Food Packaging: Has The World Gone Completely Mad?

I am slowly educating myself about my personal impact on the environment. It helps when you have a daughter who works in climate science, and who helpfully reminds you each time you forget your recycled bags at the supermarket about how many turtles you’ve just killed.

Photo by Vivianne Lemay on Unsplash

I admit that, (for my sins), I am still using wipes. Responsibility is a permanent battle between turning your back on the wonders of modern invention for the sake of something that still doesn’t feel quite real – at least for some. And what a bloody fantastic invention cleansing wipes are!

Needless to say, my education about how to respect the environment has been an embarrassing slow burn for my daughter The reef dying and the ice-caps melting doesn’t mean a lot until you are directly affected by it, and if I’m honest, (being somewhat set in my ways), I am only just coming to grips with my phone’s secret updates.

However, when you read articles like The Wasteland by Stephanie Wood in last weekend’s SMH, there’s no ignoring what’s happening.

While NC has done a great job of educating me about recycling, conserving energy, and sustainability, the issue of food wastage hasn’t come up yet – probably because it’s never been an issue in our house. Which is why the work of organisations such as Ozharvest (that Stephanie mentions) – a company that collects the food waste from supermarkets and hospitality to recycle it for the homeless and others in need – was such an eye-opener.

Interestingly, a friend and I had a similar idea (on a much smaller scale) a few months back, when we considered extending the idea of Kurt’s care packages, (ie. the several meals a week I deliver him to help him survive the days between one pay day to the next), to a batch for the homeless each month. Sadly, however, our idea was met by such a horrified response from our friends – who worried about the legal ramifications if we killed someone – we were forced to rethink.

What a very sad world we live in?

So while I may not be able to check which of the homeless are gluten-free, what I can do in my mission to become a middle-aged eco-warrior, is reduce the amount of plastic I use and increase awareness about the damage done by excess packaging. I was pondering over this very thing when I was in Woolworths the other day and I spotted these bags of fruit.

Yes, look again – your eyes do not deceive you. For these are indeed individually packaged bags of sliced apple for kids lunch boxes, helpfully contained in another package.

Now, my husband will verify that I can be a wasteful person and I am also fully aware that more and more parents work full time and don’t have the time to carve flowers out of carrots – hence, I will try not to cast stones – BUT WTF IS GOING ON? Our kids are marching in the streets, telling us how scared they are about climate change, and we can’t even slice an apple now?

Why do we need to package our fruit in plastic trays and then wrap it again in a second layer of plastic? Doesn’t it seem a little crazy that that we march happily around the supermarket feeling all smug about our recyclable canvas bags, when we’re carrying enough plastic inside them to cancel any benefit? In the old days – as in the Medieval times when I was a child – our parents took one bag to the market for their fruit and veg, which was poured directly into it from the scale. It was probably how I learned my basic maths skills. And in countries where diet is based on a farm-to-table principle, people continue to manage to cope with that system.

Aside from the addition of unnecessary landfill, the threat to wildlife and the environment, and the fact that the planet may self-combust in a few years, what does such a blatant lack of responsibility say to our kids about our privilege and our priorities?

I suspect that it’s that the world has gone fucking mad.

15 Of The Worst Parts About “Adulting”

ducks-2683034_1920No one warned us about “adulting”, did they? When I used to come home from uni to find Post-Its stuck around the house with messages in capitals like ‘put your shoes away’ or  ‘put the lid on the toothpaste’, I thought my dad was anal – or just old – and that when he wasn’t wasting what might be his last few breaths nagging me, he was having a high old time “adulting” – doing exactly what he wanted, when he wanted and with whom he wanted.


I never realized until I left home that there were special clauses attached to the perks of being able to eat what you want and go to bed when you want, such as “responsibility,” “commitment” and *spitting* “conformity”.


We’ve been luckier than most with NC to parent us, but I extend my sympathies to those other “immature as shit” parents that don’t have the luxury of a child who is twenty-three going on fifty when the demands of being an adult are foisted upon them. While many of my gripes about “adulting” correlate rather interestingly to the sacrifices of parenting – you have to agree, that there was definitely some parent-led conspiracy to ensure we made it to adulthood for payback, at the very least.

Here are my fifteen of my biggest peeves:

  1. Giving up your dreams. I’m still smarting about being led to believe I could become a fairy, and no-one told me that being Santa or a musician wouldn’t cover the rent.
  2. Having to give up that last cube of chocolate or hot chip – worse, that last drop of wine or piece of cheese – because it’s the right thing to do.
  3. The culmination of nos 1 + 2 = Being a role model.
  4. Having to act like all grown up at parent nights and uni tours.
  5. Having to think about what you CAN eat rather than what you WANT to eat once the concept of mortality kicks in. I miss you bacon.
  6. Having to do housework, not because you a) like it or b) are good at it, as the old man suspects, but because if you don’t do it you will be blamed for the massacre of your entire family when they die of some horrible disease caused by the bacteria squatting in your bench top.
  7. Brown-nosing at work – anyone hear the term “office politics” when you had the ‘follow your dreams’ talk’ with your parents? Thought not. No one warned you about many paid hours you’d spend biting your lip, hiding in the toilets inscribing the name of the person you hated the most into the cubicle door and watching your back in the photocopying room.
  8. Having to drink responsibly – the Urban Dictionary’s definition: ‘Realizing that just because you CAN drink doesn’t necessarily make it a good idea.’
  9. Being the responsible driver – FML.
  10. Requiring sleep to function like a rational human being.
  11. Being the nominated lifesaver – apparently, this means that rather than throwing your kid to the shark to save your life, you are expected to offer up your own.
  12. Money management. Who knew how much easier it is to spend than to save?
  13. Accountability – being made to feel bad even when you’re trying your best.
  14. Responsibility for the Internet – the knowledge that the mental health of your family rests on the flashing green light on your modem.
  15. Role modeling – or did I mention that already?


Anything to add?