Keep It Fresh With The Swag Bag
Author: F&F Date Posted:28 June 2018
Now that Plastic Free July has started, reducing our waste has never been more important. It is a great opportunity to take stock of the amount of waste we’re producing and increase our awareness of what else is getting tossed out alongside plastic.
PLASTIC IS NOT ALONE
On average, it has been estimated that up to 40% of Australian household rubbish is food waste. This is 20% of all food purchased each year - or, 1 out of 5 bags of groceries being dumped into bins. In 2017, Australians threw out $8 billion worth of edible food with $2.68 billion coming from fresh food waste alone. In an increasingly time-poor culture, getting a weekly shop in can be challenging enough but having to then throw out limp or mouldy fruit and veggies is not only highly frustrating but incredibly costly.
CUTTING DOWN ON THE WASTE
One simple swap that ticks the boxes for being both environmentally friendly and sustainable, is adopting reusable cotton produce bags when out shopping. A major contributor to food spoilage is storing fruit and vegetables in plastic bags - It’s an easy and quick storage solution, however plastic coverings cut off the air and water supply that our produce needs to maintain freshness, thereby accelerating their lifespan and resulting in faster rotting and mouldy produce. A reusable cotton storage bag not only reduces our plastic waste but allows for our produce to ‘breath’, preserving the crisp freshness for longer. By changing our food habits and the way we think about storing our food can significantly impact and minimise the fruit and veg we are forced to guiltily throw out on a weekly basis and not to mention, will reduce the financial pressures and time spent racing around the grocery stores.
FOOD STORAGE SOLUTION? IT’S TIME TO SWAG
New to F&F this week, The Swag Bag is an incredibly effective way of keeping produce fresher for longer. Created out of the frustration of produce spoiling well before she had the chance to use them, Sydney based Peita Pini developed an innovative reusable fresh produce storage bag made out of three unique layers of 100% natural, unbleached, unseeded cotton materials. You can find The Swag Bag here.
HOW DOES THE SWAG BAG WORK?
The design has three layers, each of which have their own role in keeping produce fresher for much longer -
The creative and clever design of The Swag Bag, creates a breathable environment that allows fruits and vegetables to thrive in your fridge and last 2 - 4 times longer than in plastic. By dampening the storage bag, the produce is less susceptible to drying out and wilting as the system encourages fresh air and moisture to be circulated throughout the layers. By using The Swag your fruit and vegetables will ripen at a much slower rate, providing longer lasting crisp produce and some much needed extra time to use them up.
HOW TO USE YOUR SWAG BAG
There are a variety of ways to use The Swag Bag and with all things, it is completely dependent on preference, convenience and time.
Here are 5 easy steps to get the most out of your Swag:
1. Depending on your produce, dampen the Swag from the outside and wring out any excess water. Place fruit, vegetables and leafy greens into The Swags.
2. Put newly purchased fresh produce into a clean Swag. Transfer your older produce into a smaller Swag with a specific colored trim - this way, you’ll always know (for instance) that the red trimmed small Swag has all the older produce that you need to use first.
3. For absolutely best results, cut away any dead or dying ends/bits on your fruit and veggies. If inclined, you can wash your fresh produce first and pat dry before putting into The Swag.
4. When you feel your Swags are starting to dry up - sprinkle with water from the outside to replace moisture. This can be done whilst the Swags are in the crisper.
5. Make sure you’ve always got a clean and dry spare set of Swags ready to go whist your others are in the wash. Ensure you wash your Swags before using and carefully follow the care instructions on the inside label. Once your Swags are in use, be sure to wash every two weeks (or as needed).
The Swag Starter Kit is an all-in-one set to get you on your way to a reducing your fresh produce waste - It contains 4 x Swag bags - 1 x Large, 1 x Medium and 2 x Small. All three sizes of The Swag can be used for a variety of vegetables such as bunches of herbs, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes etc, there’s a perfect size for all produce! And don’t worry if you’re a little unsure how best to use your Swag, as each bag comes with a brilliant information booklet detailing how to store your produce to get the most out of them -
WHY THE SWAG? Aptly named after the iconic Australian bushman’s swag - a bushman’s Swag is normally a bundle of belongings rolled in a bedroll to be carried on foot over long distances, whilst looking for work in the Australian bush. The Swag represents a natural product, no waste and making the most of what you have. This translates into the fresh produce that last longer and stays fresher in The Swag whilst reducing the use of plastic.