Debbie Meyer Green Bags
The Debbie Meyer Green Bag is a rebranded storage product sold purportedly under limited license by Housewares America, Inc. Green Bags are owned and trademarked by Evert Fresh Corp. Television commercials for the product claim it will keep fruits and vegetables fresh for up to 30 days by absorbing ethylene gas, which they claim to be the major cause of fruits and vegetables going bad. Ethylene gas has been nicknamed "the ripening hormone" and is scientifically known to perpetuate the ripening process of produce and plant material coming from a root system.
A commercial for the product shows specific examples of different fruits and vegetables comparing them between being stored in the bag, and without. The product's website claims that "Oya mineral form of Zeolite" is the ingredient that facilitates the gas absorption. They were invented by John Mazurski from Poland.
In the UK, similar bags are sold by PMS international. They are sold under the "Stay Fresh System" name. These bags have an endorsement from a fictional "Chef Excellence" and a stock photo of a generic chef from iStockPhoto. In 2010, YouTube personality Stuart Ashen pointed out the endorsement, creating an Internet meme and numerous parodies featuring him sponsoring other products.
In 2009, a US-based expert microbiology testing firm performed third party testing on Evert Fresh Green Bags in their controlled lab environment, at the same time they were also sold under license by Debbie Meyer/Housewares America, Inc. The results from their findings had concluded that produce stored in Green Bags had less deterioration and thus more value than produce stored in regular commercial packaging, or that of a competitor which was also tested.
Evert Fresh Corp, owner of Green Bags products and trademarks, also received written correspondence from Dole out of their TropiFresh division stating that their own internal testing had concluded as much as 50% less deterioration when they used Green Bags as compared to regular commercial packaging. Dole Tropifresh also cited close to 50% reduction in tip rot of the asparagus as well.
Several television news programs have done consumer affairs segments on the product. KDKA-TV Channel 2 News in Pittsburgh featured Debbie Meyer Green Bags in its recurring "Does It Really Do That?" segment and came up with mixed results. KDKA reported that "strawberries, bananas and tomatoes" spoiled in both green bags and standard storage. While the Green Bags did keep carrots and green peppers "much fresher much longer", grapes and bananas did better without the bags. The viewer assisting the reporter with test said she would not buy the bags for regular use.
WPVI-TV in Philadelphia also reported on the bags. The station had a viewer keep a log for thirty days. They tested Debbie Meyers Green Bags against Ziploc Storage Bags, Ziploc Storage Containers, and the food items' original packaging. While a few items did better in the Green Bags, the tester felt "Green Bags and Ziploc bags and Ziploc storage containers maintained the freshness of the produce about the same." The station tried to contact the company that sells the Debbie Meyer Green Bags about the results, but their requests for comments were not returned.
KFVS-TV Channel 12 News did a story about the Green Bags, with mostly negative results KFVS was able to contact an operator at the company who said they had received complaints and praise about the performance of Green Bags. According to the report, the operator also claimed the bags work better on freshly picked produce.
At least one station, KTVI-TV in St. Louis, has given Green Bags a positive review. They tested the bags for their Deal or Dud segment and found the bags kept both fruits and vegetables fresher. They called the bags “a Deal”.
Consumers Union (publishers of Consumer Reports magazine) evaluated the product in July 2008 and could not identify significant benefits over other produce storage methods alone. It does work on some fruits and vegetables like peaches and carrots.
- Debbie Meyer Green Bag Website accessed January 4, 2008
- Green Bags Commercial as viewed on the Green Bags homepage, accessed on January 4, 2008
- "Poundland Special 2 - Ashens".
- "Does It Really Do That?" portion of the KDKA Newscast on November 1, 2007, accessed on January 4, 2008
- "Colleen's log" posted on WPVI Website February 19, 2008, accessed on February 25, 2008
- "Product Test: Mighty Putty, Green Bags" posted on WPVI Website February 20, 2008, accessed on February 25, 2008
- "Debbie Meyer Green Bags: Does it Work?" shown on October 31, 2007, accessed on January 4, 2008
- "Deal or Dud - Green Bags" posted on Wednesday, 21 Nov 2007, accessed on February 26, 2008