• Getting to Green

    An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.


More grocery grabbers

Four more quick points, all more or less grocery-related.

November 17, 2010

Four more quick points, all more or less grocery-related.

1. On the wall of the produce department was an advertising sign about "baby carrots -- treat them like junk food." It seems to be part of a promotional push from the National Baby Carrot Council or some such. Personally, I always thought of 'baby carrots' pretty much as junk food, at least compared to other fruits and veg. Probably the only significant exception (junkier than 'baby carrots') is iceberg lettuce, and my understanding is that iceberg was developed under a research grant funded by the Teamsters Union (if that's not true, it should be). 'Baby carrots' aren't really babies, they achieve their small and uniform size in part from being hydro-lathed. And they're sweet because they contain a lot of sugar. Better than generic 'cheese' puffs (most of which contain little or no actual cheese), of course. But kind of the same way that orange juice is better than soda. Which is to say, not a lot.

2. In a conversation with a graduate student whose family lives in Maine, I found myself talking to someone who claims to be interested in sustainability but who really isn't interested in living in a world where she can't buy bananas year-round. It made my heart sad.

3. One the way out of the store, I saw a reusable shopping bag emblazoned, "I used to be a plastic bottle." My heart was restored.

4. On the cover of a catalog I saw a design for a t-shirt and an apron: "I eat locally because I can." The pun was emphasized by pictures of three Mason jars. (OK, they were Ball brand "Ideal" mason jars, but still . . . ). Be still, my heart -- that's my stomach rumbling.


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