Are Those Cute Produce Storage Containers Worth It?

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

If you've ever purchased a full-size bag of fresh baby spinach as a single person, then you know that keeping produce fresh can be a struggle. According to Feeding America, 40% of the total food supply in America goes straight to landfills. That's a whopping 119 billion pounds of food, accounting for 130 billion wasted meals. Per the FDA, U.S. landfills are composed of more food waste than actual trash.

Too often, spoiled fruits and veggies find their way into the blue can before they can find their way into your belly. Enter super cute produce storage containers. We're talking about colorful, plastic containers shaped like apples, lemons, onions, garlic bulbs, green peppers, and more. If you can find it in your produce aisle, then there's likely a cute storage container to match it.

One of the most crucial parts of extending the life of your delicate produce is proper storage. Any opportunity to skip single-use plastic is A-okay in our book, and reusable produce savers rock. The cute produce-shaped ones are admittedly adorable, and look super cheerful in the fridge — but are they worth it?

Unitaskers that underperform

When you purchase a plastic container shaped like a giant tomato, it begins to fall into the territory of "cutesy devices used for one purpose and one purpose only." Do home cooks really need an entire drawer full of single-use kitchen appliances? The answer: Probably not. "Foodist" Alton Brown hates them. In an interview with The Daily Dot, Brown referred to these gadgets as "unitaskers." "You buy these items, you use them, and then they simply pile up until you have to tear down your house and build another one," he said.

Take, for instance, the commonly seen avocado saver shaped like half an avocado. It's a cute design, but a quick scroll of the Amazon product reviews is less than glittery. "Ahhhh I prefer our other storage container[s]," reads one. "Does basically what it says. It's ok. More of a storage unit for avocados than a 'keeper," reads another, and the devastating: "Cling film is better." Plus, some fruits like apples and bananas naturally release ethylene gas, which accelerates spoilage. Produce like these shouldn't be stored in an airtight container at all — even if you happen to own a cute container in its likeness.

Avoid the avalanche

While these produce-shaped containers may be adorable, they don't stack neatly in the fridge. Buy a set and you'll have bulbous tomato- and onion-shaped plastic containers rolling around the fridge, spilling out into your scrambling, not-quick-enough arms, and eventually falling to the floor, likely popping open, and soiling your produce.

How well do they seal? According to more than a few Amazon product reviews: Fine, but not great. It's like the "Has this ever happened to you?" infomercial in which an unassuming sucker cheerfully opens an overhead kitchen cabinet, only to be pelted with a torrential downpour of loose plastic Tupperware. What could possibly be the cause for such a horrible surprise? The silly home cook didn't buy containers that stack neatly. Don't let this be you.

Save yourself the headache and opt for plastic airtight storage containers that stack easily instead. If you're especially short on space, beeswax wrap or resealable, reusable silicone bags — like these ones from Stasher — are great reusable, space-saving options.