Should I shun vegetable bags at the grocery?

This controversy was submitted to the inimitable Beepscast for discussion. I’ll update soon with the thrilling answer.

So, this is a food safety / common courtesy / environmental policy controversy.

Have you ever noticed that when people go to the super market they all put all the vegetables from the veggie aisle in individual plastic bags for each vegetable type?

Well, circa 2007 I decided that was a waste.

I mean you put your tomatoes in a bag for 25 minutes, get home and then remove them from the bag, and throw the bag away (or maybe recycle it if you’re good), but why should you consume a WHOLE plastic bag’s worth of the earth’s resources for just 25 minutes of use?

It makes no sense! So I stopped using those bags. I just put the vegetables directly in the cart. And for years I felt great.

But then this past summer I went to the cape with Chape and he saw me doing that and called me out as being a weirdo. And then I started thinking about it all over again and feel super self conscious.

Things that now bother me:

a) Am I making the cashier/bagger people’s job worse by having my vegetables and fruits rolling free?

b) Am I getting all kinds of weird germs on my veggies and fruits by having them free balling on the conveyor belt? #ebola

c) Because my vegetables are loose, and sometimes they just got sprayed with those sprayer things they are wet sometimes. So then I make the conveyor belt wet with the fruits… which means for the rest of the day am I making everyone else’s fruits and vegetables wet? Is that okay? Am I subtly ruining everyone else’s shopping experience?

d) Is all of the above true, but it’s okay because I’m saving the environment one bag at a time?

Every time I go to the super market my check out experience is kind of ruined by these thoughts.

Should I continue shunning the veggie bags?

First Post – Why this blog exists.


My name is Brian Kotlyar. I am completely normal.

By some people’s standards I’m successful (I have a good job, I own a home, I have a positive net worth, I’m reasonably healthy, and for the most part people appear to like me).

By some people’s standards I haven’t done much (I’m not rich, I’m single, I can’t compete at a world class level in any sports or hobbies).

Why do I think I have the right to blog / your attention?

Well, for some reason people keep asking me for advice. I’m going to take that as an indication that what I say is at least somewhat interesting and valuable. Also, this stuff is free, and if you don’t want to read it you don’t have to.

On this blog I will write about how to get out of your 20s in decent financial, psychological, and physical shape.

So that:

A) I can share it with people that might need help.

B) I have some record of things I thought to laugh at and/or appreciate on my death bed.

That’s about it.

If you have anything to tell me you can reach me on twitter @bkotlyar or via e-mail at brian at briankotlyar dot com.

Love and kisses.