Freshness is a key feature of contemporary food systems, however its industrial production as a quality of food carries adverse consequences. Accordingly, this paper approaches freshness as a matter of concern. Drawing on extensive fieldwork across sites of food production and consumption in the UK and Portugal, we identify four enactments of freshness. The analysis zooms in on the specific case of plastic food packaging and uses these enactments to consider a series of questions about realities and the relationships between them. Since packaging is an issue that readily overflows to encompass a broader suite of propositions about food, we argue that freshness is a suitable focus around which to assemble hybrid forums to debate future possibilities. Joining a body of recent work that brings relational-materialist sensibilities to bear on sustainability governance, we demonstrate that these ideas are not exhausted by a concern with the ways in which existing ontologies are brought together in policy. To conclude, we suggest that attention to the multiple ontologies of qualities complements and extends approaches that focus on objects by offering a conduit that brings understandings of markets into discussions of ontological politics.