Feb/10

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Chicken Noodle Soup (Part II)

Challenge #3: A Green Valentine’s Day?

In a word: scrumptious.  That’s how good the 100-mile-radius chicken soup came out for the Green Challenge (see previous post, Chicken Noodle Soup). Really, it is quite delicious, and even Paul said the chicken tasted “happier” than the regular (cheaper) grocery store variety. Yeah!

As for pricing it out, for the slow cooker alone, I spent about $24, and it has given us 6 meals so far, with probably 4 more bowls of soup left. So is it worth $2.40 per hearty bowl of easy-on-the-earth, utterly life giving, restorative food? Heck yeah! With a bit of planning, a dash of stubbornness, a sprinkling of cash, and a nearby Farmer’s Market, even city slickers can prepare meals that are not drizzled in petrol, and you actually know where the ingredients came from. That’s got to be good for your soul…and your carbon footprint. 

As for the nifty grocery bags we were given as part of the Green Family Challenge kit, I must confess that I’ve been using my own grocery bags for 20 years, so it wasn’t jarring for me at all to be shopping with a bag under my arm. In fact, I still have my first reusable bag—a spacious black cloth bag from the Environmental Defense Fund featuring a nice big Earth on it. Over the past couple decades, I have repaired the handle twice (quite possibly the only times I’ve sewn since junior high school), and it keeps holding groceries in return. Now the handle is getting frayed, so I may have to retire it. When I think back on how many grocery bags that cloth bag has saved the world, I am pleased. It has earned its keep, to be sure. The nice green bags from the Zoo are great because they have the flat bottom on them, making it easier on “courtesy clerks” to load your groceries. 

People seem to be shifting toward bringing their own bags. I think Trader Joe’s did much to jar our collective memories to pack our bags to the store when they implemented a monthly drawing where you could win a TJ gift card, which you could only enter if you had brought your own bag. Hooray! Now people in San Diego seem pretty hip on the concept, and people that don’t bring their own bags are shamed into paper or plastic. 

Since Paul and I both are good about keeping our own bags handy for grocery shopping, we have to resort to grabbing a bag of bags in the recycle bin at the grocery store to use as poop bags for our dog. This brings up a valid point about Cashew’s carbon footprint, and all I can say is that I now cut the plastic grocery bags in half to use (requiring half as many over our lifetime), and will happily buy up another parcel of rain forest to offset her little “carbon paw print.” 

 Karyl Carmignani 

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4 Comments for Chicken Noodle Soup (Part II)

Sue H | March 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I grew up using my own bags, packing my own groceries and making soup with my Grndmma's chickens! Then the UK became 'Americaized'!!!

giovannadi | March 2, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I lived in Germany for a decade in the 70s. The “shopping bag” at the time was a well-built, cloth-lined basket. No hausfrau would leave home without it. When I traveled into France, I saw the basket was less popular, with most people carrying net bags with a handle. I can't remember when the first plastic bag made its appearance in the check-out aisles of Europe, but there was always a fee attached to use one. And, as Sue mentioned below, no clerk every packed your bags….you did it yourself. The customs remain the same to this day.

Sue H | March 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm

I grew up using my own bags, packing my own groceries and making soup with my Grndmma's chickens! Then the UK became 'Americaized'!!!

giovannadi | March 3, 2010 at 1:20 am

I lived in Germany for a decade in the 70s. The “shopping bag” at the time was a well-built, cloth-lined basket. No hausfrau would leave home without it. When I traveled into France, I saw the basket was less popular, with most people carrying net bags with a handle. I can't remember when the first plastic bag made its appearance in the check-out aisles of Europe, but there was always a fee attached to use one. And, as Sue mentioned below, no clerk every packed your bags….you did it yourself. The customs remain the same to this day.

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