The Problem With Packaging

One night before a work shift I rushed to a grocery store and bought a basket full of assorted snacks and quick meals. One thing I grabbed was this:

A typical frozen dinner, Healthy Choice Gourmet Steamers. I’m sorry to single you out Healthy Choice as you’re not the only culprit but you make a great example for my current venting topic: unnecessary packaging.

As I began to dissect the package, I thought to myself, “all these containers just for one meal??” Now I’m no saint- I survived university on countless numbers of these mega-quick dinners, but now that I’m putting more thought in to my consumer habits this was obviously a ludicrous amount of waste produced for a measly 320 calories.

So I’ll explain why this one gets a particularly poor rating. It’s called a ‘steamer,’ so inside the outer cardboard packaging was two seperate containers with a plastic cover. Already the cardboard seemed redundant, then there’s a plastic bowl purely for steaming the frozen vegetables!


And what’s the return on this massive packaging investment? Pretty little:


And I’d have to say (as a self-proclaimed expert in microwave dinners) that this steamer contraption didn’t even improve the taste from the standard blandness of a frozen dinner anyway.

Sadly this amazing amount of packaging isn’t found in just the frozen food section. For example, you know those tiny 100 calorie granola bars? It seems we’re buying half the amount of food in the same amount of packaging. Our packaging-to-nutrients ratio is getting worse and worse.

It should be a no-brainer to avoid frozen dinners and heavily packaged foods anyway- the more packaging usually means more processing, more salt and more fat. Whole foods like veggies and fruit don’t even need a bag and are a whole lot better for you. Let’s incorporate more whole foods in our next grocery store baskets.

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