Saturday, February 14, 2009

Avoid plastic bags in the produce section!

Even though San Franciscans banned plastic bags from the bagging section at all grocery stores. There are still plastic bags in the produce section! Plastic is so hard to avoid.

I bring my shopping bags like most people in San Francisco these days. I fill up old baby formula containers. Mikey is almost three years old so these formula containers have lasted me two years now! Plus, I love having these old formula containers around because it reminds me of where I was three years ago. The first ingredient is corn syrup solids and the second is sugar. Yikes! What was I thinking!

I use newer glass jars for everything from rice to nuts to olive oil. I wash and reuse the plastic bags that I use if I didn't bring enough containers. I avoid buying food that comes in boxes and plastic. And I just throw my produce into the cart without putting it into plastic bags first.

When I pick out my five or six potatoes, I don't put them into a plastic bag and then into my cart; I just put them directly into my cart. They roll around in there while I shop but they are fine. They'll be washed and skinned at home. I try to keep them together for the cashier so he/she doesn't have to weigh the same variety of potato five times. I do this with all my produce: apples, lettuce, broccoli, collards, tomatoes, and others, except one.

There is one vegetable that I use a bag for and that's beets. At Rainbow Grocery, they still have some lovely mud on them as if they were just pulled from the earth that morning and brought directly to the store. I love to see vegetables with a little dirt on them! Beets also bleed a little so the bag seems necessary to me. But other stores may sell cleaned beets. And, some people might find bags necessary for some things but not others.

Try not using plastic bags in the produce section, I don't think you'll miss them. At the farmer's market, ask them to put the produce directly into your shopping bag to avoid plastic bags there too!

Dirt on my spinach heads too!


Thystle said...

I leave lots of produce nude as well. I always feel a bit weird - conditioning I guess :)

I have a few of the cotton mesh bags that I use and I've made a few simple drawstring bags from organic muslin but really need to find more time to sew many more! Just turn inside out and launder when dirty.

However, I don't know how to keep my greens fresh in the fridge without putting them in a plastic bag. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Boy, do I have a great idea for you guys. The bagnesia produce bag works great- it's made of nylon so it doesn't matter if it gets wet. I weigh, wash and store my produce right in it (even in the fridge). They sell them in sets of 4 for $6 or $2 each. They are roomy, weigh nothing and dry really quickly. I even wash my salad greens in them, let them drip for a couple of minutes and store them just like that in the fridge. Great for grapes, too! They stay fresher longer.

Spinach and Honey said...

Hi Thystle -I don't use plastic bags in the fridge unless I wash lettuce or spinach ahead of time. Maybe my stuff gets wilty faster than if I used bags, but for whatever reason, it isn't an issue for me.

Anonymous said...

Here's a great idea to replace those pesky plastic produce bags... a spare pillowcase! We all have them in the linen closet, right, one that doesn't look great anymore, maybe a little faded? Just make sure the pillowcase can handle heavy produce.

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