Friday, June 24, 2011

On Acquisitions, Consumption and Produce Bags

I am not, or ever have been, a Trekkie. I'm spelling it here with two Ks only because Google made me. That Google is also an aggregator* of Trekkies should not come as a surprise. I would have spelled it with one K, but I guess it follows the same rule as doggie, nutter, and coffee. Mmmm...coffee.

Anyhoo, at some point in the not-too-distant past, I came across the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, which are a must read. The Ferengi were an extraterrestrial race from Star Trek and they were obsessed with profit, sort of like the Underpant Gnomes from South Park.  In addition to the Rules, there are also the Five Stages of Acquisition, delineated here:

1. Infatuation: An unreasoning love or attraction … "I want it."
2. Justification: Moral excuse used to explain … "I must have it!"
3. Appropriation: To take to one's self in exclusion of others … "It's mine at last!"
4. Obsession: A compulsive or irrational preoccupation … "Precious!"
5. Resale: The action of selling something previously bought … "Make me an offer."

The time span between Obsession and Resale is amusing to consider. I prefer to think of it as split second, as flightiness is always funnier than being deliberate.

But it's necessary to be deliberate about meal planning and shopping to eat well. And doing your part to reduce waste requires taking responsibility for what you consume. Carting home market acquisitions in reusable bags has become a practice for many, but reusable produce bags are still up and coming. I began using these ones about a year ago after seeing many friends from Telluride using similar ones. The Town of Telluride went so far as to ban the use of paper and plastic grocery sacks, but plastic produce bags are still on display like those giant slabs of meat skewered and rotating before a vertical rotisserie in the window of  Greek restaurant. Well, there are no Greek restaurants in Telluride, or vertical rotisseries. My point was that many of the most environmentally friendly markets are still supplying plastic bags for produce.

Using reusable produce bags demands having an adequate supply of them, as some will remain in your fridge preventing the formation of fruit unions. I have five, and probably need five more. My system is to return my reusable grocery sacks to the car soon after unpacking them. The produce bags get tucked inside so they're right where I need them. Having a few more of them will really help. I often find myself at the market with only one or two reusables and need to supplement with plastic.

You can pick up the bags in many grocery stores. I like mine because they have a handy drawstring and they're washable. They make no claims about keeping produce fresh for longer, so you might look for something in that category if that's a concern for you.

Have a great weekend!

* Different from an alligator only in the shape of the jaw.

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