July 2012

Rising prices again

The cost of groceries continues to rise because of crops.

I have been hearing all week about the prices of groceries being on the rise. The subject that is causing this is the lack of rain. It seems that there are a lot of areas in this country that have suffered from droughts. This has an effect on many different things, including the price of groceries.

It is amazing to me to think about all of these things and how they work together. It starts in this case with a lack of rain. This leads to bad crops. Bad crops lead to a shortage of crops and that is when prices rise. These crops are now more valuable because there is a demand for them yet there is a shortage of them. 

Seattle bans plastic grocery bags

Plastic grocery bags can be a real scourge. They are made with petroleum, which we KIND OF need for other things (like transportation). Their creation involves tons of toxic chemical byproducts. They are so flimsy that you end up getting 20 of them per grocery trip, since just about everything has to be double-bagged.

They exemplify our "single use" culture, since you're lucky to get one more use out of them - at least half of them split before you can finish unpacking your groceries! They take up landfill space, recycle poorly, and have an unfortunate tendency to become airborne, flying into our trees, fences, and into our oceans, where they destroy marine life.

Considering all the down side to plastic grocery bags, it hardly seems that the minor bit of convenience they offer is really worth it! And clearly Seattle feels the same way, because its plastic grocery bag went into effect as of July 1st.
 
Plastic grocery bags will no longer be provided for customers at check-out. However, plastic bags are still available for produce and meat purchases. Paper bags are available for customers who forget their tote bags, but most stores are tacking on an extra five or 10 cent fee to cover their cost.