Saturday, June 19, 2010

Things I hate: Microwaveable 'convenience' foods

(Photo: Gawker)

As a reminder, Things I Hate generally:

- are made of plastic
- are meant to be used once and tossed away
- are not in any way recyclable
- appeal to people's vanity and desire for instant gratification
- strive to create a need where there was none before
- are recently created streams of pure waste

Microwaveable convenience foods skeeve me out, and not just because they never, ever look like the picture on the box when prepared. First, there's the waste issue. By the time you are done there's practically more packaging waste than food, and most of it is plastic.

For another thing, there's the act of microwaving food in plastic. Knowing what we know now about plastic and heat, it boggles my mind that there are hugely profitable companies designing entire lines of food that are heated in their own 'disposable' plastic containers. (I haven't looked at any of these things in the store lately- what kind of plastic do they use for the dishes? Is it BPA free? Recyclable? Has any consumer group even asked about this??) Here, have some toxic chemicals with your mass produced, highly processed meal! Yech. How much longer before the thought of heating food in plastic becomes anathema? That day will come, I'm pretty sure of it.

I also object to the whole aesthetic. Who wants to eat or even serve food out of a dish that looks like it should contain dog food? (And that is what the food more or less looks like in reality anyway...)

Then there is the whole mass production issue. Mass production enables millions of people to be fed for relatively little money- a plus. But it comes with risks- like the mass distribution of yummy, yummy salmonella.

Microwaveable convenience foods: how convenient are they, really?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tomorrow is No Plastic Day. Who Knew?

I only just found out that tomorrow, June 8, is "No Plastic Day". No worries here- where every day is No Plastic Day! Or at least As-little-plastic-as-I-can-get-away-with Day...

If you would like to participate, here are details from No Plastic Day's web page-- and they're pretty simple, so why just make it a one day thing?

Participate in No Plastic Day

No Plastic Day is a world wide event intended to bring awareness of the over consumption of disposable plastic goods such as plastic bags and bottles. It is well known that there are floating islands of trash in most of the world's oceans. The huge amounts of plastic trash we all discard daily doesn't decompose, doesn't break down, and most of it is toxic to the animals that accidentally consume it. The current rate of plastic consumption is not sustainable and is starting to create a huge problem for marine life particularly. Fish eat toxic plastic bits. We catch the fish and eat the fish. Its only a matter of time before we've polluted our own food supplies with plastic trash.

What you can do on No Plastic Day - June 8, 2010

* No plastic bags - If you buy something from a store on No Plastic Day, bring your own bags. If you don't have any cloth or paper bags, just reuse the plastic bags you already have. They'll never biodegrade so you might as well reuse them if you already have them.

* No plastic bottles - Drink water from the tap or buy drinks in aluminum cans or glass bottles if you must.

* Limit your garbage - Almost everything you throw away is made of plastic. By limiting the garbage you create, you will reduce your plastic waste as well.

* Be creative - Everyone's situation is different and you will need to customize your own situation for No Plastic Day. Be creative. Reuse, recycle, and reduce your waste. Consider it a personal experiment to find ways you can create less garbage and try to use no disposable plastics.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pic of the Day

(Picture via Huffington Post)

Petroleum marine pollution on the beach, coated in its own layer of petroleum marine pollution.