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Jan 18, 2007 07:34 PM

Grocery Store Wraps Produce in Styrofoam and Plastic!

Why? I was at the store the other day and wanted to purchase 2 or 3 jalapenos. The only option? A package of 10 wrapped jalapenos. Same thing with bell peppers (two/package), tomatillos (5/package), zuchinni, cucumber, fennel, the list goes on. I'm so tempted to tear a package open and just take what I want to the register, but I know I should talk to the store manager.

Why do they do this? Any others out there have this problem? If so, what have you done or do you just deal?

Don't know what to do with all those jalapenos!

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  1. If it was packaged by the store I make them open the package and give me what I want. If it is packaged by a vendor, Holly Farms Chickens and the like they won't do it. I am surprised to see produce done that way, that type of packaging makes the produce deteriorate more rapidly.

    1. Exaclty, and you can't even TELL the quality of the produce because it's wrapped. I'm going in this evening to have a little chat.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bklyngrl

        Yes it is also a major source of wasteful packing that will end up in the landfill and is not biodegradable!!!

      2. Trader Joe's does this with almost all produce. Lots of anti-TJ postings on the Chains board mention this frequently as a complaint, but I actually prefer packaged produce in most situations.

        Here's why:

        -- If I buy small quantities of vegetables without packaging, they often get crushed or lost in my big canvas grocery bags.
        -- The checkout process is faster. The packaged produce doesn't need to be weighed -- just scanned.
        -- I don't like getting my hands wet handling loose produce in the market. There's plenty of time for that when I wash items at home.
        -- I can be confident that the produce I buy hasn't been pawed by lots of other shoppers.
        -- If the package contains more than I need, I can usually just make a bigger batch of whatever I'm cooking and freeze the excess.
        -- Produce is better protected from shoplifting, rolling on the floor, etc.

        I realize I'm probably in the minority on this issue, but I just wanted to say that not everyone dislikes packaged produce. As for the environmental impact, the packaging is usually #6, which is recyclable where I live. The standard tear-off plastic bags for unpackaged produce are not recyclable in my locality.

        1. I am not a big fan of the pre-packaged stuff and I am lucky that my local store rarely does it, but jalepeno peppers is one of them, shallots, the other.

          I usually just ask the produce manager, who I have a good relationship with if I can buy "just" what i need. Never a problem. Likewise I do this in the meat department as well. I only want 2 pork chops and they come packaged as a 3-some, ask Bobby to change and presto, its done.

          Never a prob.

          1. The oddest thing. My local Safeway, of all places, has started selling carrots and celery by the pound. I can buy one carrot or one stalk of celery. Confuses the dickens out of the checkout clerks so I have to be careful that they don't charge the per-bag or per-head prices.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MakingSense

              Yup, celery, carrots, beets, okra, turnips (!?), you name it, they do it. Seems the only things they don't package are fruit, potatoes, tomatoes and onions.