Green Bags: "Does It Work?"

It's one of the most requested products we've ever tested. This week, we put the Green Bags to the "Does It Work?" test.

The box makes a big claim. "all fruits and vegetables stay fresh longer," it says. We'll see.

We bought four tomatoes, a box of strawberries, two heads of lettuce and two stalks of broccoli. We also got a box of Green Bags. Inside are ten large and ten medium sized bags.

The instructions explain the Green Bags' preservation abilities like this. Fruits and vegetables release ethylene gases during the ripening process. The Green Bags contain natural minerals that are supposed to absorb and remove ethylene gases that, if left to do their thing, cause deterioration.

We split up the produce putting two tomatoes in a green bag and two in the produce bag from the grocery store. We did the same thing with all the produce and put all of it inside a drawer of the refrigerator, sealed it and waited twelve days.

Then, like opening a time capsule, we eagerly inspected the contents of each bag.

First, the tomatoes. No contest. While the Green Bag tomatoes were perfect and still firm, the ones in the produce bag were soft and spotted with rotting areas.

The broccoli behaved much the same way. The stalk in the produce bag was slimy and starting to rot on the top of the stalk. The "tree trunk" portion of the stalk was brown and the stalk smelled much worse than regular broccoli. But the stalk in the Green Bags was just like it was the day we bought it. The lettuce was very convincing. Twelve days in the Green Bag proved very beneficial to this head. It was perfect. The one in the regular produce wrapper was rotting, to the point it had started sticking to plastic. It just fell apart when we opened it.

For the strawberries, the results were mixed. While the strawberries in the regular bag all had mold, a few in the Green Bag did too. Many were in good shape, but there were a few hairy ones.

Later I looked at the claim for strawberries on the Green Bags Box. Sure enough, we had exceeded the number of days the Green Bags claimed for strawberry protection, by three.

We give the Green Bags partial credit with the strawberries.

"Does IT Work?" What a great invention! We give the Green Bags a yes.

We got the Green Bags at Bed, Bath & Beyond. They're $9.99 for a bag of twenty. They are re-usable.

Joe Terrell, Reporting