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Sun-blocking Plastic Bags

protect root vegetables from harmful U.V.rays
  (+6, -3)
(+6, -3)
  [vote for,

I love my house, but it is a challenge to find a place for everything in a compact home. I have taken to hanging my root vegetables in my cellar stairwell for lack of space anywhere else. Unfortunately, they are still exposed to some light, and that causes problems. Potatoes turn green, and you really shouldn't eat them at that point. Garlic and onions sprout and get mushy inside, carrots get rubbery. I would like to see the technology that causes glasses to darken in sunlight applied to plastic bags to make them U.V. sensitive. When they sense light, they darken to protect vegetables that must be stored in less than ideal conditions. I'd even pay for them.
Rm Brz, Nov 29 2006

You'd have to eat several pounds of green potatoes http://www.snopes.c...gredient/potato.asp
[normzone, May 16 2008]


       //I would like to see the technology that causes glasses to darken in sunlight applied to plastic bags to make them U.V. sensitive.// What's wrong with black plastic bags? Or brown paper bags?
zen_tom, Nov 30 2006

       Because then you can't see what's in them. It's inconvenient and annoying to have to open a bunch of bags to find what 's needed. Especially when you're standing in a stairwell.
Rm Brz, Nov 30 2006

       Poke holes in them?
jtp, Nov 30 2006

       You could label your pegs...
theleopard, Nov 30 2006

       //You could label your pegs... theleopard, Nov 30 2006//   

       Or you could label your bags.   

       Or you could lather your bags with sunblock.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 30 2006

       The light-reactive properties do not blacken; they merely darken the bag so one could still tell what the contents are while providing the necessary protectant. This is an easy fix- buy the bags and hang them- no need to make labels, label pegs, poke holes or feel around to see the contents- give me a break here, guys!
Rm Brz, Nov 30 2006

       I don't think you will find many "breaks" here at the Half Bakery.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 30 2006

       Well you'll find more 'breaks' (680) than 'brakes' (375) [chef].
craigts, Nov 30 2006

       You got me craigts.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 30 2006

       feeling and guessing the contents of a black bag of vegetables seems like the germ of an idea for a xmas party game.
po, Nov 30 2006

       Count me in! Oooh I'm gonna feel me the biggest potato...
Texticle, Nov 30 2006

       Photochromatic coatings don't come cheap. Only reasonably top-end sunglasses and spectacles are photochromatic.   

       Also, are you certain that your root vegetables will keep well? Maybe it's just because I'm a stone's throw from the equator, and we have permanently high humidity here, but my root vegies don't keep past about a week, even when locked away in a drawer.
Custardguts, Nov 30 2006

       {Texticle}- we all assume you have the biggest potato (s).Or do you call 'em yams?
Rm Brz, Nov 30 2006

       I think I have a carrot here...
po, Nov 30 2006

       I have the biggest tuber.
twitch, Nov 30 2006

       {Po} thanks, but what I really need right now is a nice , soft bun.
Rm Brz, Nov 30 2006

       Why not just keep them in an opaque plastic bag and just hand-feel your potatoes? Is it not possible to feel if your potatoes are ripe? They were originally underground anyway..
twitch, Nov 30 2006

       Potatoes don't get "ripe", they just get big. So big as to mistake one by feel for a rutabaga or yam. And how to differentiate from the errant sweet potato or beet? Clarity of bag is the answer. With a degree of darkness.
Rm Brz, Nov 30 2006

       That's why I love written language!!! They always help in situations like these! Okay.. bag #1: potatoes, bag #2 yams, bag #3: (Joke placed here)
twitch, Dec 01 2006

       //Potatoes don't get "ripe", they just get big// I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that potatoes don't get bigger when removed from the soil (and the rest of the growing plant). actually they start to shrink.   

       gawd, I need a life. here I am discussing the size of potatoes with people I'm not ever likely to meet. :)
po, Dec 01 2006

       For some reason I thought that this was a skin protecting product for those in need of the Darwin Award. "See, you put this plastic bag around your head and face to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Cool, huh?"
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Dec 01 2006

       ok ok so the bag the bag gets dark and you can like put it on but then later the bag gets stressed and like dis-integrates ya no? from the photo-crom
bulb, Dec 03 2006

       Spudses turn green and posionous in too much light potato
bulb, Dec 03 2006

       This idea should be bakeable using a correctly colored bag. Green would work. Photosynthesis uses red wavelengths, and there is no reason that tubers should turn green and start to photosynthesize if they are in a spectrum of light they cannot use. A green bag should filter out everything but green light, which plants don't use (they reflect it, and look green). We can see green light, and so [Rm Brz] should be able to look thru the bag and distinguish parsnips from rutabegas. With a really good green bag, you should be able to hang your tubers in the kitchen.
bungston, Dec 03 2006

       Bah, I was expecting a plot to send legions upon legions of plastic bags into the wild - let them dance and frolick and protect small areas of the earth from harmful UV light.
fridge duck, Dec 03 2006

       I think bungston has found the clue. photosynthesis does not occur at every part of the spectrum of visible light. so the bag only needs to filter the purples,blues and oranges (UV is not involved in photosynthesis it seems, so the sunglasses technique won't work. I'm wondering though, if this applies to roots: not much photosynthesis in there i would guess, since they're under the earth.
nutty professor, May 16 2008

       It's not necessarily photosynthesis that is the problem. Potatoes, onions and suchlike remain dormant until they think it is worth growing, and light is one of the stimuli that activate growth.   

       However, it is not usually photosynthesis itself which is the trigger - plants have a variety of light- sensitive pigments to tell them when to break dormancy. I'm not sure what wavelengths these photosensory pigments respond to, but they are probably not all the same as the optimal wavelengths for photosynthesis. Indeed, some seeds and tubers respond to light filtering through other plant's leaves or through a few millimetres of soil, and are adapted to respond to those wavelengths which are best transmitted through such media.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 16 2008

       Incidentally, there's an Asian fruit which takes this to extremes. It germinates only after it has been through the gut of an orang-utan (orangs eat the fruit and excrete the seeds), so that it can be sure of starting out with a bunch of fertiliser.   

       How does it know it's sitting in orang poo? How does it know it's not still in the orang, or still inside the uneaten fruit? The seed's germination is actually inhibited by most wavelengths of light, but is activated by a single narrow band of red light. To germinate, it needs to be exposed only to that red light, and not to the rest of the spectrum.   

       It turns out that the pigments (mainly stercobilins) in orang poo absorb a wide range of wavelengths, but selectively transmit just the right wavelength of red light (a handy fact to know, if you're a photographer who's mislaid his deep red filter in the middle of the Malaysian jungle - orang poo will do). And yes, you guessed it, this is exactly the wavelength which the seed needs to see in order to germinate. It won't germinate in the fruit (no light at all), nor inside the orang's digestive tract (ditto) - only in the orang poo. Isn't nature wonderful?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 16 2008

       Let go of my leg.
normzone, May 16 2008

       No, I swear it's true.   

       Oh, all right then. You win.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 17 2008


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