The cleanest of human beings would be growing all their own produce organically like Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall. We have a veg patch, but so far it is March and there is nothing in it. Yet. But where there is a veg patch, there is hope. I think.
Last summer my green-fingered husband managed to muster some tomatoes (amazingly, the children devour the tomatoes straight off the plants, but leave them looking sad and lonely if served to them on a plate of salad), raspberries, and a handful of herbs. This year, we have high hopes for runner beans, peppers, potatoes and curly kale.
But, as a family whose weekday survival depends heavily on things like bananas, firstly I do wonder if my children are part chimp, and secondly, most of what we eat reluctantly comes from the supermarket. We can’t grow bananas. We’re not that talented.
So off to the supermarket, this time to buy fewer things wrapped in single use plastic, and especially none in that un-recyclable black stuff. Oh rats. Not possible. ALMOST EVERYTHING IS WRAPPED IN PLASTIC! The only potatoes I can find that are not sold in a plasticky bag are baking potatoes so they go in the trolley loose. Sweet potatoes are a hit in our household so in they go. Around the fruit and veg aisles I go, realising that much of what we normally buy is simply not there loose, so even as the consumer it is impossible to ‘demand’ loose stuff, because it’s not even an available choice. It’s rubbish! (ha, see what I did there).
Stubbornly, I reject our favourite Maris Pipers, chestnut mushrooms, fun-sized apples and cheap knobbly onions in favour of whatever available loose and pile it straight in the trolley. Get to the tills, pay, plonk everything into the usual shopping bags I bought along and have an epiphany. Apart from availability, that was absolutely no less convenient than buying stuff in bags.
Looking around, there are hands grabbing every plasticky bag-wrapped product visible. This is definitely something the shops have to sort out because there is absolutely no need for a jolly good cucumber to be trapped inside a plasticky wrap, or bunches of bananas to be sold in bags. Leaving it to the consumer to ‘demand’ loose stuff is asking too much in my opinion. Although, a merry band of anti-plastic protesters near Bristol staged a plastic attack – dumping all the excess packaging right there in the shop, so you never know. Perhaps soon things might start to change.
In the meantime, more baking potatoes for us. Yummy. And my (chimp) children can still have their bananas.
Supermarkets… you need to up your game.
If you like this then please share… if every person can even convince just one more friend to change their habits, we’ll be on our way to a better future.