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Tilia Foodsaver Vacuum Packaging System
You may already be familiar with the FoodSaver from its extensive infomercials. While the television spots portray this item as indispensable for every housewife, we thought an impartial review was in order.
For anyone who hasn't seen the infomercials, the FoodSaver uses a vacuum and sealing system to protect food from ageing. You simply place some perishable item (let's say a block of cheese) in the special FoodSaver bag. Place the end of the bag inside the contraption, secure the closures, and press the button. As you do, the FoodSaver sucks all the air out of the bag, then creates an airtight seal by melting the bag together. The end result is perishables that take a long time to perish.
So here's what is great about the FoodSaver: It really does save food. No more moldy cheese or spoiled lunch meat. This stuff will last longer in your fridge than last year's fruitcake. Also, the FoodSaver is easy to operate; there's only two buttons on the entire thing.
During our testing, however, we found the FoodSaver to have a few significant shortcomings. First, while the machine itself is easy to work with, the product is not. Imagine that you want a slice off that block of cheddar. Here's what you need to do: get scissors, cut open the bag, throw away the waste, get cheese out. Then, when you're finished, you'll have to re-seal the bag and put away the scissors. In short, this process is far more complicated than your traditional resealable bag. On the other hand, some may say this inconvenience is far out weighed by the joy of eating from the same block of cheese for months.
Another thing we didn't love about the FoodSaver is the waste. By its nature, a portion of the storage bag is lost every time it is opened, so although the cheese may last for months, you'll go through a few bags during that time. This is more plastic in the landfills and more money about of your pocket. Of course, you're no longer throwing money away by tossing moldy cheese, so you have to decide which is more important.
Another thing to consider about the FoodSaver is practicality. Do a quick check of things in your fridge that go bad before you finish them. Lettuce? Salsa? Milk? In the end, it's easy to see that the FoodSaver's usefulness is limited to things that are fairly solid in composition, such as meat or cheese. As a partial remedy to this, they do offer plastic canisters as well as bottles and a vacuum attachment to accommodate them. This is the way to prevent chips and cookies from going stale, or to keep your chardonnay from turning to vinegar. Don't forget, though, the $129.00 price is only for the vacuum/sealing action and some plastic bags. All those other things are sold separately or in more expensive packages.
Now, if you remember the infomercial, you'll know that the FoodSaver can also be used to save other things. For example, if you want to pack many sweaters into a small space, sucking the air out of them would be helpful. Essentially any collection of items you would like to be sealed and saved, as long as they will fit into the FoodSaver packaging, can be saved. We didn't vacuum pack our sweaters, but we feel okay about deferring to the infomercial on that one.
Unique Reviews overall rating: 75 out of 100
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