2018, 7:35 pm Post #4 - April 7th, 2018, 7:35 pm
    Some bagged lettuce is shipped "puffy" to protect the delicate contents. Otherwise, most bags are gas permeable and don't expand. So best way is always to check the date and visually verify contents.
  • Post #5 - April 9th, 2018, 5:33 pm
    Post #5 - April 9th, 2018, 5:33 pm Post #5 - April 9th, 2018, 5:33 pm
    When I was in the Wilmette Jewel on Green Bay this last Saturday, I took a look at the $2.99 Saturday salad bar, and it definitely did look better than the one on Chicago Ave. in Evanston, and they had more to choose from too. While I was there I saw a customer filling up a container at the salad bar. The salad bar at Whole Foods is still better, but it is at least $7.99 a pound.

    I only eat salads when I have lettuce in my garden or I can get it locally at the Evanston farmer's market. I love Henry's mesclun mix, but if I want to purchase salad ingredients there and he is out, I buy from the farmer from Rockford area that keeps her organic lettuce in an igloo bin so it stays fresh. Their name starts with a K. The only reason I prefer to buy from Henry, is because you get more bang for your buck with his mesclun. A bag of it provides me with 6 salads. A lot of the lettuce at the market, including Nichol's looks tired by the end of the market.
  • Post #6 - April 9th, 2018, 8:45 pm
    Post #6 - April 9th, 2018, 8:45 pm Post #6 - April 9th, 2018, 8:45 pm
    NFriday wrote:I love Henry's mesclun mix, but if I want to purchase salad ingredients there and he is out, I buy from the farmer from Rockford area that keeps her organic lettuce in an igloo bin so it stays fresh. Their name starts with a K.

    Kinnikinnick?
  • Post #7 - April 9th, 2018, 9:15 pm
    Post #7 - April 9th, 2018, 9:15 pm Post #7 - April 9th, 2018, 9:15 pm
    Matt wrote:
    NFriday wrote:I love Henry's mesclun mix, but if I want to purchase salad ingredients there and he is out, I buy from the farmer from Rockford area that keeps her organic lettuce in an igloo bin so it stays fresh. Their name starts with a K.

    Kinnikinnick?


    I thought it was Kinnikinnick as well. They are not far from Rockford if my memory is correct.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #8 - April 9th, 2018, 10:08 pm
    Post #8 - April 9th, 2018, 10:08 pm Post #8 - April 9th, 2018, 10:08 pm
    Yes that is their name. I know the husband sells at Green City, and the wife sells at Evanston on Saturday. I can never remember how to spell their name. During tomato season the wife marks all her heirloom tomatoes that are past their prime at the end of the day to $1 a pound, and so I get a few of them if they are available..
  • Post #9 - April 10th, 2018, 7:16 pm
    Post #9 - April 10th, 2018, 7:16 pm Post #9 - April 10th, 2018, 7:16 pm
    I don't know for sure, but what I've read on the subject so far doesn't suggest any correlation between bag puffiness and lettuce freshness. The mix of oxygen and carbon dioxide that's pumped in is intended to maximize shelf life, and as others have mentioned, some bags may just be puffed more to protect the contents.

    The gas that lettuce does give off, carbon dioxide, should be able to pass through the plastic, and to whatever extent it doesn't, I don't see (based on my very limited knowledge and reading) how it would accelerate the deterioration of the contents. It's not like the ethylene given off by bananas that ripens apples. This website has a useful table of high and low ethylene producers (vegetables in general being much lower producers than fruits) and produce types that are less and more sensitive to ethylene. As the table shows, lettuce, while ethylene sensitive, is not itself an ethylene emitter.

    I too go by the latest sell-by date I can find and look for a lack of internal condensation.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."

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