Bear with me while I explain how this breakfast sandwich is helping save the planet. (CARB LOVERS, THIS IS WHAT WE'VE BEEN TRAINING FOR. And if I wasn't a cheese addict, it would have been 100% plastic free.)
Do you ever think about how far your food travels to reach your table? And how much energy is required to grow, fertilize, refrigerate, package, and ship that item to you? Or that same path for each of the ingredients it takes to make that food product? And how much energy your supermarket burns through in terms of lights, AC, and refrigeration?
The energy usage of growing/producing aside, you may have noticed that I have a thing about packaging.
Given that there may be more plastic in our ocean than fish by 2050, we should all care. This is no longer on some future generation's lifespan.
There's so much to love about the West Ashley Farmer's market: the music, the local produce, and so many delicious other foods. Plus, it's pretty nice to breathe some fresh air and meet your neighbors!
As I was wandering last week's market, I got so excited about all the tasty fruits and veggies, but even more so about some of the other products and their packaging. Local pesto, artisan ravioli, and fancy schmancy ketchup! "Excited about ketchup? You need to get out more," you say. Ok, yes, but look at this packaging:
Not a bit of plastic in sight. Now, look at this:
Big ole plastic bottle with a plastic seal inside, and a hard plastic top. Aren't two of those things recyclable though? Yes, but not in the same way. Or with the same level of result. More importantly, that local ketchup used a fraction of the fossil fuels to reach my table, and used local strawberries as the sweetener, not high fructose corn syrup processed and shipped in from God-knows-where. AND IT TASTES LIKE HEAVEN, Y'ALL. (Did you read that in Paula Dean's voice? You did, didn't you. Jerk.)
Still not sold on the farmer's market? Check out these gorgeous ravioli I snagged from Rio Bertolinis! If you are still eating dried pasta that tastes like cardboard, I hope you're a broke college student.
If you've realized life is too short to eat crappy carbs, welcome to team #CarbWoke, and if you live in Charleston and haven't discovered Rio Bertolini's delicious raviolis with ever-changing stuffings, we need to talk. Look at that packaging, though!
Cardboard and parchment paper. So simple. Neither of those things will be here in 500 years, unlike whatever you're picking up at Whole Foods this week. (Bring your own reusable shopping bag though!)
Because carbs are literally a huge part of me right now (anyone else having trouble making it to the gym these days?), I obviously beelined for Evo bakery. Look at this lovely lil semolina loaf, in its simple recyclable brown bag:
My final simple packaging win at the farmer's market this week - and I by no means mean this is a comprehensive list, I'm just on a budget here - was my usual one dozen local farm fresh eggs. These are a staple in my house! And where my supermarket is awash in plastic and styrofoam, my lovely egg vendor keeps 'em nestled in cardboard.
So, for those of you not ready to take the Meal Without Plastic Challenge but who have mentioned that like me you're interested in making better choices more frequently, your local farmers market is a great option for a lot of different reasons, from packaging and food miles and eating seasonally to supporting local business and interacting with your neighbors... but the best reason is you can use those local ingredients to make a breakfast sandwich like this:
Queens don't eat this well, y'all... though they eat with more poise and class.