Does Aluminum Foil Keep Vegetables Fresh Longer?
We've all been there. We make our weekly trip to the grocery store, we load up on a variety of vegetables to use at some point in the upcoming week for dinner, then life happens and you wind up not using some of those vegetables as soon as you initially intended and they start to go bad. But, is the way to prevent that from happening hiding in plain sight?
As I typically do throughout the day, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I saw our friend, Mary Haynes Howell share a meme that caught my eye. It was from a group called "Hot Eats and Cool Reads" and claimed that wrapping celery in aluminum foil before putting it in the fridge will make "last for weeks, and it will still be fresh and crisp when you pull it out." It also claimed wrapping broccoli in foil will keep it fresh for seven weeks, and lettuce for six.
I'm always a little skeptical when it comes to bold claims like this, especially when it involves something being used for something other than its intended purpose. Not one to just blindly accept what I see on social media as fact, I decided to do some digging to see if these claims were true.
Does it Really Work?
Apparently, yes. I checked four different websites I felt were reputable (Leaf.tv, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, and Food & Wine.com), and all of them suggest wrapping celery in aluminum foil before tossing it in the crisper drawer to keep it fresher longer.
Why Does it Work?
According to Leaf.tv, the Washington Post, and Food & Wine, most vegetables, including celery, produce ethlyene gas as they ripen. When those gases get trapped in a plastic bag, it caused the vegetable to ripen quicker, therefore giving it a shorter lifespan. Leaf.tv says, "Loosely wrapping in foil allows the excess gas to escape while still holding in sufficient moisture for the food to stay fresh." They go on to say that light can also speed up the ripening process and the foil does a better job of keeping the vegetables in the dark than a clear plastic bag.
How Long Does it Work?
The answer seems to vary a bit. The meme claims it will "last for weeks," but doesn't specify a specific number. "Weeks" to me means more than one, but how many more? Two, three? 12? Leaf.tv says celery specifically will last "two weeks or more," while Buzzfeed claims, "It'll stay crisp for 4 weeks or more." Neither Food & Wine, nor The Washington Post give a specific timeframe.
Even though it seems that in this case, a claim made on social media appears to be true, I'm not 100% convinced. I think I'm going to have to conduct my own experiement to see it with my own two eyes. Stay tuned...
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