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Storing Vegetables and Fruits in Plastic Bags? Stop Now!

Plastic bags are easy to use and inexpensive. But are they safe? 

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Hindi Female

Have you been stocking your vegetables in the fridge in plastic bags your sabziwala packs them in? Stop!

You think you are being more responsible by packing them in zip locks? NO.

Here’s why no form of plastic is a good way to store your food, both in and out of the refrigerator.

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But Why?

Plastic bags are easy to use and inexpensive. But are they safe? 
Plastic waste takes years to breakdown. 
(GIF Courtesy: Giphy)

Because, quite simply, it’s terrible for your health.

  • Storing fruits and veggies in plastic bags threaten our endocrine system
  • Plastic bags don’t allow the produce to breath, rendering it bad quickly

Plastic is made up of BPA and DEHA – chemicals which can cause serious health hazards. When food is kept in plastic bags for long, these chemicals leach into the food, rendering it unfit for consumption. In the long run, these chemicals can wreak havoc on your health, even leading to hormonal changes.

Plastic bags obstruct much needed airflow (yes, veggies like humans, need air to breathe) and the vegetables get damaged by pests and bacteria. Pests can break them open while bacteria can contaminate the product inside. Make sure whatever you store in your fridge is first washed of dirt and cleaned properly.

And then, plastic is just bad for the environment.

  • Most plastic bags take 20-1,000 years to breakdown
  • Plastic breakdowns into chemicals, degrading soil and water quality
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If Not Plastic, Then What?

Plastic bags are easy to use and inexpensive. But are they safe? 
A lot of fruits and veggies can be kept in a basket and placed on kitchen cabinets. 
(Photo: iStock)

How else should you store fruits and veggies, if not in plastic bags? Firstly, most of the stuff we have been keeping in the fridge doesn’t even belong there.

For others, there are ways you can do without plastic.

Winter favourites such as carrots and herbs can be kept fresher outside plastic bags.

To keep herbs fresh, lay them out on a damp paper towel or keep them in a bowl of water. Cut carrot tops and place them in a damp towel. Dunk them in water every two days and they are good to go! Strawberries can also be kept in a paper bags and placed in the fridge.

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Fruits and veggies such as apples, potatoes etc should be kept in a basket with proper airflow around it to make it last longer. Mushrooms can also be kept in paper bags.

Should you feel the absolute urge to store vegetables in plastic bags, don’t forget to poke holes in it to ensure the airflow. However, we suggest switching to biodegradable bags made of hemp, jute, cotton and paper bags to store your veggies.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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