Posts Tagged Nestle USA

Starting the year off right with reusable produce bags

Posted on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 at 21:02
Reusable produce bags start the year off right with organic produce from Whole Foods (formerly Wild Oats Marketplace in Nora, Indiana).
Reusable produce bags holding organic produce from Whole Foods, formerly known as Wild Oats Marketplace in Nora, Indiana

Every day I hear more news stories about our planet’s burgeoning plastic problem and I realize we truly are at a tipping point. It exciting and disturbing. The exciting part is that many more people are listening to the fact that this truly is a problem. The disturbing part is the work that lies ahead of us to change not only our behavior but that of corporations.

Driving home from work today I listened to this story on NPR: An Island Crusader Takes On The Big Brands Behind Plastic Waste. The report focuses on Asian countries that consume products designed for consumers that can’t afford to purchase large amounts, so companies package them in small plastic “sachets.” Here’s how the article describes one poor village near Manila Bay:

“People live elbow to elbow in shacks elevated a few feet above ankle-deep water from the neighboring swamp. Below their shacks, you can’t tell whether it’s dirt or water because it’s all literally covered with a uniform carpet of plastic debris, most of it empty sachets.”

According to the article, two of the companies that are marketing products in this way, Nestle and Unilever, have plans to make all their packaging recyclable by 2025. (Those companies are on my list to target about their packaging for markets in the U.S.)

I was so thrilled to hear this report, that it completely overtook my planned post today. Oh yeah, reusable produce bags. They’re a really good idea. I received some as a Christmas gift and used them at Whole Foods last weekend. See the picture, above. Does anyone remember Wild Oats Marketplace in Nora, Indiana? It was a great little store, every bit as much Whole Paycheck as its successor. Oh well. I have a feeling that more and more of whole paycheck in 2019 will be going toward figuring this plastic thing out, but the rewards will be worth it.

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An appeal to a food industry giant

Posted on Friday, January 4th, 2019 at 18:33

If you’ve followed food industry news for as many years as I have, you may be aware of the very large imprint of the Nestle company.

My adaptation of Nestle Toll House cookies has been a hit among family and friends, who say they’re the best chocolate chip cookies they’ve ever had. Nestle produces so many things I love, so it pains me to boycott them. Today I sent them a letter about Lean Cuisine, which is packaged in plastic trays that cannot be recycled.

I hope they will adopt a sustainable food option. As I wrote in my letter, downloadable below, the company’s “Glazed Chicken with Vegetable Rice,” has been in my repertoire since I gave birth to my first child in the 1980s. Through the years, when I have looked for convenient ways to restrict calories, I have relied on Lean Cuisine.

However, Lean Cuisine products are packaged in plastic trays. According to its own website, these trays are made from polyethylene terephthalate, for which there is no longer a recycling market. Here’s a capture from their website:

Nestle is a giant in the food industry. It has the power to affect broad, global change. Unfortunately, the company has demonstrated that power in some not-so-savory ways, such as introducing low-quality junk food to countries that used to eat healthy fresh food. The New York Times has reported on some of this, and here is a link to one of those articles.

I am also not enamored Nestle’s bottled water business located here in Indiana. Bottles that have contained water are among the most common items trashing our oceans and contributing to the worldwide health issues posed by plastic waste and microplastics.

With as big as Nestle is in the food industry, I’m sure I will be writing to them many times over the next year. I hope they will begin a conversation about how they can be better stewards of our planet. Because in the final analysis, it won’t matter how much money they make if they are instrumental in ruining the environment. That is what I tell them in my letter, below.

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