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Debbie Meyer Green Bags

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I saws these Green Bags Foodsaver Bags advertised on the TV yesterday. Has anyone tried them? Do they work as advertised?

post #2 of 33
I saw those ads, Shel. My immediate reaction: Who the H is Debbie Meyer. They're presenting her as if she were some world-famous culinary star. If so, I must have been living under a rock, cuz I've never heard of her.

The theory of those bags is ok. Fruit (and, to a lesser degree, vegetable) ripening is hastened by ethylene gas---which is a byproduct of the fruits themselves. Applies are one of the major producers---which is why your tomatoes will turn color faster if they are confined with an apple.

In theory, if you put the fruit in a plastic bag that's been perforated with lots of holes you'll accomplish the same thing. The open question is: Where does the ethylene go? If the bag is in the fridge, the gas remains present, and concievably passes back and forth.

I'm sure Luc can provide a more insightful answer.

More to the point, I can't think of the last fruit or vegetable I bought or grew that sat around for more than a few days. So my reaction to the bags was that they're an expensive solution to a problem I don't really have.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #3 of 33
I put slightly unripe fruit in brown paper bags. They're free!
post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
The Green Bags are supposed to keep ripe fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator fresh for longer periods of time than other storage methods. It's not for "ripening" fruit - in fact, from what I understand about the Green Bag technology, the bags will prevent or dramatically slow down the ripening process.

Happy Gnu Year,

post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
I feel the same about this Debbie Meyer character. Perhaps I'll do a search on her name and see what turns up besides the Green Bags.

I have noticed that, as produce gets older and the gasses escape into the fridge, the gasses can sometimes impart an off taste, and certainly a smell, to whatever else is stored in the box.

My situation wrt produce is similar to yours - I buy fresh and ripe produce and use the items within a couple of days. I'm in a position where I can shop frequently, and don't use the fridge for storage. However, I have a friend who's always throwing out carrots, celery, greens, and variouis fruit. I thought if the Green Bags were any good, and really worked as advertised, I might get him a package for his birthday, which is coming up in a few weeks.

post #6 of 33

Trying the green bags

My wife and I were out at Central Market in Plano, TX on Sunday and we came across the green bags (not the Debbie Meyer brand) in the store and decided to give them a try. We buy things in greater quantities sometimes and they have a tendency to go bad before they have been eaten. I will let you know how the bags worked. The pricing at Central Market was a little better than the bags advertised on TV.
post #7 of 33

How it works

There are three types of membranes and they are:
1. Permeable

2. Semi-permeable

3. Impermeable

What we are dealing with is a material that is a semi permeable membrane. This particular membrane is specifically engineered to allow ethylene gas to pass through and with great efficiency to the point of where it almost pulls the gases out of the enclosed bag.

It works on the pricipal of osmosis but instead of water, it is engineered for ethylene (C2H4 for you fellow geeks).
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
post #8 of 33
Clarification of terms.

Diffusion is the general term for balancing concentrations of unlike solutions. In a free flowing solution, this moves from high concentration to lower concentration.

Osmosis is a special case of diffusion. First, the solutions are not free to mix--the semi-permeable membrane blocks free mixing. Next osmosis moves material from the Low concentration to the high concentration. For example, a cell in salt water pumps water out of the cell until the salt concentration is the same on both sides of the membrane.

So the green bag is not normal osmosis. It might be catalyzed diffusion or even reverse osmosis.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #9 of 33
or Maxwell's Demons might be messing with our heads. :rolleyes:
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #10 of 33
From what I understand is these bags are impregnated with a microporous silica powder. The pores are about the same size as the chemical molecule of ethylene gas. This material is supposed to adsorb (not absorb in this case) and trap the gas in the pores. (when washed or left to air out, the gas is released)

Fruits ripen in certain conditions like temperature, humidity, exposer to light, etc.. When fruits ripen they emanate a chemical called ethylene gas. when ethylene gas is present in the air around fruit they ripen quickly. It is a self reinforcing cycle to ripen quickly all the fruits in the vicinity. (this may be an evolution thing where it is better for a plant to ripen all it's fruits at once).

On a commercial level, ethylene gas filters are installed in warehouses to reduce the amount of ethylene gas in the air to slow the ripening process of fruits when store. This is possible is you also monitor and control relative humidity, temperature and light. All conditions that are difficult to reproduce at home.

My conclusion: I won't spend money on those bags even if the science is sound to a certain extent. I'd be very curious to try them just to prove a point though.

To prevent bananas from ripening they are place in sealed bags that the air is vacuumed out and replaced by a specific inert gas (probably nitrogen).
Greenish unripe tomatoes can be coaxed to ripen by exposing them to ethylene gas.

Luc H.
post #11 of 33
"Greenish unripe tomatoes can be coaxed to ripen by exposing them to ethylene gas."

The problem is, Luc, that ethylene can promote color changes without actually causing the fruit to ripen. That's why supermarket tomatoes taste (or, rather, don't taste) the way they do. They are hard, green orbs, taken from cold storage, gassed with ethylene to change color, and sent on to the stores.

If you grow your own tomatoes you know there is a point, easier to see than describe, where they go from a sort of matte green to green with a sort of sheen to them. Once that sheen appears they will ripen, even sitting on your counter (or, to put a point on it, if gassed with ethylene). Before that sheen, nothing you do will get them to ripen once picked---although they will change color.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #12 of 33
You are right KYH. I said they are <coaxed> to ripen. I did not say it was any good.
For most fruit the ripening process starts by a build up of protopectin in the fruit. This material is quite dry and solid. Then when ripening starts, the protopectin converts to pectin (gel like) then to pectic acid (liquidy). Of course during the process the fruit changes colour, becomes sweeter and usually increases its vitamin (c) content. If tomatoes are picked before the protopectin build up then not enough material will convert to pectin during ripening hence leave the tomato kinda semi-solid and pasty. Also the varieties of tomatoes chosen for supermarkets have a though skin and texture to start for <handling and transportability>.

Luc H.
post #13 of 33
"have a though skin and texture to start for <handling and transportability>."

Absolutely, Luc. But that's a different issue from ripening. The fact is, if left on the vine to do so, supermarket tomatoes would have ripened. But they would still have thick, tough skins. And suffer from other problems---such as tasting like wet cardboard.

Tomatoes, like all produce destined for non-farm markets, are chosen for their ability to withstand the rigors of the food distribution system. If you start listing desired characteristics this would include resistence to diseases and pests; uniformity of size, shape, color; in some cases, uniformitry of ripening; durability to withstand truck, rail, and air transport; ability to keep in cold storage; plants that lend themselves to mechanical handling (i.e., sowing, chemical treatments, harvesting).

Nowhere in that list, however, does flavor appear. Flavor, in today's produce world, is not a selected-for criteria. So when any hybrid vegetable does have flavor it sneaks in on its own.

Now add to all that the fact that the produce is picked green, and held in cold storage, it's no wonder that it's all so tasteless and texturally bad.

In the markets they then undergo those constant showers as well. Which contributes to the produce not lasting once you get it home. On average, veggies treated that way last longer in the market (reduces waste from 8% to 3%, according to some studies), but turn bad in about half the time in the home fridge.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #14 of 33
Nowhere on that list, however, does nutritional value appear....

(I hear you KYH, I know also...)

Luc H.
post #15 of 33
Well after some thought last night I suddenly realised that the material might be impregnated with a scavenging material which Luc H. mentioned.

I took a good look on the net and sure enough that is the case. So now that I have my foot in my mouth I'll stop right there on that point.

My father used to force ripen green tomatoes en masse by placing them in the darkest corner of the basement and on a blanket. worked like a charm.
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
post #16 of 33
Hey Fr33,
the whole point of this forum is to share info.

Participation is key to make these discussions worth anything so take that foot out of your mouth (wink, nudge).

Luc H.
post #17 of 33
That is very gracious Luc.

Merci beau coup.

"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
post #18 of 33

So far so good....

So far, the Debbie Meyer Green Bags are not a waste of money. They seen to be working well...in AND out of the fridge. I have the problem that since there are only my husband and I we do not tend to use up the fruit and vegetables quickly enough and I end up having to throw too much out. So, for us, the green bags are a way of helping us with this problem. Also, I have a garden and can't always use the produce up quickly enough or "put up" the produce quickly enough. So, so far so good with my use of the green bags. One of the instructional steps is to keep any accumilated moisture you see in the bags wiped out. This can be done with a paper towel and most of the time you don't even have to remove whatever is inside the bag(s). I just stick a paper towel inside and swipe at the moisture inside the bag(s). It's working for me and I'm glad I bought 50 of them!

Also, something to remember if you've seen the commercial, is the fact that she's not showing strawberries, or any other fruit, 30 days later after you first put them in the bag(s). I read one thing someone wrote about leaving ALL the stuff her and her girlfriend put in the bags for 30 days. That meant 30 days without wiping out the moisture from the bags that happened to accumilate and on average, who would want to eat 30 day old strawberries anyway?! In the commercial, Debbie Meyer only showed strawberries that had been in her bag for 8 days. The most days she specified was 26 days and that was for one kind of fruit/vegetable. You have to keep check on the bags with stuff in them and maintain them. Also, the claims of the bags do not intend on you NOT using the produce as the days tick by. It's only offering to help maintain the fruit and vegetables longer than by ordinary means. If you can't maintain the stuff in the green bags then yeah, you're throwing your money away.

Oh, and I also read comments like, "Who is this Debbie Meyer character," and such. Who cares? All I care about is if these bags work. No one may have heard of her because this is a new thing. All inventors start out as so-called nobodies and for all we know she may have invented these bags... or not. The bottom line should be not necessarily WHO she is but IF the bags she endorses actually work.

I'll try to post again when more time has passed to give everyone the skinny on my use of the bags. :smiles:

Thanks for reading!
deltadawn758 ;)
post #19 of 33

Green Bags (and Debbie Meyer)

I'm always skeptical of these miracle products but for some strange reason I always end up buying them to see for myself. I've gotten to the point where I'm not disappointed anymore because I always expect the product to fail. This time however, I think I have to bite my tongue.

I don't have a lot of experience with the bags yet but I can tell you for certain that bananas maintain better in the bag then out of the bag. Normally I only buy 3 at a time because I like them best when the peel is still yellowish green and the fruit firm. Storing them any longer then 3 days that and they are destined to be made into bread. Last week I splurged and bought 4 bananas. Three for me, 1 for Debbie. After 6 days the banana in the bag was still good enough for me to eat. I would have tested it longer but neglected to buy fresh ones and was jonesing for a banana... so much for the test.

People that have fresh fruits or vegetables readily available and replenish their supply every few days won't find these bags very useful. However, if you think your produce will be sitting around longer then a few days you may find the bags helpful.

Personally I'm hoping the bags will work well enough so I can have fresh fruit a couple more days when I'm backpacking this summer.

post #20 of 33
This comment will appear harsh but I would have liked to read from a member that has been around here longer then joining the forum today (the 18th of feb).

Good intentions or not, this last comment almost smells like spam.

Word of advice for future postings, when discussing about a commercial product it is better to misspell it or use separators to name the product like Deb_bie Me_y_er. This way self-interest individuals and companies that have Google alerts of key words will not be notified that their name has appear in a posting and join in the conversation for damage control and spinning.

Just a caution and words of advice.

Luc H.
post #21 of 33

I don't eat spam


Yep I'm a newbie and I didn't realize you could trick the self-interested and companies by screwing up the spelling or using separators.

Next time I refer to THE product in a discussion, I'll refer to it as B_aN-A_nA-s. I certainly wouldn't want the terrorist cH_Iq_uIt_a to know I'm here. shhhhhh.
post #22 of 33
But doesn't that screw up the search feature for users here at ChefTalk? If everyone misspells brand names, how do we ever find information when we want it? Is there some sort of secret code?
post #23 of 33
I bought the Debbie Meyer Green Bags and they sent little ziplock bags and they are not big enough for nothing. I odered the jumbo. So be carefull.Now im going to be out more money sending them back. I will not recommend them to anyone.
post #24 of 33

These bags suck, pardon my french!
post #25 of 33
If Billy Mays ain't sellin' it....I ain't buyin' it.

post #26 of 33
I’m partial to the Sham-wow guy.:lol:
post #27 of 33
I was curious a while back and bought them. I tried them for several different things, and really didn't notice a whole lot of difference over a regular zip lock bag. I would not spend the money on them. A good indicator of whether something is worth the money or not is how much the item gets used. I have about half a box of green bags left, and have went back to using zip locks.

I, like one of the above posters, buy this stuff basically just to see for myself. Just for the record, most of this stuff sucks; however, the Hercules wall hangers are AWESOME.
post #28 of 33
I think the bags are great. I tested them with stawberrys. The berries lasted
for about two and half weeks,usually they last a few days.
post #29 of 33
I recently bought the bags at Walmart and tried them out on fruits and veggies I got at Farmers Market. It has been 2 days and I noticed that one of the peaches tasted a bit odd. It had a chemical type flavor to it that made me have to discard it. I don't know if it was the peach to begin with or something to do with the bags. Have you noticed anything similar?
post #30 of 33
They sell a box of 10 small and 10 medium (although they are considered large) bags at Walmart for $9.99.
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