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16 March 2009

The Consort is on Catalina Island this week (lucky!), so I did the food shopping this weekend — that’s usually his thing. At the natural foods store, I went to the bulk herbs counter to replenish our basil, chili powder, and thyme.

Some of their herbs are organic (red labels), some are not (green labels). Now, I’m all for clear labeling; I’m all for giving people choice; I’m all for the possible quality difference* of organic vs. non-organic foods. But really, do we need separate scoops** for organic and non-organic herbs and spices?

Whatever pesticide residue is left on those basil leaves is surely nonexistant by the time it’s been dried, processed, shipped, and ready for purchase. Or, putting it another way, if you are THAT sensitive to pesticides, you must already be dead.

New age shops are great places to find useful and necessary items. It’s just the new-agers I can’t stand.

*These are big-name organics — I just don’t trust those as much as small local organics.
**What they should have are green, brown, and orange scoops — who wants cinnamon powder mixed in with their rosemary, I ask you?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Cateling permalink
    16 March 2009 8:40 pm

    My co-op has a “clean scoops” bin and a “dirty scoops” bin.

    I think that about covers it.

  2. 17 March 2009 9:36 am

    It’s the same thing with the store coffee grinders (organic vs. non-organic). Personally, I don’t give it much thought, but I suppose it’s a matter of principal/aesthetics. When you’re paying for organics (price, quality, etc.), you don’t want to have to use a scoop or grinder coated (however minutely) in Roundup.

  3. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    17 March 2009 4:04 pm

    Cate: That’s sounds more reasonable to me.

    Wil: I suppose. But even with coffee (and I usually get decaf), I wouldn’t freak if the same grinder does both caffeinated and decaffeinated. That may just be me, though!

  4. 18 March 2009 4:19 am

    Shouldn’t every bin just have its own scoop? (I haven’t shopped at a store like that in so long, I have no idea how they work!)

    But I wouldn’t want oregano in my basil. Horrors! /snark

  5. 21 March 2009 1:10 pm

    If the trading standards officer comes about and wants to check that the items are correctly labelled organic, there mustn’t be a risk that they’ve been contaminated by pesticides etc from the other herbs. I’m surprised that the shop doesn’t sell organic stuff pre-packed (however illogical it sounds for the ‘greener’ option) because of the risk of cross-contamination.

  6. 23 March 2009 6:12 am

    Lordy, they’ll never get the price of natural foods down if it includes a lot of special handling. I thought it was absurd a few weeks ago when the fellow at the Wegman’s deli counter changed his gloves to slice my organic, uncured ham…

  7. 24 March 2009 12:11 am

    Well, try being the store manager and handling one or two complaints, with threats of exposing you in Spare Change.

    If you’re already being precious about charging more for organic, and customers are trusting you to deliver purity for price, I think you have to go the extra scoop.

    You washed your hands before you handled the stuff, didn’t you? I have video…

  8. Peaceable Imperatrix permalink*
    24 March 2009 7:19 am

    That’s the thing, Phil! I would imagine that the risk of contamination from someone’s dirty hands on the re-used handles would be much grosser.

    Marcy, sounds like your Wegman’s is like this co-op. *Sigh*

    Z, they pre-package the fresh-ground peanut butter. I don’t appreciate that because it isn’t as fresh-ground as if I did it myself — but it’s only a big deal in my mind.

    Kathy, I think the reason they don’t have scoops in the jars is because of the dirty-hands concern. The bins with oats, millet, etc., do have their own scoops, but they are kept outside each bin, so hopefully there isn’t any contamination from the handle. But yeah! Who would eat your food if they couldn’t be sure if it was basil or oregano in there? 😉

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