FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - VEGGIE SAVER
The Veggie Saver is created by the makers of The Swag Australia. It is created & works in exactly the same way. All the below videos will mention The Swag but apply the same way to The Veggie Saver
- Where is The Veggie Saver Made?
- Where is The Veggie Saver Made?
Veggie Saver products are made from unbleached, unseeded cotton. It is cotton fabric in its rawest and most natural state. The Veggie Saver is housing your food, so it’s important that you can trust that it’s non-toxic (The Swag has been Australian Standard Lab tested).
Originally we thought bamboo or hemp may be our answer. During our mission to find the best non-toxic fabric, we discovered that the process of turning a stick (or wood) into a piece of fabric requires wood chipping and then, unfortunately, a toxic mix of chemicals that negate any environmental or sustainable claims. Leading wholesalers of ‘eco-fabrics’ went on to tell us that if they were to house their families' food in a piece of fabric, they’d choose unbleached, unseeded cotton every time.
After spending three years investigating the best non-toxic, enviro-friendly fabric on the market, our research always led us back to unbleached, unseeded (greige) cotton.
Our original goal was to launch with certified organic cotton. What we encountered is that certification has to be done at every step right from growing and ginning, to spinning, till the product reaches the end user. India and China produce the bulk of the world's cotton. The cost of certification is very high which made it cost prohibitive for many farmers who grow cotton out of India and China. We also discovered several factories or mills paid (illegally) for the organic certification however their product supplied was not organic nor certified. We didn't want to sell a product that we were not 100% confident was 100% organic.
We have since sourced a mill that sells GOTS certified cotton materials and we endeavour to make a 100% Certified Organic range in the near future.
Choosing unbleached, unseeded cotton was the safest and most natural path and in the scheme of things, a far better option than using toxic plastic bags and containers.
Why? Plastics are made via a process called polymerisation. There are always chemicals that aren’t 100% set into the polymeric structure and can easily ‘bleed’ from the original plastic source.
70 of the chemicals of greatest concern to our health are used to make plastic.
- Are The Swag & Veggie Saver Fair Trade Products?
SEDEX is an international body empowering sustainable and ethical supply chains
Using Your Veggie Saver
- How does The Veggie Saver Work?
- Why does The Veggie Saver use unseeded, unbleached cotton?
The Veggie Saver is housing your food, so it’s important that you can trust that it’s non-toxic and non-allergenic. The Swag is both non-toxic and non-allergenic (Australian Standard Lab tested).
Originally we thought bamboo or hemp may be our answer. During our mission to find the best non-toxic fabric, we discovered that the process of turning a stick (or wood) into a piece of fabric requires woodchipping and then, unfortunately, a toxic mix of chemicals that negate any environmental or sustainable claims. Leading wholesalers of ‘eco-fabrics’ went on to tell us that if they were to house their families food in a piece of fabric, they’d choose unbleached, unseeded cotton every time. After spending three years investigating the best non-toxic, enviro-friendly fabric on the market, our research always led us back to unbleached, unseeded (greige) cotton.
Therefore, choosing unbleached, unseeded cotton was the safest and most natural path and in the scheme of things, a far better option than using toxic plastic bags and containers. Why? Plastics are made via a process called polymerization. There are always chemicals that aren’t 100% set into the polymeric structure and can easily ‘bleed’ from the original plastic source.
70% of the chemicals of greatest concern to our health are used to make plastic.
- How do I use my Veggie Saver?
BEFORE USE: Cool machine wash The Veggie Saver, preferably with a plant-based detergent. Hang to dry in full sun if possible (avoid the dryer as it will shrink!). This critical first step relaxes the fabric and activates it water-absorbing superpowers so please don't skip it! Your Veggie Savers have been purposely oversized and as they’re made from 100% natural fibres, therefore they will shrink approximately 1cm on the 1st wash. Hang your Veggie Savers out to dry in full sun if possible. Avoid the dryer as they will shrink quite a lot when exposed to heat (again, they’re 100% natural). If you prefer or need to use the drier then the good news is, once they have shrunk the first time, they won’t shrink further.
Next, before storing The Veggie Saver in your crisper, wipe out your fridge and crisper with white vinegar to remove any nasties like mold spores.
HOW TO USE:
1. Soak your produce in a sink full of lukewarm water with a splash of white vinegar for 10-15 minutes to reduce germs and bacteria. Pat dry. This step is not required; however, is recommended for best results.
2. Dampen your Veggie Saver under the tap, and massage the water into the middle layer, wringing out any excess water.
3. Place your produce in your Veggie Saver and then into the crisper of your fridge for best results.
4. Machine wash every 2-3 weeks or as needed.
The Swag Pro Tips
* Cut fruit and veggies thrive in your Veggie Saver without the need for plastic wrap. Simply place them in your Veggie Saver and they’ll stay fresh, without those slimy edges.
* If you notice your Veggie Saver starting to dry out, sprinkle or spray water from the outside to add moisture. This can be done while your Veggie Saver is sitting in the crisper full of produce.
* If you’re short on crisper space and need to place your Veggie Saver on a fridge shelf instead, simply add extra moisture to it as it will dry out quicker than if it’s in a crisper.
Most fruit and veggies can be mixed together in your Veggie Savers, however we’ve included a few extra tips on getting the very best out of certain produce:
Mushrooms + Okra: Dust off and place into a DRY Veggie Saver and store in the crisper. Don’t wash mushrooms until you’re ready to eat them.
Potatoes, Onions, Garlic: Place into a dry Veggie Saver in your pantry. Once you’ve cut an onion or potato and wish to save it for later, place it into a different damp Veggie Saver in the crisper.
Corn: Remove husk & place into a damp Veggie Saver in the crisper. If you want the husk for barbecuing, just loosen the husk around the corn slightly.
Fruits: Store fruit in a dampened Veggie Save. Gradually move unripe fruit from The Veggie Saver into the fruit bowl, giving them a day or two to ripen fully. Once ripe, if needed move fruit back into your dampened Veggie Savers to
slow down the ripening processes and give you more time to enjoy it at its best.
Berries: Nestle baskets/punnets of berries around your dampened Veggie Saver in the crisper.
With proper care, The Veggie Saver is proudly built to last years. At the end of its long, prosperous life The Veggie Saver is 100% compostable.
- What if i don't have a crisper OR there is no space in my crisper for my Veggie Saver?
If you’re unable to put your Veggie Saver into a crisper, the Veggie Savers can happily be stored on your fridge shelves. However, you'll just have to dampen them a lot more, and more frequently as they tend to dry out faster when not in the crisper (where the humidity is better controlled).
Whenever you open the fridge, check your Veggie Savers and if they are dry, run them under the tap so they are damp. Remember, if you’re just reapplying water, you don’t need to take everything out, your can simply drizzle water over the exterior of the Veggie Saver while they are filled with produce.
Read The Swag Australia's blog, Storing The Swag: The Crisper vs The Shelf, where we dive deep into the cold abyss of the fridge, and explore the purpose and functions of the crisper. Plus we share ideal storing options for your Swag & Veggie Saver and some best practices that'll keep your produce fresh and crisp for longer!
- Do I need to cling wrap what I have cut off?
No – absolutely not – there’s no need to wrap them… they stay fresher for much longer that way! Unless it’s an onion and you don’t want your Veggie Saver to get a bit smelly however I know heaps of people who still put their cut up onion in The Veggie Saver with everything else. Also, any really ripe fruits as discussed below in “What doesn’t work well in The Swag”.
- How much & how often should I dampen my Veggie Saver?
Whenever you start to feel the outer layer dry out then it’s time to reapply water. You don’t have to take all the contents out – just sprinkle it with water from the outside. You don’t even have to take The Veggie Saver out of your crisper just sprinkle it with water over the top of The Veggie Saver whilst it’s sitting in the crisper. As you’re not wetting the whole Veggie Saver, you can afford to sprinkle a bit more water on The Veggie Saver so that the top flap and surrounding edges can be a little more moist than usual.
If you’re not seeing two weeks of optimal freshness (on average) then your Veggie Savers are either to dry or too damp, so have a play with the hydration levels.
Maintaining Your Veggie Saver
- How Often Do I wash My Veggie Saver?
Wash as needed or once every two or so weeks. When washing, turn The Veggie Saver inside-out and wash in cold/warm wash up to 30 degrees.
If you're using a harsh chemical washing powder we recommend dousing your Veggie Savers in cheap white cleaning vinegar (no-frills) and run on an extra rinse cycle. This process removes nasty soap residue and is a natural sanitiser. Whilst inside-out dry in full beaming sun. The sun is a natural bleacher and sanitiser.
- How do I care for my Veggie Saver?
As your Veggie Savers are made from a natural fabric, a small amount of shrinkage may occur even with correct handling. (We’ve made our Veggie Savers bigger to compensate for this). Washing your Veggie Savers on a cool gentle wash will help reduce the chance of shrinkage - and avoid the dryer!
For the best results, whilst still wet pour some white vinegar over your Veggie Savers and run on a rinse cycle to remove soap residue. Dry in the sun if you can. (The Sun is a natural bleacher and sanitiser).
- When should I not use my Veggie Saver anymore?
A note on mould:
It is very rare, and often just bad luck, but your Veggie Saver can grow mould – it is a 100% natural product after all.
Read our blog, Has Your Swag Grown Mould? to find out what can cause fridge mould to grow on your Veggie Saver, what you can do about it, and best practices to prevent it.
Fruits & Vegetables
- What Temperature should my fridge be set to?
Below 40°F, spoilage bacteria can still grow on foods - affecting their taste and smell - but they're not generally harmful.
If the temperature is too low, vegetables can freeze.
- Can I put different fruits, veggies & leafy greens in one Veggie Saver?
It also helps to place harder produce at the bottom of The Veggie Saver; start with carrots, cucumbers, capsicum, broccoli, apples, pears, oranges, and then add on top your zucchini, tomatoes, squash, avocado, and finally the light stuff (think lettuce and herbs).
Head to our blog, How To Store and Keep Leafy Greens Fresh For Longer, where The Swag founder, Peita Pini, shares her best tips; you won't beLEAF how long your greens will last!
- What fruits & veggies should be put together for best results?
Why? When fruits approach maturity, they release Ethylene. Ethylene promotes the ripening of fruit however it can also cause premature ripening and even damage in some fruits and veggies. For more information, see “What doesn’t work well in the Swag?”
Below is a list of Ethylene producing fruits (in alphabetical order):
- Cantaloupe (Rock melon)
- Crenshaw melon
- Custard Apple
- Honeydew melon
- Kiwi fruit
- Mamey sapote
- Passion fruit
- Persian Melon
- What doesn't work well in a Veggie Saver?
The environment The Veggie Savers will create within your crisper will help them stay fresh for longer.
Bananas? Leave them out at room temperature in a fruit bowl. Should they start to go brown take them out of their skin and freeze them – perfect for smoothies!
- Can I put mushrooms in my Veggie Saver?
Instead, put your mushrooms into a dry Veggie Saver and into the crisper. If you’ve bought mushies in cling wrap they can often look or feel slimy so wherever possible buy your mushies in brown paper bags and avoid plastic - they’ll stay much fresher for longer in the paper bag or The Veggie Saver.
- Can I put root veggies in my Veggie Saver?