Wednesday, August 19, 2009

why TRADER JOE'S blows

If the image to the left was in an opening scene of a film, it might be foreshadowing a landfill or perhaps the biopsy of a sea animal revealing a digestive track filled with plastic.

This is not a horror movie. This is your friendly neighborhood Trader Joe's.

Don't get me wrong--the prices at Trader Joe's are out of this world. But all of the plastic used to wrap the vegetables will be staying on this planet forever (not to mention interfering with the natural decomposing of other biodegradable products in the landfill).

It has come to the point where I buy everything from Trader Joe's besides produce, and journey elsewhere for my vegetables.

However, I am still deeply bothered by this egregious waste of plastic and disregard for natural resources. Today, I decided to locate the manager of a nearby Trader Joe's and finally get my question answered. "Why are all of your vegetables contained and wrapped in plastic?"

He explained to me that since Trader Joe's does not have scales at the register, everything needs to be pre-weighed and packaged so it can be scanned at check-out.

Are you kidding me? Get a grip, get a scale, and get this unnecessary plastic out of my face. You can let Trader Joe's know how you feel about this by sending a comment here.

Lastly, I would just like to offer this gentle reminder: there is no need to use plastic bags when collecting unwrapped vegetables from whichever super market you shop. You can simply place all of your vegetables in a reusable bag, and your produce is weighed appropriately at the register.

As a person with OCD tendencies, I do sympathize with the undeniable need to separate and control that many shoppers may experience. In such a case, I would suggest re-using the plastic produce baggies.


Alex said...

Thank you for this post. Apparently Trader Ho's claims to use some biodegradable plastic? but not with all the veggies? Not exactly sure which ones though. Im also curious, would this change in wrapping increase or decrease overall costs for us?

Vanessa said...

I am going to investigate the alleged biodegradable packing materials. I feel like if that were the case, the manager would have mentioned it while I was grilling him.

I think the consumer would save money if the packaging was eliminated, because then one could purchase only the 2 needed onions instead of a whole bag (and then the extras goes bad yada yada)

The only economic issue would be how much the scales cost, and if/to what extent that cost is passed down to the consumer.

My amateur googling reveals a range from 21-600 dollars per scale. (big range, who knows...I would request a customized estimate if I wasn't supposed to be reading for torts and econ)

Justin said...



Watch Future of Food! Will blow your mind!!!