Sunday, October 7, 2007

Avoiding Plastic at the Grocery Store: Second Attempt

Tacos, tacos, tacos!! I went to the cozy Mexican grocery store near my house today and was pleased to remember that I can make these Mexican delights entirely plastic free. And now, I am full of tacos al pastor, and I'm very happy.

For the tacos, I bought:
  • tortillas, which I can get still warm and wrapped in wax paper in my neighborhood
  • carne al pastor, a.k.a. pork. The stuff I bought was marinated, but it was dry enough that I could get it wrapped in paper
  • cilantro, without a produce bag
  • onion, without a produce bag
  • a few limes, without a produce bag
And when I got home, all I had to do was heat the meat on medium-high for 5 minutes, chop up some onion and cilantro, and heat the tortillas up in the micro. That means yummy, fast, and plastic free!!

At the meat counter, I picked up some carne al pastor, as I mentioned, and a pound of deli ham. I had the guy at the meat counter wrap both things in paper, but I must say that it was a bit awkward. He definitely thought I was crazy for getting my stuff wrapped in paper, which I think is just strange. I mean, when did plastic become the norm for meat? It wasn't that long ago, was it?

Nothing too exciting here. I got a few heads of romaine, cabbage, limes, cilantro, and onion. I didn't put anything in produce bags.

Laughing Cow
I also bought some Laughing Cow Cheese, and it seems to be plastic free. Anyone have any input?

Shopping Guide
I updated my Guide, Everyday Products with Little or No Plastic Packaging, with the info I gathered today. Check it out for some tips on being more plastic-free-ish.


Anonymous said...

You're doing great! But I think Laughing Cow is kinda cheating. Yeah, I went that route a few times in the beginning, so I totally understand. But first of all, it's processed crap. And second, the foil or whatever the wrappers are made from aren't going to get recycled and aren't going to biodegrade. The box plus each individual wrapper are an awful lot of trash for each tiny wedge of cheese.

My decision has been to eat local, organic, good quality cheese in moderation even though it comes in plastic. I think it's better for the environment over all than Laughing Cow. Remember, you don't have to make the exact same pledge that Envirowoman has made. And you don't have to follow any of my suggestions either. You can make any rules for yourself that you want.

And if you are able to find plastic-free cheese that is good quality and doesn't come loaded with some other type of packaging, I'm dying to hear about it. But also remember that waxed paper is made from petroleum, too, and also doesn't biodegrade very easily.

Kudos on the rest of your purchases. It's awesome that you can get fresh tortillas that are not wrapped in plastic. And come to think of it, I can too at the Mexican Restaurant near my house. I never thought of shopping at a restaurant, but I'm totally going to do that now when have a tortilla jones.

LifeLessPlastic said...

Ah yes. I thought about the amount of packaging on the Laughing Cow when I was buying it, but I guess I'm just easing myself into this...or just desperately clinging to my old ways. :)

As for tortillas, I really love them, and it is really great that I can get them get them fresh, and I guess wax paper is at least better than plastic. Still, it stinks that wax paper doesn't biodegrade quickly.

As for eating local and organic, I've always shied away from that in the past because of the cost, but I think it's time to take the plunge and go for it. It obviously makes sense for me to do it now so I guess that means using less plastic is going to force me to eat healthier. That makes me happy.

Anyways, reducing my plastic consumption is indeed going to be difficult, and it's definitely going to take me a while to get the hang of it, and to learn everything I need to know. In the end, though, I think I'll make it through, but I'm pretty sure the only thing that will keep me going is the fact that I make my own bread and never have to worry about that.

isafranka said...

Well, I really try to get organic for must for the stuff I eat. Sometimes is more expensive yes I do what I can when I can. I also try to eat less fat and I found the al pastor marinade they have at goes great with fish, it makes some killer fish pastor tacos.

As for tortillas if you have the time you can make your own. there is a Mexican blend of corn called maseca. If you can get it you just mix it with water and salt. the instructions are right there and NO PLASTIC!!

Keep up the good work. I do carbon sequestration and neutralization. I can tell you that of all things that you can do to help the enviroment, avoiding plastic is THE single must important. Kudos!!

LifeLessPlastic said...

Thanks for the support Isa! And I'll check out that al pastor marinade. Sounds tasty!

Beatrice said...

you can make your own tortillas, it's a million times better!!!