I know this looks an awful lot like a Food Waste Friday photo, but it's not. Because if you look closely, that may not be the newest or freshest head of lettuce you've ever seen, but it's not ready to toss on the compost heap quite yet either.
My husband has been using this lettuce on his sandwiches for... more than a month! That's right, this lettuce is from a CSA delivery we received on October 5th (click here to see it in its delivery day glory) and I just took this photo this morning. According to the notes from our CSA, it was red leaf lettuce - fresh yes, but nothing advertised as "never wilting" or "lasts forever."
So why did this particular head of lettuce last over a month (and still going strong) in our refrigerator? Because of this fantastic TIP that I tried when it was wilting after the first few days: put it in WATER. It seems so simple, but it works wonders. I just put a bit of water in the bottom of the plastic bag, down where the root is, and the leaves perked up and this is the result all these weeks later. I just used maybe 1/4 cup of water at the most, and I freshened it every week or so.
I got this tip from the awesome Mrs. Green at the excellent My Zero Waste. Mrs. Green and her family of three are attempting to eliminate their waste, food and otherwise, and they tell others how to do it. Their website is a fantastic resource for recyling, reusing, and reducing waste. And it's fun! Being in Britain, I think they're a little ahead of the curve on this issue, so we can all be inspired and learn from them. For example, I just saw this post about recycling Tetra Paks. I can't wait until that happens here! We use so many products that come in Tetra Paks: soymilk, almond milk, chicken broth, and tomatoes.
Do you have any tips for keeping produce fresher, longer? Let us know in the Comments section. And thanks Mrs. Green!