Friday, January 6, 2012

Food and plastics

Is Healthy Food still healthy if it comes packaged in Plastic?

I went to Whole Foods to pick up some tasty foods yesterday. I like going to Whole Foods because the quality of the food is very high and they have options that no other grocery stores have.

I picked up an assortment of fruits, veggies, and grains and some staples like bread, milk and eggs.

This morning I had some of the cut up pineapple that I picked up. I find that if I buy the cut up pineapple I don't waste it as much as if I were to buy a whole pineapple.

But is it still healthy when it comes in a plastic container? or when you dip it in chocolate? I had some chocolate sauce leftover from a party tray I had from the holidays.

I have been realizing that I am a slave to packaging and convenience. Yes it is easier to buy a nice little container of pineapple from the store in a container you just put in the fridge and it's ready to go anytime you want to eat it. Whereas a whole pineapple... those don't fit in your fridge nicely and then you have to spend 15 minutes cutting them up and the peels fill up your garbage so you then have to take out the garbage. Yes I know what you are thinking... LAZY... well there must be a whole lot of us lazy people because everything comes in nice little plastic containers these days.

Here's another thing I bought at whole foods, Chocolate Covered Almonds.

People keep telling you to eat almonds and this is the way I like them. Anything covered in chocolate is good.
But once again.... plastic container. On the package it says no preservatives, no artificial flavours, minimally processed and no sulphites but it is surrounded in plastic. It doesn't say that the plastic it comes in is no good for you or the environment. And I might add impossible to open this thing.

I suppose the answer to this is to shop in bulk but you still have to put it in something so you use plastic bags. Or you can shop at farmers markets but then you can't get everything you want either.

I watched the Documentary "NO IMPACT MAN" yesterday and it made me think about the amount of garbage I produce in my everyday life. I brought home 3 bags of groceries yesterday. I am sure a bag of it will end up as garbage. But am I willing to go radical and eliminate all waste was the answer i came up with. I like convenience because it means that I have the time to do other things like write this blog. But at the same time I would like it if manufacturers found a way to package food products in a way that doesn't destroy the planet. I understand that packaging is meant to be able to transport products without damaging them but some manufacturers just package for packaging. I bought a teeny tiny Camera card yesterday and it came in a HUGE box.. WHY? it only needs a small box to fit the size.. why do we need to have a small thing encassed in a plastic wrapping and then encased in a large box that will all be thrown out as soon as you open it. WASTE WASTE WASTE. I am guilty of it and I bet you are too.... but can you do anything to eliminate the problem? You probably can but will you?

Here's my dilemma.. I know better but I don't do better. Why? Because it's easier not to.... but you have to make choices on what you can do that might work for you. I think it's much easier to eliminate packaging when you are a family because you can buy supersize products and use less packaging. For me I find that I can't buy a whole watermelon ...for 1 because I live in an apartment and that would be all I could eat if I put it in the fridge so it would be wasted. As a family you can buy a watermelon and split it up for dinner and then it's gone. No waste.

With so many people living alone these days compared to the large families in the past, things have changed in the process of changing lives. Single serve items have taken over. Families don't eat meals together and have different tastes so individual portions has become the norm in current days.

I don't have all the answers but I know that it takes a huge commitment to make a big impact in the environment. It's something you have to think about everyday like a diet.

Are you willing to go on a plastic food container diet? I thought so.

1 comment:

  1. Thoughtful post about food packaging, Linda. My preferred grocer where I live tends to use styrofoam for packaging their vegetables to sell and I've signed a petition against it. Sometimes it takes activism on the consumer level to bring about the change we're looking for.


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