This article was written by guest-author Lauren Scott, the Sustainability Coordinator at BriarPatch Food Co-op in Grass Valley.

I like the way you bag it

BriarPatch Food Co-op is on track to reduce our in-house plastic packaging 40 percent by 2025. Included in that effort is offering alternatives to plastic bags in our Produce Department. This year, we introduced compostable produce bags made from 100 percent vegetable starch – they are fully biodegradable and compostable! These bags are certified for both commercial and home composting systems and will degrade within 180 days, according to manufacturer Crown Poly.

compostable bags at Briar Patch

Compostable bags are a plastic-free option for transporting your dry produce items like apples, citrus, garlic and fresh turmeric (have you tried our fresh turmeric?!). These bags are great for transporting produce home but not intended for storing produce. We recommend re-using your compostable bags as a liner in your kitchen food scrap bucket.

For produce with a lot of moisture like leafy greens, we don’t recommend using compostable bags. The bags begin to deteriorate when they get wet – which is why they are great for home composting! For wet and heavy produce, try our assortment of reusable bags available for purchase or bring bags from home to re-use. Or you can skip the bags altogether and let your produce “go naked” in the cart!

briar patch nevada city reusable bags

However you decide to transport your goods from the store, here are some great tips on how to keep your produce fresh once you get home. Proper storage can extend the life of fruits and vegetables by several days and food that lasts longer is less likely to be wasted. To download the National Cooperative Grocer’s ‘Produce Storage Guide’ and many other resources to help you reduce your food waste, check out BriarPatch’s Food Too Good to Waste resource guide.