This is something I’ve been struggling with for awhile now; choosing to purchase produce packaged in plastic containers because they’re organic. How can fruit, vegetables, herbs or other earth grown edibles somehow be “bigger picture” better if you’re paying exorbitant prices for an item packaged in a non-biodegradable container??? I regularly see this when doing my grocery buying in the local supermarkets. Are you convincing yourself that eating organic oregano might add 3.5 seconds to your life while the plastic box it came in will take 1000yrs decompose??? (PS: check the “breaks down by” date on those bio containers…)
I’m not a flag bearer for organic this and that. Don’t get me wrong; I will take that option when presented and it’s realistic. But I believe it’s incumbent on the shopper to help give their grocer a “shake to the head” or more accurately themselves one for selecting over-packaged foods. “Why in the world do you need a different plastic (PLASTIC) bag for your tomatoes, lettuce, celery, apples, oranges…” You get the idea. Is it just to keep them from rolling around when you get to the check out? Or do you ignore the FACT that all these plastics end up in landfills, our streets, the stomachs of whales washed up on our shores, etc etc??? Substituting paper is all well and good but how many bags do you truly need to hold your purchase? Stop being so precious! Of course the people selling their goods at the farmers markets will say “pick me, pick me” in place of the big box stores. Fair enough. Locally grown and direct income for the people toiling in their fields is an optimal choice. But when the supermarket is the option, see the above.
This is not the voice of another green person (no offence green people) crusading for the environment. This is as much to do with dollars & cents as it is wasteful, common sense behaviour. Buying loose, individual stocks of lemongrass for instance is far less expensive than purchasing organic, cut-down-to fit-a-container (plastic) lemongrass. Same can be said for parsley, mint or cilantro. All are perfect examples of commercial irresponsibility because the consumer allows it. Local farmer speak up now.
Let’s move to the fish counter. Why is it the already freezer & vacuum packed Ahi tuna steak is then again wrapped in plastic clingwrap and styrofoam? Will it make the fish ultra impervious to freezer burn? Uhhh no. Clearly someone didn’t get the message such things are no longer in vogue.
Next; the meat counter and where shopping at a butcher can be a better pick. Plastic wrapped meat on a bed of styrofoam could be avoided by shopping like the people of yesteryear did and having your steak wrapped in that good ole’ fashion pink paper. Non-medicated, free range chickens double wrapped in plastic over black foam; no longer so noble. The only positive I can see with those black or white synthetic packs is at least the recycling depots take them now. But that plastic wrap is still getting chucked in the bin.
This is an aside but along the same lines.
One of my favourite examples of give your head a shake “is it organic” was at a whisky tasting where someone asked the question “is it…?” Well if you’re asking as a matter of ethical/ bio farming, fair enough. But if the query is to do with better health; it’s a distilled, high proof alcohol in which all the nasty bits have been killed off but still 40% plus. Spirits are not considered to be good for you. That and whether it’s organic or a bio-hazardous fluid, it won’t be any better or less harmful to your liver. Another one which is more a jab at the packaging angle; I was standing outside of a restaurant a few months ago where the staff were on a smoke break. Nasty habit, not good. A woman of a senior generation accosts the staff with recriminations about the cost to wildlife and the environment in general because of the smoke and the cigarette butts. Clincher; In her hand was a plastic takeaway bag holding her dinner in styrofoam containers. Hmmm… Yep, a true flag bearer for the betterment of the planet.
I don’t want to come down too heavily on supermarkets. I shop at my local ones all the time. Unfortunately I also end up having to purchase meats in those “nasty packs” to my constant dismay. Chances are your grocer or fruit mart is well aware of the issue and may in fact not feel great about it. But it will continue on with them as long as people keep buying. That’s business. I hear people saying “I’m willing to spend a little more to support local”. Good on ya. I’d be happy to spend a little more on goods with bio-degradable packaging to appease my conscience. Check out “Be Green Packaging”; http://www.biomasspackaging.com/brands/be-green-packaging/ It’s on us to make it in their best interests to change because we all have to put a stop to filling the world with this crap.
Think and act responsibly, conscientiously and realistically.
That’s it; nuff said. There are enough crusaders for better out there. This is just a personal peeve that needed to be said in print and now it’s on the web for posterity.