Controversial Vegan And Sustainability Topics: Part 2- Overstock Vegetables

Everyone thinks that sustainable and not sustainable are two very black and white categories. It’s either yes, it’s green. Or no, stopping buying it. While some things are very obvious, others fall into a gray area. I wanted to address a couple of the more controversial topics in society and my life.

But first, I want to preface this post with this statement:

Because I turned towards a plant-based diet due to sustainability, a lot of my actions are propelled by the green factor (also health), rather than animal rights. While  I have come to appreciate the animal cruelty argument, sustainability is my top priority in my lifestyle choices. I also applaud others changing their thought towards a sustainable mind over a vegan stance. Those are my personal beliefs (and would I love to hear others thoughts!), and I have outlined my opinions below.

So with that, I would like to dive into the second topic in my three part series:

Overstock Vegetables

Veggies are one of the main categories in my diet. I can make so many yummy dishes using vegetables. But one of the biggest things when creating recipes is making sure not to waste food. I will toss my random leftover vegetables together to make burritos or stir fry or soup or noodles. Some recipes are gold, and some are ehh, but I work towards not throwing organic material into the trash.

A couple of the places that I shop, including Natural Grocers and Smith’s, have overstock veggies. Basically it’s veggies that don’t look pretty or are on the verge of going bad. I mean why wouldn’t I get this stuff? I usually buy and cook vegetables the same day, plus it’s a great discounted price, which works well with a young adult’s budget.  It’s $5, $2 or even just $1 for a handful of imperfect produce. And it supports something I am very passionate about…. eliminating food waste.

But there is one thing that stops me from buying the extra veggies from these grocery stores. They are usually housed in the horrible bright red plastic netting that ends up in the garbage.


So should I help reduce food waste, but then in turn, put my money towards a plastic product that I normally wouldn’t buy? On the other hand, the food is going to either end up in the trash or my stomach, but the plastic will end up in the landfill either way, right? Is there a better solution? Can we get these places to sell the items in bulk or in paper bags rather than in the plastic? It may be an easier answer if this was so, right?

Final stance: still torn. Should I be reducing total food waste or reducing my personal plastic consumption?

Your full-time plant-eater and full-time advocate against food waste,



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