Ever come home from the farmers’ market to find half your haul is totally smooshed? That’s why we brought in Genevieve Walk, consultant and head judge of the National Grocers Association’s Best Bagger Championship, to share her strategies for stacking your food just right.

produce in the bag
strongTo prevent squashed grapes, bring a separate bag or carry that watermelon./strong
| Credit: Photography by Peter Ardito

1. Start at the Bottom

Sturdy veggies, like potatoes, make a solid base. Because meat has the potential to leak, it's another good bottom dweller.

2. Protect Your Bottles

Place spillable liquids, like milk and honey, in the middle of your bag to keep them upright.

3. Use Cheese as a Buffer

As long as it's not the super-runny kind, cheese makes a great insulation to protect items like apples and other easily bruised fruits.

4. Think Sideways

Long, skinny items like baguettes, carrots, asparagus, etc. should stand up along the sides of the bag. And point any fragile tips up toward the sky so they don't get crushed.

5. Top With Fruit

Peaches, berries, and other bruisable stuff should go on top. Same goes for your eggs if you want to avoid a farmers' market scramble

6. Carry Your Haul

More than just a cute well-made carryall, State Bags Graham tote does good, too. Buy any State bag and the company will hand deliver a backpack full of supplies to an American child in need. $65, statebags.com