Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wal Mart: in the bag

The postman had an exciting package again this morning:
No, not the baby (she came from somewhere different) - the rather lovely Dot-sized

Understandably, Dot was keen to show it off and demanded a shopping spree so we set out to visit Wal Mart in Honesdale to see if anything organic had arrived since our last disappointing visit.

We started in the babywear section, hoping to track down some organic cotton onesies, seeing as Wal Mart is now
the biggest purchaser of organic cotton in the world. Unfortunately nothing doing.

Nothing either in the way of eco-friendly diapers - and, especially when we thought back to Waitrose and Tesco with their full complement thereof, we found this distinctly disappointing.

But things began to look up in the baby wipe aisle - we found wipes made of organic cotton. Actually, on closer inspection they contain 'minimum 15% organic cotton' which is pretty crap, and I now realize they're not biodegradable or unbleached like the ones we normally buy, but they are the best thing we've found outside the city so they'll tide us over till we're next there.

And things had definitely come along since we last ventured into the grocery section. Admittedly mostly it was still radioactive-looking chicken, a terrifying array of luncheon meat-esque cold-cuts, a million different permutations of refined sugar and lots of styrofoam. But a bit of careful foraging yielded bread made from organic wheat (the hubby scoffed it down, declaring it 'great' though I found it a bit sweet), organic salad, broccoli, garlic, avocados, carrots and spring onions, pesticide- and herbicide-free tomatoes, two brands of organic milk and yoghurt (Horizon and Stonyfield Farm) and so-called 'all-natural'
Al Fresco chicken sausages (we subsequently discovered that while these are made with no additives, it isn't clear whether the chicken used to make them is free range or stuffed full of antibiotics and hormones so we've emailed the company to find out. Watch this space).

We forgot to check for paper and cleaning products, having just stocked up on our Ecover at the health food store down the road, but this was all very reassuring stuff and actually gave us enough material for a pretty decent weekly shop. I was reasonably impressed - if anyone can change the tide in America, Wal Mart can. So, more please, Bentonville.

The only hitch was that I got to the checkout to discover I'd left my (and Dot's) bloomin bags at home. Dur, how stupid actually am I? So I had to cram as much as possible into the buggy basket and balance the rest between the handle and my chin while steering with the other hand. However, I hate to say it, but while our local farm stand is closed for the winter, we may be finding ourselves shopping at Wal Mart more often. So next time we'll bring our statement bags and parade around the store to see if we get a reaction.

I forgot to mention this trip was also a bit of a test drive for the wooly breast pads. I'm unhappy to report that, as such, they rained on our parade. As we were driving back from Wal Mart (it's still hard for me to type that) in the full flush of a successful green foraging trip, I felt the familiar tingle which means squirty boob time. Almost immediately afterwards I felt a cold patch spreading down towards my stomach - a sure sign that yet again a failing pad had left me looking like a wonky Girls Gone Wild wannabe, and not in a good way (not that I think there is a good way, though some readers of the male persuasion might disagree). I am absolutely gutted because I so wanted these pads to be the answer. Since they're not, I'm now improvising a double-pad system - a Lansinoh pad behind the wooly pad, one to stop embarassing leaks, the other to keep the chemicals away from me and Dot. I know this is getting ridiculous. I guess I should maybe do more research into the disposable kind to double check it really is worth all this fuss (I think it is, though). But for now I'll settle for looking like I've had a lumpy boob job (with my clothes on only, of course).

Finally, a bit of good news: we had over 60 readers yesterday, which for us is a big deal. Is it really interesting reading about me and Dot bumbling about trying to be green? Evidently somebody must think so, so whoever you are, thanks for reading. And please carry on.


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