These Containers Keep My Fruits and Veggies Fresher, Longer

No more wilted greens!

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March 20, 2020
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The appeal of stocking my refrigerator with fresh produce like strawberries, blueberries, carrots and lettuce quickly diminishes when they start wilting just a few days after purchase. Most packaging produce is sold in won’t do the trick to extend its shelf life, but there are some storage solutions out there that claim they will. In the interest of preserving the shelf life of my leafy greens and berries, I put Rubbermaid's Freshworks containers to the test — and I'll be upping my produce storage game from now on.

How Are They Different From Other Storage Containers?

Unlike typical storage containers, Rubbermaid’s Freshworks containers are vented, which the company suggests helps maintain freshness. The trademarked FreshVent technology on the lid, “regulates the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide, helping food stay fresher longer,” according to Rubbermaid’s site. They also come equipped with a trademarked CrispTray, which keeps your food from sitting directly on the bottom of the container and promotes air circulation. They are offered in a variety of sizes, but we tested out the medium container, which holds 6.3 cups and is recommended for larger fruits and veggies like strawberries, and the large container, which holds 17.3 cups and is optimal for greens.

How We Tested

Full disclaimer: I have been using these storage containers for about four months in my personal life and have a pretty good grasp on how long they will keep greens crispy and strawberries ripe. But, for the sake of the test and accurate comparison, I purchased one large container of strawberries and two bags of baby kale. I divided the strawberries in half, keeping half in a medium Rubbermaid Freshworks container and keeping the other half in their original container. I put one bag of kale in the large Freshworks container and kept the other kale in its bag. To make it fair, I opened the second bag of kale before leaving in my refrigerator to store. Rubbermaid suggests storing the fruits and veggies first and washing them when time to eat, so I did not rinse the strawberries or kale before storing. I also did not remove the hull of the strawberries before storing. I made a plan to check them every day for seven days, monitoring when they were starting to lose their freshness.

Greens Maintained Crunch

I was most impressed by how well the kale kept its freshness. When stored in the Rubbermaid Freshworks containers, I noticed the kale aged consistently throughout the container. By day seven there wasn’t a noticable difference between the kale at the top of the container compared to the bottom, and the whole container was still fresh and crisp.

When stored in the bag, I started to see the leaves at the bottom of the bag get watery and wilted around day four. While the kale at the top of the bag was still maintaining its freshness, it was clear the bottom wasn’t holding up as well. At this point (as to not waste food) I decided to use the bag of kale since it was starting to show signs of going bad.

Strawberries Were Still Plump

It took about five days for the strawberries stored in their original container to lose their firmness and develop a mushy texture. However, the strawberries in the Freshworks container were still strong, ripe and enjoyable all the way up to the last day of testing. I was also impressed with the strawberries stored at the bottom of the container. The CrispTray seemed to give them good air circulation and keep them just as fresh as the berries at the top.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned before, I have a lot of experience with these containers, storing everything from carrots, celery, blueberries and more in them for the last few months. I noticed consistent freshness no matter what produce was kept in them, even after multiple passes through the dishwasher. My one complaint would be a desire to have the CrispTray attached to the base of the container. It would alleviate our fear that I'll misplace this crucial piece. If you’re looking for a consistent way to keep your produce looking just as delicious at home as it does in the store, these are worth adding to your cart.

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