Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I Just Could Not Do It

I tried.
I really did.
I tried to tell myself, it's organic!
I even had it in my cart for awhile.
But I looked at my children, looked at them and sadly said, put them back.
What was it?
Pints of Blueberries. 5 of them to be exact.
It isn't that I dislike bluenerries.
We love them and they are rare treat around here because organic blueberries tend to be costly.
These weren't though. Organic and only $2 a pint, that is cheap.
So cheap in fact that I put 5 plastic tubs of them in my carts.
Did you catch that part?
Five plastic tubs of them.
I think the real name for them is plastic clam shells.
I just kept looking at all that plastic.
Why why why am I at a earth friendly-green-organic store and seeing such wasteful packaging?
I looked in my cart again.
And then I saw this...
More plastic.
Lots of it.
Some of it we can not avoid or so I think at this point, I am sure I am wrong.
But I just could not justify these purchases when it so covered in single thing I am working feverishly to erradicate from my home. It felt wrong.
So, I put it back. ALL of it back.
Much to the man in the green apron confusion, who was working in the produce department .
Him : "Changed your mind?"
Me : "Yes. I can't buy it cause it is wrapped in so much plastic."
Him ( blinks hard) : "Not sure we have organic cauliflower that isn't wrapped."
Me : "That's okay. I can do without."
Him (blinks harder) : "..."
Nothing my friends, nothing.
I know this confused him. How do I know?
As I walked away and went about looking for non-plastic
encased produce he went over to the flower girl, in her nifty green apron,
with my organic cauliflower in his hand.
To which they had a 5 minute conversation about I am going to safely assume was
 my ridculous notion that produce shouldn't be drowning in plastic.
Afterall, how do we keep it fresh?!
I tell you how.
You buy in season and locally as much as possible.
Cauliflower is not remotely in season here.
But blueberries are.
We have a whole U-Pick of blueberries at our disposal.
Cauliflower is harder to wait for because I am not sure it is even grown here in Floirda.
However I am pretty certain if I wait until Fall & go to the Farmers Market I can find some without plastic and then ask where it is grown.
(Note: Florida has the opposite growing season. Our winter is your summer and our summer is your winter)
But until then, things continue to jump out of my cart because I can not unlearn this stuff.
I find myself really examining my items. Thinking about alternatives to what I assume is necessary.
I am finding that I can make a lot more things then I think I can.
I can do without things I thought was necessary.
In the process, I can do better things for someone who isn't me.
And that feels good.
That feels better than eating blueberries.



Becca said...

I am lucky to have most of our organic produce loose and unwrapped. But when it comes to buying organic, local, not organic trumps organic bought at the store..... at least in my book. I have found most smaller, local farms do not spray like the big cooperation farms that provide fruit and veggies to the store. I know some people would disagree with me, and that is ok. We have to do what we feel convicted about.

I bought some reusable produce bags off of Etsy, which I love, to put the loose produce in. I always have to explain what they are and that I brought them myself and the reasons behind it. One store knows me as "the lady with the cute produce bags". :-)

Chele said...

I have nifty mess bags I use as well for my bulk items and some produce items. If I run out or forget them I just give them my produce loose. They sigh and corral them, but its my choice! ;)
And yes we all have to define what is most important to us. That is the thing I tell people, some people find local better than organic or organic better than local, there is no wrong or right way. Just which ever way feels best for you and your family. :)
That being said we have a local organic farm who is not certified just yet that we buy lots of items from. The issue here in South Florida is our farms are closed for the summer as it is too hot to grow things. And I depend on the store. Even our Farmers Markets are closed through the summer. So this time of the year for us is like Northern folks winter. :)

Anonymous said...

I guess we are lucky where I am.. We can recycle the plastic clamshells and the plastic wrap. It certainly makes it easier to but produce, knowing that the plastics won't become garbage.

Chele said...

Oh we can recycle them as well. That isn't the issue for me. The issue is that once plaastic is made it can never leave this earth and while it is recycled, it can only be recycled into more plastic items. And then it can only be recycled so many times and eventually sits in a landfill. So while recycling is great, the less consumption of plastic is a better idea for our family.
There is some plastic we can avoid and some we can not. In this case, I can avoid it and hope that my green grocer also picks up on that recycling is just a solution to a sympton but not a cure to the larger problem. :)

Stephanie at Naturally Mindful said...

I feel you pain! Sometimes I feel crazy for seeing all the "waste" rather than the food first. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get to a local farmers market to buy unwrapped produce, even with my own mesh bags for lose produce, that darn cauliflower is always wrapped! However, this Saturday will be my first Saturday of the season I will be free to go to my local farmers market, woo hoo!

Stephanie at Naturally Mindful said...

Oh, and what about those darn stickers? Grrr.

Chele said...

Stephanie, those stickers are the bane of my existance!!! But I have a love/hate relationship with them. I can not tell how many times I looked at a sign that clearly says "organic __________" and then look at the produce & see that the sticker does NOT start with the #9 (all organic produce with a sticker will have a #9 at the beginning of is product code). Had I trusted my grocer, I would have been misled. Still....i detest those plastic boogers!
After I posted this I did some inquiring and yes, we have one grower in our region who grows cauliflower. I may be have to stock up and freeze/dehydrate when he offers it! :)

Sarah @ Natures Nurture said...

I feel you, Chele! I hate those plastic clam shells too, ughh and those darn stickers on every. single. piece. of fruit!

I also just take loose produce to the checkout counter as well. They don't like it, but that's not my problem lol :) It's amazing just how "normal" plastic has become in our society.. It's really just sad..

Thanks for linking up this witty and informative post at Tiny Tip Tuesday!

Chele said...

So glad I am not the only one with loose tomatoes rolling down the check out belt! LOL :)