Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Lettuce in a Bag

I am always amazed how quickly our (my) perceptions change. When I first saw lettuce being sold in plastic bags, I thought it was an absurd idea. I mean, really, who can't rip up their own lettuce? Then, time passed, and there were huge shelves of bagged lettuce, next to a smaller shelf of heads of lettuce. There was this idea that bagged lettuce stayed fresher, and it really was easier to just pour it out. Plus, that variety factor. I can't find baby spinach in my grocery store except in individual bags, and no one can use up 5 heads of lettuce fast enough to get that great bag of mixed greens. So, for a while I subscribed to the lettuce in a bag group. Then I started thinking about buying local and reducing packaging so I went back to buying "whole lettuce." Earlier this season I bought seeds for corn salad, and tried to look at the store to see if they sold it. Those bags don't even label what kinds of lettuce are in them! They just say "baby greens" but I can clearly see 3 different colors and several textures, why don't I have the right to know what I'm eating? Turns out corn salad is delicious, (mostly because it is fresh and 100% local), but, I would never have known about it shopping in the store. The real reason I was motivated to write this post though, is that last weekend my parents got me a bag of lettuce. I was disappointed at the plastic, but otherwise not terribly bothered. Guess what? It is now brown and slimy! Totally gross, the pets have been looking at me wondering if I really expect them to eat it (which I don't but I couldn't separate all the bad parts out). Heads of lettuce do not get slimy, they do not turn brown, they do not send me running to the sink to rid my hands of the goo my "stay fresh" lettuce is covered in. Heads of lettuce dry out a little, and thats okay, my pets like it that way, and I do too. In just a few years I've come a full 360 degrees. It makes me seriously consider how many other things I do, that I never would have dreamed of in the past, simply because they have become commonplace.

Its almost like what's happened with Obama. Everyone is crying out for oil, since they think it will solve their problems. Can I blame him for wondering if they are right? No, I can't, but I can blame everyone who keeps quiet even though they know that more drilling locations (when so many aren't even being used) will not solve our problems. Let your voice be heard, let your ideas become so commonplace that people will wonder how they ever thought differently. Write to Obama and tell all your friends here: http://www.environmental-action.org/enviroaction.asp?id=2637

Feel free to use the letter I wrote below, or create your own.

Sen. Obama,

I was so impressed when I heard that you were the only presidential candidate who opposed granting oil companies a tax reprieve to drop gas prices for the summer. I am sure you understand my dismay now that I hear you are willing to consider any increase in offshore oil drilling. More oil drilling will mean more oil spills, more destruction to our ocean ecosystems, and a continuation of our dependence on oil.

Please support bold new clean energy programs, and not the dirty and dangerous answers from the past. Those who are complaining now will truly thank you for it in the future, because decreasing our dependence on oil means we can have a happy and healthy one.

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