|Ground turkey packaged straight from the |
butcher counter into my Pyrex container.
Although I aspire to being disposable-plastic-free, I am far from there, particularly in the realm of food. But I do try to draw a line somewhere, and the line I have drawn is this: I do not buy meat packaged on styrofoam trays. Not even the organic ground turkey at Costco, even though it is quite a good price for organic ground turkey.
When I decided to stop purchasing meat packaged in styrofoam, I resolved to instead buy ground turkey at the meat counter in Whole Foods, so I could have it packaged in my own reusable glass Pyrex containers. After using the meat, I could just put the Pyrex through the dishwasher and store until my next meat purchase. I could also use them for any other raw meat I bought at Whole Foods.
In the end, I think I used the Pyrex containers for my raw meat purchases from the butcher counter 2 or 3 times total. And then I stopped bringing the Pyrex and just bought my meat packaged in butcher paper.
Because it was all just a little too much of a hassle. Whole Foods is a good 20+ minutes away from me and I only get there once every month or two, which means that I wander through every aisle trying hard not to forget anything, and by the end of the trip my three children are no longer model citizens. And I already had trouble remembering the insulated bag and then prioritizing what would actually go inside so all my expensive refrigerated goods (like meat) would not spoil during the pack up and trip home. And the glass containers are breakable and heavy -- both tough to negotiate with little ones in the cart. So I gave up. Although I do think butcher paper is a big step up from styrofoam trays. (Anyone know exactly what the inside of butcher paper is lined with, by the way?) I never went back to styrofoam trays. And I do buy less meat in general than I used to.
But should I still be taking those empty Pyrex containers to Whole Foods? Is it worth the effort to avoid throwing butcher paper in the trash?* I honestly don't know. But I sometimes find myself wrestling with this question when it comes to making green changes: is the hassle worth the effort? And if I only have a finite amount of effort to try to green our lifestyle, where is the most important place to apply it?
[*Confession: I don't compost. That's one of many reasons why I'm still the Eco-novice.]
So I ask you, Boothers:
- When you purchase meat, what is it packaged in?
- How do you avoid disposable packaging for raw meat?
- Are there any green changes you have abandoned because they didn't seem worth the effort?