Friday, October 29, 2010

Generating a Little Less Waste at the Farmers' Market.

Photographing my purchases for the last few days, I've been bothered by the clear plastic produce bags.  They're ugly; they're non-biodegradable.  Yes, they're recyclable, but...

And then it dawned on me--a couple of decades later than it should have--that oh my god, I don't need to use them.  I can buy lettuce without the clear plastic bags.  This is probably obvious to you.  But for me, this was like the earth cracked open and I fell into an alternate reality.

The funny thing is, a few days before I started this blog I'd bought some reusable plastic produce bags which are supposed to keep veggies fresh longer. 

So I'd been buying kale and whatnot in the clear plastic bags, then transferring them to the reusable bags when I got home.  (Yes, I hear the collective duh.) But today I saw the light, and brought my reusable bags to the farmers market, bypassing the clear plastic bags altogether. 

About these bags: they work by allowing the produce to breathe, thereby reducing the ethylene gas which causes vegetables to rot.  They also prevent the vegetables from staying too wet.  Thinking about this, I don't understand why these bags would be better than cloth produce bags.  So although I'll give myself a few points for switching to something reusable, I'm going to subtract a few for not making the bags myself (using this tutorial?) or buying them from another Etsy artist.

I walked to the farmers market and came home with as much as I could carry.
Five green peppers, two yams, a head of broccoli, a head of purple cabbage, a head of Romaine, a carrot and a dozen pears for $11.  (I got a little discount from my vendor friends because I was a vendor at this market last year. ) I bought more peppers than I can use immediately because they were only 25 cents each.  I'm going to dehydrate most of them early next week.

Despite my best efforts, I did come home with one clear plastic bag.  The Romaine was already packaged that way in the farmers' cooler.   What are you going to do?

This was the last day of the season for the New London Farmers Market, held in the parking lot of Fiddleheads Food Co-op.  Fortunately the Fiddleheads Winter Farmers Market, held inside Fiddleheads, will begin for me tomorrow. 

The farmers' market is dead!  Long live the farmers market!

Consumption totals:
Food: $11
Miles driven: 0

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