Salad bags are an affordable alternative to fresh vegetables. They are rather popular as they satisfy the need for a side of veggies for quick meals. However, nutrition experts say that the nutritional value of pre-washed salad bags are commonly compromised, making it almost needless to buy them.
Salad bags typically contain a varying mix of leafy greens that are carefully selected, sorted and cleaned before packaging. These salads agreeably make any meal look more appetizing and nutritious but are they really all that?
Pre-packaged salads can look fresh for as long as 5 days in the fridge. There are some food crops that can retain their nutrients for very long e.g. carrots and apples. Unfortunately, this isn't the case for the common constituents of salad bags — delicate vegetables like cabbage.
Instead, these salad leaves gradually lose their nutritional value every hour after they've been har separated individually lose a significant amount of nutrients every hour after being harvested.
This is why salad bags are packaged along with a mixture of gasses known as modified atmosphere, which keeps them fresh for up to a week. That is what is indicated on the bags with the label, "packaged in a protective atmosphere."
This protective environment is lost once the sale bag is opened, causing the vegetables to wilt rapidly. That also indicates just how low the nutritional value of the salad leaves really are.
But, just when you think that's the only disadvantage, Professor Pennington, an expert of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen also warns that pre-washed salads are one of the products most likely to give food poisoning.
This is despite the extra — and rather stripping! — measure of washing the salad leaves with chlorine to rid them of harmful microbes like E coli, salmonella and norovirus.
BOTTOM LINE: Pre-Washed salad bags are not ideal for consumption. They typically lack substantial nutrients and even commonly pose harm to human health. So, although it is commonly advised that you have consume a substantial amount of vegetables during every meal, pre-washed salad bags are not the ideal choice.
Instead of going for salad bags, reach out to a local farmer for a daily supply of fresh vegetables. You may also choose to buy "cut and grow again salad leaves," which you can nurture in your own home.