2 Brilliant Tips That’ll Eliminate the Awkward Struggle We All Now Have with Produce Bags

updated Mar 12, 2021
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Credit: Heather McClees

As much of a cesspool of negativity that Twitter can be, the platform does yield some truly precious gems every now and then. I stumbled upon one such nugget of gold the other day, when Apartment Therapy’s Lifestyle Director, Taryn Williford, tweeted the following Extremely Relatable Pandemic Grocery Shopping Content.

HARD AGREE, Taryn, hard agree. Who among us hasn’t stood in the produce aisle fumbling with those finicky plastic produce bags for far longer than reasonably acceptable over the course of the past 12 months?

As unsanitary as it is to think about right now, there was, in fact, a time P.C. (pre-COVID) when I licked my fingertips inside of a grocery store. (I swear on a bottle of Brightland Olive Oil that I will never do this ever again, though.) Thank you, public health officials for our increased collective awareness about the spread of infectious diseases!

In Taryn’s mentions, a helpful reply may or may not have come to my rescue.

The smart local produce manager who tipped off Jeannie, a contributor for HGTV and Houzz, is right. In nearly every single grocery store produce section, there is some sort of water source, whether the veggies are periodically sprayed with mist or there’s leftover condensation somewhere on the display. Immediately after seeing this tip, I decided to test it out for myself. I found a tiny puddle in the corner of the leafy greens section and whaddya know? I opened the plastic bag faster than you can say “broccoli rabe.”

While this strategy isn’t 100 percent germ-free either — imagine everyone dunked their bare fingers in the same puddle of water? — it’s a whole lot less risky than putting your germy finger directly into your mouth. Regardless, whatever produce in said produce bag should be washed thoroughly upon arrival home.

If you’re hesitant to try this trick, here’s another idea in Taryn’s replies:

According to Anne Standley, who learned the trick from a local grocery clerk, rub the bag between your hands as if you’re trying to warm them up. The friction will loosen the bag. While this isn’t as foolproof as the condensation method, it’s certainly worth a try.

Do you have a different technique? How are you opening produce bags these days? Let us know in the comments below.