I came across an article the other day which worried me a bit: Are Reusable Shopping Bags Making Us Sick   The article went on to say that “studies seem to link reusable grocery bags to food borne illness” along with the increase in stolen food.

Well, it was the illness part that concerned me and I would hope that people would read the entire article before passing judgement as it goes on to add that although different microbes were found and “more than half the bags contained some sort of coliform bacteria” what the study didn’t say were the specific strains of E. coli found in the bags.  According to Dr. Susan Fernyak, director of San Francisco’s Communicable Disease and Control Prevention division, “Your average healthy person is not going to get sick from the bacteria that were listed,”

I can remember as a child, my mother always used string bags or a cane basket to do her shopping.  It was in the days before supermarkets and we would go to the butcher, (who wrapped the meat in brown paper), then onto the vegetable market, the baker and the grocer for flour/sugar etc.  None of the items were put in plastic, in fact, other than the meat, I don’t remember anything else being wrapped…..oh, wait a minute, I think the bread was put into a paper bag.

I think the string bags would go through the wash periodically, but the cane basket I don’t know, she may have wiped it out.

Now I realize that the bacteria and other microbes bugs have mutated and become more vicious over the years, but maybe if those who use reusable bags are educated into making sure the bags are washed regularly we just might be able to win the war on plastic.

I did come across a string bag made from hemp:  www.allgreenthings.com   Having a “see through” bag would also stop the food being stolen as well.

Another thought – why doesn’t someone invent a thin disposable bag, (like the plastic bag), made from hemp….good for the environment, the growing of hemp is easy, sustainable and good for the land and it’s strong enough that bags won’t split.  Supermarkets would use these instead of the plastic bags and we could use them as bin liners.  Oh, that’s right, growing hemp is illegal unless under license.

Happy Eating
Fee
website:
  www.thevegetariancenter.com

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