Get out your gardening gear and ready yourself for -- wait for it -- opening your shrink-wrapped produce. It's almost as hard as getting into a brand-new cd, if you've hit up your neighborhood grocery store.
In all fairness, I need to give it up for Trader Joe's before I go on a rant. I heart their apricots (Blenheim slab chewy moist goodness), their provision of economical organic dairy and meat options, and their sunflower seed butter (delightful if anyone's trying to avoid peanuts and/or treenuts due to allergies or a nut-free school lunch policy). They delight my rapscallions with biodegradable balloons. But seriously, what is up with the plastic straight-jacketing of their produce?
Cucumbers, zucchini, and broccoli all cry to be free! Have you seen the abuse? Layer upon layer of cling wrap of questionable plastics and clamshells underneath! Let our vegetables breathe free!
I wrote TJ's customer service a note on their website (go 'head, you can do it, too!):
Comments: I love Trader Joe's -- especially your selection of organic
foods and your low, low prices! But it KILLS me that you wrap your
produce in plastic and have those little foam trays under something as
innocuous as a CUCUMBER. What gives? I would have thought TJ's would be
a little more eco-friendly. Thanks for thinking about this!
Their Response: Hello MamaBird,
We hear your concerns and take them seriously. We are currently
evaluating the information that is available concerning recyclable
We evaluate every product for packaging requirements and choose the one
we feel is the best currently available to us to deliver freshness,
shelf life and food safety. We continue to explore economical Earth
friendly alternatives that can deliver freshness and shelf life without
preservatives. We also seek out recycled paper packaging where possible
and some of our packaging for produce is made of corn oil, so it is compostable.
We are always working to balance our desire to use as little packaging
as possible with our efforts to keep our products safe, fresh and cost
effective. We will forward your comments and concerns to our Buying
Department for review.
Thank you for your understanding and patience regarding this matter.
Good for TJ's for sourcing recylable packaging, but as the ol' song goes, reduce comes first. Maybe if the produce wasn't traveling very far it wouldn't need to be imprisoned so....
I think in addition to carrying my own bags during this lovely spring weather, I might as well head on over to our farmer's market so I'll be sure my greens are local and unencumbered.