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It's in the bag or simply: how much stuff can you put in those things?

May 1, 2009 - Taste Buds
EVERYBODY AND their brother is promoting a green shopping bag!

The Buds, while not tree-huggers per se, are all in favor of being kind to the environment and have gotten on the band wagon by trying to avoid plastic shopping bags.

The Buds have bags from virtually every store in the land and the reusable shopping bags have their logos on them to prove it!

We find using the bags takes a little coordination on the part of the shopper and the clerk.

The shopper has to remember to bring the reusable bag to the actual store -which can be a pain. And then, said shopper actually has to use it. That means it has to be out and visible before the clerk automatically begins putting items into a plastic bag.

It’s a little easier at stores that ask if you want paper or plastic because then you can just pipe up and say “Brought my own!”

The Buds have been beaten to the punch on more than one occasion but we’re trying to turn it around.

To that end, we tried out a couple of bags from what’Surbag in New Orleans which makes a reusable shopping bag called its-laS-tik bags. They are made and recycled in the United States.

The makers claim these bags are different than your usual bags because they stretch and are able to hold up to 45 pounds, holding items of any shape and always bouncing back.

Bud Tricia decided to try them out by stuffing two of the bags with a portion of the items she would normally buy during her weekly shopping trip.

She was impressed!

The following items were stuffed into these two bags: 2 cantaloupes, 2 grapefruits, 1 23.5 oz.-jar canned fruit; 1 18-oz. jar peanut butter; 1 20-oz. can pie filling; 1 12-oz. jar of jelly; 14.5 oz. can beans; 10 10.5-oz. cans of soup; 15-oz. container of bread crumbs; 3 15-oz. cans of beets; 2 20-oz. cans of pineapple; 1 28-oz. can of baked beans; 1 4-oz. can of mushrooms; 4 cans of 7-Up; 1 14.5 oz. can of carrots; 1 12-oz. box of macaroni and cheese; 1 18-oz. bottle of barbecue sauce; 1 12.25 oz. box of cereal; 2 quarts of juice; 2 5-oz. cans of tuna; 2 green apples; 1 jar of spaghetti sauce and a 32-oz. bag of popcorn.


The bags just seemed to keep stretching! The total weight of both bags was about 43 pounds but they didn’t seem too heavy to carry. Also, Bud Tricia would not recommend putting anything crushable in the bags because the cereal box did get a little mashed in the thick of it all!

She thinks the trick may be in the packing and admits she is not a card-carrying member of the Professional Baggers Guild. They have their standards and Bud Tricia is definitely not up to them!

These bags hold a lot of stuff and seem to bounce back into shape just as the makers claim. Also, they are lightweight and can be balled up and thrown in your purse - much like an extra pair of knee highs - so it makes actually having them and using them a little easier!

For more on the bags, visit

We’ll bet you can fit all the ingredients for this recipe in one of these bags!


3 tablespoon butter

1 large onion, chopped

2 quarts chicken broth

1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes

2 sweet potatoes, boiled and mashed

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 piece ginger, minced

2 cups crunchy peanut butter

1/2 pint heavy cream, warmed

1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

Melt butter in large stock pot, add onions, cook until golden brown. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic and ginger. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer until hot. Blend well with whisk. Add peanut butter, simmer for a few more minutes, stirring until thick. Pour into a tureen, swirl the heavy cream on top and top with chopped peanuts.

Jean Baker of Adena


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Here are the bags sans the groceries.