I have decided that one of two things must happen: Either I must stop reading articles about anything resembling something smart or a scientific study (and perhaps just focus on things my brain can apparently handle like “Spice Up Your Kitchen Colors!” or “She’s left him and she’s PREGNANT” which are the only other magazine choices in the grocery store) OR, I need to understand these scientific study for what they are worth – HUMOR. Because no one can live seriously after reading any of sort of this pop science and how it affects real life nowadays.
What set me off this time was what I read in a magazine about healthy eating and grocery bags. Apparently they had done a scientific study and tested reusable shopping bags from various homes to see if there was poop in them. Not kidding. This was right next to the recipe for how to make kale edible, which I’d like to know, because it isn’t, and I’d like it to be. Now, before we get to the point of the study, I’d like to talk about the hierarchy of grocery bags. If you don’t do the grocery shopping then go ahead and go back to reading the Economist or whatever. This is important.
So when you arrive at the grocery store, you better have your own bags. God help you if you don’t have your own bags. Your empty-handed empty-cart drooped-head of shame will be met with sneers of “did you bring your bags today” as though you are so stupid you also forgot your pants, car, children and own name. You must bring bags or you shall suffer ridicule. Those that bring their own bags then fit into one of three tiers.
Bottom tier is plastic. The horror of being caught with a plastic bag which will NEVER decompose is basically as bad as if you’ve taken a giant permanent dump in the landfills, and god help you if your neighbor actually SEES you doing this environmental FU, they’ll know that you hate them and their children and are trying to burn the Earth to the GROUND.
Middle tier is paper bags. You know plastic is evil, but you hate trees. You can use those a few times, stuff some newspapers in it because you are OLD and can’t read the news online like the hipsters, and recycle it because you think you’ve done good. Wrong. The only people in the top tier of grocery etiquette are the people with REUSABLE bags.
And some people in the top tier have lovely matching bags for all 12 giant bags of groceries full of fresh organic veggies and some of us have non-matching slightly embarrassing free tote bags from the kids shoe store (PEDIPED!) and the plumber (PIPEWORKS!) and sometimes if we’re lucky the lady who makes the awesome stuffed bread at the farmers market (MANGIA!) So imagine the horror and vindication all mixed up with a bow on top that comes over me when I read this study about the reusable bags. The bags that we all use not because we want to, but because we are shamed into it like many other “good” social causes.
The people (“scientists”) conducting this study wait at the grocery stores and they follow people home and they walk into their kitchens and they swab the insides of their reusable bags of morality. And guess what they find. 90% of the bags have POOP in them. POOP! And MORE POOP than underwear! Which is gross, the underwear part, I mean, because I assumed there was no poop in there either. Not on purpose anyway. So here we are, bringing our bags back week after week after week and apparently there is poop all over my tomatoes.
Now, here’s the thing. I admit I am slightly addled some (much) of the time, but I don’t remember noticing, selecting, or purchasing poop during any of my various shopping trips. And I don’t remember it being given out as a free sample, so I must be missing something. Where is the poop coming from in the first place? Because isn’t that the real story in regards to this grocery-related problem? Not my choice of grocery bag to keep said poop upon? I’m guessing if I were bottom or middle tier with my plastic or paper bags I would also have poop in there, but since we don’t reuse those as much it isn’t a problem. They go to the landfill with the rest of the poop. But now somehow I am part of the problem because I brought home The Top Tier Turd Totes too many times without washing them. So now I need to add to my list to eat organic, buy local, bring my own Turd Tote and then WASH the reusable bag that is supposed to be better for the world. And while I’m at it, I’ll need some kale. Because let’s also add eating food that tastes like turds to the list. I bet there’s a study for that too.