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Old 02-27-2015, 01:33 PM   #1
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Package-less Shopping

Anyone see the episode of Morgan Spurlock on plastic bags and recycling? There was a lady who only bought food that wasn't pre-packaged. Bulk grains, cheeses, meats, everything. She brought her own little sacks and jars to put things in. She said she saved at least 15% because the product price didn't include the packaging costs.

Of course it also greatly reduced the level of recycling and garbage they generated.

It is an attractive idea. It would be nice to see Whole Foods and other's try harder to encourage lower levels of "gratuitious" packaging of food. Much of it is driven by the branding needs of consumer goods companies, I imagine, though fortunately not nearly like the egregious levels of packaging in the toy and consumer electronics industries.

Whenever I buy something from Best Buy and finish unpacking it, I cringe at the pile of cardboard, plastic, Styrofoam sitting on the floor.

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Old 02-27-2015, 01:35 PM   #2
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It would also force a much healthier diet as packaged foods are generally more processed, and processed foods generally come in packages.
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Old 02-27-2015, 01:48 PM   #3
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I don't know. When I've been to stores that have unpackaged produce, I see a lot of pretty unsavory and unsanitary people pawing, hacking, and coughing all over the food. I do think it would be nice to not have quite so much packaging, but keeping those people out of my food is worth a little plastic wrap.

Also, a lot of the packaging on things like memory cards and DVDs and such is more of a anti-theft attempt than a real package. I don't like it, but the sim cards would be flying out of the store in people's pockets if they didn't put them in big packages. Just the way the world is.
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Old 02-27-2015, 02:54 PM   #4
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For the record, I have never asked for a bag, either paper or plastic, when buying a house or a car. Surely that earns me some green points, right?
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Old 02-27-2015, 02:58 PM   #5
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I don't know. When I've been to stores that have unpackaged produce, I see a lot of pretty unsavory and unsanitary people pawing, hacking, and coughing all over the food. I do think it would be nice to not have quite so much packaging, but keeping those people out of my food is worth a little plastic wrap.
Grocery stores here do not generally prepackage produce. I remember shopping at PUBLIX in FL when my parents lived there and was amazed by the amount of packaging for all the produce. I rinse all produce thoroughly and really don't worry about who/what touched it. (FWIW, DH never rinses his daily apple and I can't remember the last time he got sick.)

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Also, a lot of the packaging on things like memory cards and DVDs and such is more of a anti-theft attempt than a real package. I don't like it, but the sim cards would be flying out of the store in people's pockets if they didn't put them in big packages. Just the way the world is.
I agree with this but wish there was a better way - and one that doesn't make me curse a blue streak to get the #*(&@# thing out when I get it home.
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Old 02-27-2015, 03:09 PM   #6
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I was starting to buy bulk granola cereal, until I found moths in my Tupperware where I kept it. I realize all cereal has a certain percentage of moth eggs or whatever, but at least in the sealed package cereal, they don't hatch.

Regarding the packing materials, there are always people on Freecycle Network that want that stuff. I've never had a problem getting rid of it there. https://www.freecycle.org/
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Old 02-27-2015, 03:41 PM   #7
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DW and I watched the program and promised ourselves to do better. I thought we do a good job but compare to the lady in the show, we got ways to go.
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Old 02-27-2015, 03:56 PM   #8
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I was starting to buy bulk granola cereal, until I found moths in my Tupperware where I kept it. I realize all cereal has a certain percentage of moth eggs or whatever, but at least in the sealed package cereal, they don't hatch.
Well sometimes they don't hatch... I tend to buy many boxes of Raisin Bran when on sale at Costco and very occasionally, if one is left for months and months the little beasties put in an appearance. Usually not them but the tell-tale webs left by the larva.
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Old 02-27-2015, 04:30 PM   #9
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(FWIW, DH never rinses his daily apple and I can't remember the last time he got sick.)
Really!!! That's amazing. Then maybe I've been rinsing my apples all these years for nothing!

Let's see - - If I averaged an apple a day (to keep the doctor away, y'know...), then by my age I would have consumed well over 24,000 apples. If each apple took, say, 12 seconds to wash, then that would have taken a total of at least 80 hours of my life wasted in rinsing apples when it maybe wasn't necessary.
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Old 02-27-2015, 05:33 PM   #10
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I wash all packaged or unpackaged fruit and veg well since a Loblaws supermarket employee with hepatitis packaging blueberries in the store potentially passed it along to hundreds of customers. The store had to arrange a clinic to give its customers shots, and handed out free bottles of water. Yeah, free bottles of water. As far as Harley's comment goes, I find that when posters turn up the hyperbole, I tune out.
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Old 02-27-2015, 10:16 PM   #11
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If each apple took, say, 12 seconds to wash, then that would have taken a total of at least 80 hours of my life wasted in rinsing apples when it maybe wasn't necessary.
Which is purely wasted time and effort, unless of course you want to wash off the pesticide residue from the orchard. The little stickers are supposed to be edible, too, but I like to take them off.
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Old 02-27-2015, 10:31 PM   #12
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I wash all packaged or unpackaged fruit and veg well since a Loblaws supermarket employee with hepatitis packaging blueberries in the store potentially passed it along to hundreds of customers. The store had to arrange a clinic to give its customers shots, and handed out free bottles of water. Yeah, free bottles of water. As far as Harley's comment goes, I find that when posters turn up the hyperbole, I tune out.
Well, I guess one man's truth is another's hyperbole. Easy solution, just click the ignore button. I certainly will.
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Old 02-27-2015, 10:50 PM   #13
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We have a 100% non-packaged store here in Austin. I haven't been. We also have a plastic bag ban but it might get overturned.

http://in.gredients.com


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Old 02-28-2015, 12:13 AM   #14
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I used to buy food from a health food store, lots of bins of grains/rice/oats/nuts/coffee/etc. You could grind your own peanuts for natural peanut butter.

Harley is certainly correct, some people will "snack"/"taste" out of the bin, drop the handy scooper right into the bin so that its handle with everyone for past many hours or days sits in the food. After hours, in any store mice/rats or bugs move about and you cannot tell if they hop in a bin for supper, at least a boxed granola shows it was chewed open.

In regular stores, I see folks standing in front of the grapes ripping off some to taste, and they put their hands all over the grapes. I wonder if any have the Measles or C. Diff when they do that.

I'll still go to bulk places at times, but I just fill up the plastic bags they provide or plastic tubs for liquids, so it does not really save on plastic.

I'm not going to wash out a peanut butter tub or molasses tub to save to use next time at the store, its not worth my time/expense to clean it.
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:26 AM   #15
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Old 02-28-2015, 10:04 AM   #16
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This link might be worth reading The Importance Of Washing Fruits And Vegetables | SymptomFind.com

A couple of interesting points. One study estimates 20 people touch your food on the way to the store. So perhaps the supermarket that packages the 'X' product prevents a few more touches. Washing fruit which needs to be peeled is also important. Since you might touch the peeled fruit after touching the contaminated peel, assuming it was contaminated. And, while the article does not say this, if you eat an apple without washing your hands, whatever you touched before may become part of your apple consumption.

Bottom line for me is bulk is environmentally better and anything that can be washed or is boiled can be made 'safe' with proper washing of product and hands. We should be discouraging the extra wrapping at supermarkets that serves our fears but does not provide a value return for our safety and ultimately is wasteful.
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Old 02-28-2015, 10:18 AM   #17
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...In regular stores, I see folks standing in front of the grapes ripping off some to taste, and they put their hands all over the grapes...
Sometimes it's hard not to touch the other grapes. Suppose the first grape you touch feels mushy, are you going to eat it? Of course not!!! You're going to move on until you find a grape that has the firmness you desire. (At least that's how I do it).
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Old 02-28-2015, 01:10 PM   #18
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Yes this is the attitude of most of us and why it will be a difficult trend to overcome. 1st Worlders love their convenience over all else.

Regarding bugs and mice munching on the the bulk grains, don't fool yourself into thinking that that is not already happening with packaged food. Remember that the Bran Flakes don't grow in boxes and at some point were just grains sitting in a silo for months, getting nibbled away.


I'm not a tree hugger but I hate the waste created from unneeded packaging.




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I used to buy food from a health food store, lots of bins of grains/rice/oats/nuts/coffee/etc. You could grind your own peanuts for natural peanut butter.

Harley is certainly correct, some people will "snack"/"taste" out of the bin, drop the handy scooper right into the bin so that its handle with everyone for past many hours or days sits in the food. After hours, in any store mice/rats or bugs move about and you cannot tell if they hop in a bin for supper, at least a boxed granola shows it was chewed open.

In regular stores, I see folks standing in front of the grapes ripping off some to taste, and they put their hands all over the grapes. I wonder if any have the Measles or C. Diff when they do that.

I'll still go to bulk places at times, but I just fill up the plastic bags they provide or plastic tubs for liquids, so it does not really save on plastic.

I'm not going to wash out a peanut butter tub or molasses tub to save to use next time at the store, its not worth my time/expense to clean it.


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Old 02-28-2015, 02:02 PM   #19
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Yes this is the attitude of most of us and why it will be a difficult trend to overcome. 1st Worlders love their convenience over all else.

Regarding bugs and mice munching on the the bulk grains, don't fool yourself into thinking that that is not already happening with packaged food. Remember that the Bran Flakes don't grow in boxes and at some point were just grains sitting in a silo for months, getting nibbled away.

I'm not a tree hugger but I hate the waste created from unneeded packaging.......
I hate waste too, so I make sure to take my cars from the dealer unwrapped !

And when I'm in the 3rd World each year, I cut down trees that are diseased, not the healthy ones, which is what we cook on.

While the grains sitting in silos and in the fields before that are nibbled by mice, they are washed in the factory when making bran flakes and then packaged. It washes all the poop off them (which carries various diseases that can/do/have infected people) . Its not just a matter of yuck but a matter of health, and all sorts of 3rd World diseases cause millions of deaths each year, which 1st Worlders don't have to contend with because of our food rules.

So I'm glad to be in the 1st World most of the time
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:45 PM   #20
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While the grains sitting in silos and in the fields before that are nibbled by mice, they are washed in the factory when making bran flakes and then packaged. It washes all the poop off them
Um, well, OK. Probably.

Quote:
Per the FDA:
Acceptable level of insect/rodent filth in wheat flour: Average of under 75 insect fragments and/or one rodent hair per 50 grams.
You might enjoy a little light reading:
Defect Levels Handbook
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