January 30th, 2013

Why is There Plastic Wrap on That?

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Groovy Green Livin Why is there plastic wrapPlastic wrap is my nemesis.  Have you ever asked yourself  ‘why is there plastic wrap on that?’

I have never touted myself as perfect when it comes to green living, but there are some things that seem so simple, so intuitive that it’s beyond me why they happen.

Take for example this organic cucumber that I recently bought at the market. Yes, it was wrapped in plastic wrap.

Groovy Green Livin Why is there plastic wrap

My kids love cucumbers and this was the only organic version available. I’m having a hard time with this one. Plastic wrap on a cucumber? It reminds me of Del Monte wrapping their organic bananas in plastic. They added a layer of plastic wrap to a fruit that comes with its own natural, biodegradable packaging. Cucumbers, like bananas, have a peel. Maybe its not as thick as a banana peel, but still.

Needlessly covering fruits and vegetables with plastic wrap is an enormous waste. Also (and probably more important on my end) I really don’t want plastic touching anything I’m going to eat.

So I was torn. Standing there in the supermarket staring at the fruits and vegetables I saw a sea of plastic wrap. My choice was to buy the organic cucumber or leave it behind. I opted for the cucumber along with the plastic wrap.

I wonder if plastic wrap is really necessary for packing fruits and vegetables? If packaging is needed for transporting produce there must be a better alternative.

What do you think about plastic packaging on a cucumber or any other fruit or vegetable?

Wordless Wednesday, a simple post which features photos to convey a message that speaks for itself without using many words.

In honor of  not-so Wordless Wednesday I’ve linked up with Better in Bulk, Dagmar’s MomsenseLive and Love Out Loud, Project AliciaMama Dweeb, and I Thought I Knew Mama.

photo credit: Ksayer1 via photopin cc

16 Responses to “Why is There Plastic Wrap on That?”

  1. hmm…..what a great point!! I really don’t understand the purpose of the plastic wrap…..
    Annie @ Mama Dweeb recently posted..WW ~ she mastered the poutMy Profile

  2. Whenever I buy English cucumbers, organic or not, they always come in that plastic. I never really knew why. I am thinking it’s because the skin is much thinner than a traditional cucumber? It might get beat up in transport.
    Andrea @ This Pug Life recently posted..Pug Goes To WorkMy Profile

  3. You’re right, Lori, that is absolutely ridiculous–to take something grown without chemicals and then put a layer of chemicals that can leach into it. Yuck! Why indeed!
    Joy @ Joyfully Green recently posted..Instantly Greener: Idle ThoughtsMy Profile

  4. More and more I am finding it is the organic produce that is wrapped in plastic or in plastic bags while the non-organic produce is not at all. I really wonder why this is?
    Jen @ Go Green recently posted..Flat Rock Cellars – Going Beyond Organic WineMy Profile

  5. I’m guessing that the purpose is that it makes people think it’s more protected and special. Most packaging decisions are marketing decisions. You know the plastic doesn’t make a difference, but you still bought it, so they probably aren’t losing consumers over plastic guilt. But they are probably gaining buyers subconsciously because it stands out from the unwrapped conventional cucumbers.

  6. Are retailers concerned about contamination now that they can’t deny the conventional stuff is doused in pesticides? This absurdity underscores the need to get our food as locally as possible. Now, if I could just get an organic banana tree to grow in my backyard so I could avoid plastic-wrapped organic bananas shipped from thousands of miles away…
    Anne recently posted..Stringy Beans and Simple LivingMy Profile

  7. Oh my gosh, BIGGEST pet peeve. How about those “ready to microwave” potatoes? I’d been microwaving potatoes for years before they started to wrap them in plastic. I once asked a grocery store employee why all the organic produce was individually wrapped in plastic and he had the nerve to tell me that it was required of organic produce. WHAT?
    Tricia recently posted..A Little Break From the Norm…My Profile

  8. Was that from Trader Joe’s? They tend to use a lot of plastic wrap on their produce. It’s one thing that bugs me about that store.
    Micaela @MindfulMomma recently posted..Reformulated Tide and Other Changemaker StoriesMy Profile

  9. I can’t stand plastic wrap on vegetables!!! one of the reasons I dont’ like shopping at Trader Joe’s. Nature has its own packaging, the fruit skin/peel!

  10. Great question. I try to avoid plastic wrap, I just never really got its purpose. Yes Micaela, Trader Joe’s is king of plastic wrap!
    Tiffany’s Toy Box recently posted..A little BIG BirthdayMy Profile

  11. I’m guessing the plastic is to prevent the chemicals and pesticides from the non-organic versions from rubbing off and hence, contaminating the organic item. Maybe it already happened? Someone bought an organic item got it home and tested it or an allergic reaction and the result was some crazy massive lawsuit. Only in America 🙂

  12. […] that you won’t support their silliness.  Lori of Groovy Green Livin’ says we should encourage them to use safer and less wasteful packaging – that is IF they really need any packaging at […]

  13. […] Popsicle molds are made out of plastic or silicone and I really don’t want plastic touching anything I’m going to eat. Thanks to a […]

  14. I realize it seems silly to have plastic wrap on Organic items but one thing I have learned is that if you plastic wrap lets say cucumbers not only does it help not get damaged in shipping but makes the cucmber last longer in the store. no need for this on non organic as much because they last longer they are made that way, also more people buy the “cheaper” cucmbers and go through them faster so the organic ones sit on the shelf longer. I am sure in the future their will be a better way to package them safer, healthier and earth conscious. Hope this info helped!

  15. I felt the best thing to do was to ask the market, because I know retailers will not do something just for fun, or waste if it costs money and I knew, produce has been in plastic for over 15 years, starting with Trader Joe’s, who had tomatoes in plastic for a decade..The market told me, it was cleaner, better protection from the air-conditioner since Veggies are NOT to be refrigerated, talk about a waste, from bugs on them, people touching them, and so on..Just use your head people…Why would a market wash the heck out of a veggy then let you and 43 other people touch it with your nasty dirty hands? The list of good reasons go on but when someone has a gag reflex on something, with no knowledge of it, this is a waste of text also

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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