Friday, October 1, 2010

Does your Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix from Costco rot?

Triple-washed Organic Spring Mix from Earthbound Farm goes straight from the package to the bowl. I dress it simply with good extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar without added color.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

One item I always have around is a pound of Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix -- a delicious salad of baby lettuce, arugula, frisee, radicchio, chard and other items. 

It's pre-washed,  so you can just grab it and stuff it into a sandwich or pile it into a bowl for a dinner salad.

I buy the spring mix at Costco in Hackensack, where the $4.49 price for a one-pound plastic tub is the lowest I've seen in North Jersey. 

(In 2013, the salad at Costco is priced at $4.79 to $4.99).

It's $6.99 or more elsewhere. But too often, some of the dark leaves turn black and rot well before the expiration date, leaving slime on your hand when you touch them.

When Costco first started offering this item, it came in a large plastic bag that was easy to store, and I don't recall rotting being much of a problem, as long as you finished it before or even on the expiration date.

The use of a large, clear-plastic tub wasn't an improvement, and made storage more difficult. And the rotting started.

A friend who is another big fan of Costco's food recommended that after purchasing the spring mix, I divide it into two or three large plastic bags -- such as freezer bags. That worked the first time. 

The second tub I bought looked like it contained dry leaves top and bottom, but when I started to remove the leaves and transfer them, I found wet ones inside that had already started to rot -- seven days before the expiration date. 

I plan to e-mail Earthbound Farm. Maybe the big cardboard boxes containing the tubs are stored improperly -- from cold to warm and back again. 

I don't know, but the rotting is an unpleasant note in an otherwise flawless product that is wonderful to eat and good for you, too.

Update

This post was written 5 years ago, and I continue to buy Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix at Costco, where in September 2015 the price remains under $5 for a 1-pound tub.

The last two times we purchased the organic salad the tub was $4.49 or $4.59.

I try to find tubs that don't appear to have condensation on the salad, with a use-by date at least 7 days away.

If you eat a salad six days a week, as I do, you should be able to finish it before it spoils.


13 comments:

  1. Earthbound Farm sent me a letter dated Oct. 1 apologizing for any inconvenience the rotting salad may have caused.

    A $10 Costco gift card was enclosed, plus coupons for other Earthbound products.

    My wife bought another pound of organic spring mix today at Costco in Hackensack, and I had some of it with dinner. It has an expiration date of Oct. 20. So far, so good.

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  2. My ef spring mix from costco always rots quickly. We have to eat it up within the first few days we bring it home. It does seem to rot due to soggy pieces in the middle.

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  3. Take it back for a full refund or e-mail Earthbound Farm, which sent me a $10 Costco gift card the first time I complained.

    I always make sure to buy the Organic Spring Mix with an expiration (use by) date that is at least a week away, and I go into the big cartons behind the ones in front to get the freshest salad.

    I eat a salad every day, so 1 pound of the stuff is gone in four or five days.

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  4. I had the same problem with slime in the spring mix. I returned it to Shop Rite and they gave me a 4.99 gift card. This is the third package I have purchased with this problem. I finally smartened up and returned it. No more Earthbound products for me! I guess you get what you pay for.

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  5. ShopRite doesn't sell a 1-pound package for $4.99, but Costco does. It is the best-tasting salad available at retail.

    I still buy it every week, and make sure the expiration date is at least a week away. I also look over the salad through the package -- top, bottom and sides -- looking for dry leaves. I try not to buy packages with condensation visible.

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  6. Good luck trying to find one of those packages without any visible condensation. Fortunately, Costco has a very fair return policy.

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    Replies
    1. True on both scores. Have had good luck lately.

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  7. I have a tub in my fridge right now that's held up well but I got sick right after buying it and it will go bad before I can eat that many salads. Do you use it for anything other than salads, wraps and sandwiches? Just wondering how it would be sauteed or wilted into pasta.

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    Replies
    1. I try to buy the spring mix about 7 days before it expires, and usually eat a salad every night after dinner. The spring mix also makes a great foundation for leftover grilled wild salmon or smoked wild salmon right out fridge, as well as shaved or sliced cheese.

      If you use it in pasta, make only enough to last you for one or two days.

      Heat the sauce and boil the pasta in separate pots. I use spinach and other greens and find they work best with penne, corkscrews, shells and other small pasta.

      Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce and place a big handful or more of the spring mix on top, then fold pasta and greens into the sauce. The heat of the pasta and sauce will wilt the salad.

      You can also do this with arugula.

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  8. I would say your biggest problem is one of the first world kind. I visited Earthbound Farms near Big Sur, Caliifornia this year ... beautiful place but a daunting 3000 miles from the East Coast to ship an organic product. It's amazing what modern technology affords us, but there is going to be limitations. Living here in So Cal, I can get about 2 weeks out of a fresh bag.

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    Replies
    1. OK, thanks. A lot of Earthbound Farm greens, lettuces and so forth are grown in Mexico.

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  9. From now on, I plan to separate out the red greens (red romaine; red lollo rosa) from the green greens on the same day as purchase. It's the red that rots too often and contaminates the greens. It seems the green salad will last weeks; the red greens will rot in days creating slime on the green leaves. I've had to go through and hand wash the green leaves to not waste.

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    Replies
    1. That's pretty labor intensive. I have had pretty good luck lately finding spring mix with the use-by date a week or more away. I also try to find packages with little or no condensation in them.

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