We finally made it into Tastings a couple hours ago to check out the newly-opened diggs. During my last visit (before the gourmet market opened), owner Maria Kahn, mentioned that she was going to be introducing eco-friendly packaging to her customers. Today, when we ordered her mind-blowing Aji-Ah-Hot Peruvian hot sauce (for our vegetarian Rusty Chain Sloppy Joe sliders), it was handed to us in a plastic-looking container. Without missing a beat, Maria said, “Don’t worry, it’s made from corn. If you hold it under a running water faucet it will eventually dissolve. Or it’s compost-able in 90 days.” Now I’ve seen styrofoam-looking packaging peanuts made from corn that melt when you touch them to your tongue, but this was a new one for me. Why aren’t more businesses experimenting with this sort of eco-friendly packaging?
I am constantly amazed when I walk down the aisles of larger food markets. Packaging appears to be king everywhere you look. I’ve seen individually packaged bananas for sale. Doesn’t a banana have a natural sin to protect it until it is opened? And what’s up with the packaging for Grapple (see below)? What is Grapple (found at Wegmans) and why does it need to be sold in a plastic container when it obviously has the skin of an apple? There are certain measures that store owners and managers can take to keep excess waste to a minimum. I recently purchased cottage cheese (at The Lexington Co-op) that came in a reusable container (as they all are), but the company had dedicated space on the packaging for consumers to jot down foods (for future identification when reused). It was the reason that I tried the product. Now that’s thinking.
Over the last couple of years my girlfriend and I have amassed quite the collection of plastic containers that we constantly wash and reuse. When we’re finished with the Tastings hot sauce, I’ll have to remember to keep the packaging out of the dishwasher – if you’ve got a child this could be a pretty interesting scientific experiment. Just watch his or her expression when you open the dishwasher and all of the containers have disappeared into thin air. Or is that trick too corny?
Tastings | 1595 Elmwood Avenue | (716) 440-8682