He said, she said: A chicken story

I’d like to report on a little conversation I had with Grant a couple weeks back. Nearly verbatim.

Me: Hey, I just noticed that Ballard Market does indeed have rotisserie chickens! They’re only $8 instead of $10 like at Whole Foods, and they’re from Draper Valley Farms (the same place I got our awesome Thanksgiving turkey from!), which is a much closer farm that raises their poultry WAY more sustainably than the crappy California one that does the theoretically natural Whole Foods chickens. (Michael Pollan wrote a whole exposé on them in The Omnivore’s Dilemma.) And they’re brined with a much healthier solution than usual; it’s less salty and it’s all natural, not like those gross QFC ones that are cheap but full of corn syrup and nitrates. But they aren’t super obvious because they’re not pre-packaged; you have to actually talk to the deli staff to get one. So please try to remember that next time you shop there, and try to remember to get them from there over other groceries whenever you can, OK? There’s one in the fridge right now if you want some, and I just stuck it in there so it’s probably still warm. I gotta run.

Him: So… what you’re saying is… there’s chicken in the fridge… and it’s really good.

Whole Foods hypocrisy

Whole Foods officially discontinued their awesomely durable, heavy-duty plastic bags as of Earth Day this year.

So what are they offering instead? Paper. Yep, tree-harvested, not-so-sustainable paper. Sure, I know paper bags biodegrade, but they also disintegrate in the rain and require us to chop down and process trees.*

I kept hoping they’d replace their plastic bags with alternatives like bamboo or corn, which are sustainable and biodegradable, but feel like plastic. These bags are also super-durable and don’t fall apart when wet — a major concern of mine here in Seattle, since I sometimes try to walk to the grocery store instead of driving, and I can’t always plan ahead in order to carry my canvas bags.

But the word from Whole Foods is that those alternatives are too high of a price point for Whole Foods. I could understand this in theory for a smaller organization, but Whole Foods has plenty of money with which to be more responsible. They should a) suck it up and do it anyway, since it’s not like they’re losing money in their business; and/or b) start charging customers for the bags. So friggin’ simple.

And the real kicker? The Whole Foods delis switched from paper containers to plastic shortly after the bag changeover. Yeah, take a minute to let that sink in. Now I not only can’t walk home in the rain with my groceries, but I also can’t microwave my deli dinner in its container. How’s that for green logic?

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