For six years, Cathy DiPilato of Worcester hosted students from China in her home and kept the fridge well stocked with fruits and vegetables. When she lost her job she had to cut her grocery budget and also realized plenty of what she bought often went uneaten and thus spoiled. With a mission to decrease food waste, DiPilato hand-sewed bags made of organic cotton from India to store her produce in the fridge. She found the food stayed fresher and crisper longer. Two years ago, she launched B-Organic and sells her bags. DiPilato draws designs she compresses into the fibers using a dye she creates from fruit juices and vegetable oils.The Chinese students taught her the technique. She uses older produce she collects from restaurants and groceries before they trash it. The bags come in small, medium, and large ($4, $5, $6) and have dozens of different colorful illustrations of fruits, veggies, and herbs so you can identify what’s inside. A class at Clark University studied them for a class project, and DiPilato devised a chart on how long the food will stay fresh based on their research. It’s on B-Organic’s website. For example, bananas will keep for three weeks; avocados, four weeks; blueberries for two, and asparagus for five weeks. DiPilato says she’s still surprised how well the cotton allows air to circulate. “I get lots of feedback from customers,” she says. Available at Good Health Natural Foods, 1630 Hancock St., Quincy, 617-773-4925; Kitchen Outfitters, 342 Great Road, Acton, 978- 263-1955; Brothers Marketplace locations, or go the company’s website, www.b-organicma.com.
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.