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Lurker: Can we talk lettuce vs bagged lettuce

Do you buy Iceberg, Romaine, or another kind of head of lettuce from your local supermarket or do you buy those bagged lettuce  from Doles, Fresh Express, etc.?

I live in the Northeast and honestly, everytime I buy the bagged lettuce, it goes bad within one day of the bag opening.  Or it is already wilted in the bag.  Same for Romaine lettuce.  I buy the Fox Brand at my local A&P and find it's already soft, wilting or just plain yuck.

I love to make salads for dinner (as I eat most nights alone) and add protein to it, but to spend the money, seems pointless to me.

How do you keep your lettuce fresh?  I tend to lean towards the bagged lettuce b/c then I don't have to chop up extra veggies, as they come in so many varities.

 

Re: Lurker: Can we talk lettuce vs bagged lettuce

  • The bags seem to do a great job of wilting lettuce, spinach, whatever prematurely. If I buy bagged spinach or arugula I transfer it to a storage bag with paper towels to absorb the moisture.

    As for lettuce, I like to buy spring mix in a plastic carton instead of a bag. That's how my supermarket sells it when you buy a large quantity. It doesn't wilt in the box but it's a lot of lettuce to use up. 

    I buy Romaine hearts often and they stay fresh the longest. Yes, it involves chopping but like you said, it's money saved when you aren't tossing it because it went bad. 

  • I buy organic, so I buy the lettuces that are in the plastic containers. I don't find I have any trouble with it going bad. I've had the lettuce from the bag before and I think it often has a strange smell/test.
  • Might be easiest if you make your own "bagged" lettuce. Buy whatever lettuce you want, wash, dry, then place in a bag with a paper towel. That will keep in the fridge better. I find it's easier to chop/tear lettuce for salads when it's already washed/dried. And then I can pull out just what I need.

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  • The fresh romaine at my grocery store is never really that fresh and for some reason the bagged or boxed ones always seem to have a "best if used by" date two days in advance. It drives me crazy.

    I can usually get it to last a little longer if I rinse it, run it through the salad spinner, blot it with paper towels and then put it in a storage bag. 

    We have an orchard about 15 minutes away that has the freshest romaine. A huge head of it lasted me two weeks without wilting. If they were closer I'd only buy from them. 

  • I almost always buy bagged (or plastic carton) salad mixes, and I don't have an issue with them going bad too quickly. I can sometimes have them in the fridge for more than a week and they are still good.
  • I definitely find that the bagged salad wilts/turns brown very quickly.  If I am going to use it the day I buy it, no big deal, but for me, it's not worth buying days in advance.  I do prefer to make my own, fresh salads.
  • I tend to buy the stuff in the clamshell plastic containers and it lasts well.  Usually I can find baby spinach, baby arugula (love!), baby mixed greens, and then whole romaine leaves.

    I do chop a lot of my veggies at the beginning of the week so I can just sprinkle them into salads for lunch.

    image "...Saving just one pet won't change the world...but, surely, the world will change for that one pet..."
  • Funny you said this, since I just had this problem this week. I don't normally eat salads (I don't really like them), but I thought I'd give it a wing this week. I went to get a head of romaine but they were all wilty.  I don't even know why they were out on the shelf. So I got the best looking bagged stuff I could find. It was pretty much like you said--started going bad in the bottom almost as soon as I opened it.

    My sister LOVES salads though. She says she buys a good head of romaine and tears it up with her hands and bags it in a ziploc and that seems to do the trick for her. She lives in FL, so I don't know if it's something in the air that affects all of our lettuces where we live or not. She also said to NOT cut the lettuce with anything metal because that will cause the edges of the lettuce to go brown, or so she read online and so far has found that to be true.

    Have you tried the Debbie Meyer Green Bags? I haven't tried them with lettuce, but I've used them for other fruits and vegetables and they seem to work ok.

  • image fisheries+chick:

     

    Have you tried the Debbie Meyer Green Bags? I haven't tried them with lettuce, but I've used them for other fruits and vegetables and they seem to work ok.

    I used the DMGB for veggies, but didn't even think to use it for lettuce; may be something to put on my 'to buy" list. 
  • image crazyincidents:

    I live in the Northeast and honestly, everytime I buy the bagged lettuce, it goes bad within one day of the bag opening. 

    This is exactly why I never buy bagged lettuce.  Plus, I think it has a weird taste to it (maybe it's what they wash it with??)

    I only buy whole romaine hearts (like in a pack of 3) and organic spring mix in a plastic tub. 

  • I buy a large bag of 6 hearts of romaine from Costco.  Lasts me 1.5-2 weeks; by the end I just have to take off and toss a couple of the outer leaves, but the inner ones are fine.
  • image bmk112302:
    I buy organic, so I buy the lettuces that are in the plastic containers. I don't find I have any trouble with it going bad. I've had the lettuce from the bag before and I think it often has a strange smell/test.

    Regardless of the mix I'd buy, it all had the same weird smell/taste. 

    I usually get mixed greens in the plastic container. It's hard to justify buying bagged romaine when it's more than 2x the price of a head so I usually get the whole head, cut it up, clean it, and then just store it with a paper towel in a gallon baggie.

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  • image bmk112302:
    I buy organic, so I buy the lettuces that are in the plastic containers. I don't find I have any trouble with it going bad. I've had the lettuce from the bag before and I think it often has a strange smell/test.

    Ditto.  I've never bought the lettuce/salad in a bag, but when we do buy a head of romaine or red leaf lettuce and don't use it all, I store it wrapped in paper towels in the crisper drawer of the fridge and it keeps for at least 2-3 days.

  • image kellbell1919:

    I tend to buy the stuff in the clamshell plastic containers and it lasts well.  Usually I can find baby spinach, baby arugula (love!), baby mixed greens, and then whole romaine leaves.

    Exactly this. I always get the larger plastic containers because a regular bag is like 2 servings for me! (I pack really big salads for lunch at work.)  And I find that the darker the lettuce is, the longer it lasts, especially in the containers vs. bags.

  • I've only bought the bagged lettuce on rare occasions and it's gone bad quickly on me each time, so I stopped wasting the money. We prefer a spring mix, and to buy a bunch of individual lettuce to make a similar mix would result in spending a fortune on far more bulk than we'll eat. I get the organic stuff in the plastic boxes and make sure the expiration date is a good 4+ days out. If they only have stock that's good through the next day or two, I skip it.

    If we're going to use romaine for something, I buy three heads in a bag and chop it myself. I store it in large tupperware containers lined with a paper towel to absorb the extra moisture and it seems to keep for quite awhile.

    ed + dani 10.31.08 | miranda 04.10.07 | liam 09.06.12


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