Monday, November 27, 2006

Does the supermarket sell humble pie?

I never thought I'd say this, but Dot and I actually had a very satisfying morning at the local supermarket, Pecks. We entered disconsolately, certain to find nothing to fit our principles, and the total lack of any organic items in the fresh produce section did little to lift our spirits (we did at least find a bag of locally grown apples, but not until we'd put back a butternut squash because it seemed ludicrous to us that it was imported from Mexico when we know they're in season down the road at River Brook Farm. This checking the origin of everything we buy is new to us but we're thrilled to have discovered another way to be geeky and self-righteous).

But then we stumbled on a small organic foods section, enough to equip us with organic black beans and pasta. And in the frozen foods aisle - usually the last place we'd shop - we came across a pocket of organic breads and organic frozen fruit and vegetables - so we grabbed some. Pecks also stocks delicious yoghurt and cheese from the local Tonjes Farm (they look rather incongruous amidst the plastic cheese and nuclear chicken breasts, and we couldn't help noticing that the cheese as a little mouldy, suggesting we might be the only ones who actually buy the stuff), so we stocked up on those too.

Feeling emboldened by these happy finds, I asked the lady at the checkout whether they stocked eco-friendly loo roll or cleaning products. She looked at me blankly but offered to call the manager. This friendly lady immediately agreed to look into stocking the paper and told me she might have it as soon as Thursday, all being well. She then took me to the cleaning aisle where she proudly showed off their one brand of eco-friendly washing-up liquid as well as a multi-purpose cleaner and Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds. Apparently other customers had requested these and so Pecks had introduced them.

So it's humble pie for dinner for us tonight - there we were dismissing this as a lost cause when all we had to do was actually bother to look instead of acting on assumptions and ask, rather than sitting there moaning and being all superior (typical bloody New Yorkers, us). I'm normally a bit shy about these sorts of things but if making a change is really this easy, we're going to have to get over ourselves and become ecopests.

We'll be checking back next week to see if the loo roll arrives. Then we'll tackle our next crusade: the fruit and veg, and after that, lightbulbs. Of course, once they've turned up in-store, the next step is encouraging people to buy them. Now that might be a little bit trickier...

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At 4:19 PM , Anonymous starre vartan said...

Good day's work! And I think you've coined a valuable new phrase...ecopests!


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