Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Is convenience killing the planet?

Publicity bods and marketeers love to sell us convenience.  Anything to save us time, make our lives easier or simplify things are given front row seats in adverts ... but at what cost to the environment?    Let's take the humble potato.

Home grown potatoes

It really isn't that long ago that most people grew their own potatoes or if the couldn't they bought them loose from the local farmer or greengrocer, most probably in a reusable bag or basket.  Now most potatoes that are sold come in plastic bags or nets.  Then the soil that helped nurture the potatoes became public enemy number one and that all got washed off - so convenient for the cook.  Hang on a minute, though - what about those who can't or don't want to cook - now you can get your potatoes in every conceivable pre-cooked way from parboiled, to frozen as chips, roasties, croquettes, dried or frozen mash, crisps etc etc etc - all happily wrapped in layers of protective plastic and all transported far and wide around the country (if not the world) from farm to storage to factory to distribution centre to shop ... just because it is so convenient for the public to have them this way.

From the humble home-grown spud a huge energy guzzling, plastic spewing potato industry has grown up for OUR CONVENIENCE.  Let's just not mention the environmental damage from all these production processes or the amount of plastic they generate.  Nope, because frozen chips are just so CONVENIENT aren't they?

And if you think that's bad, I came across these which are for sale in America ...

Ready cooked boiled eggs

Ready cooked hard boiled eggs.  Really??  And look how the manufacturers market them:

All the nutrition plus convenience of not having to hard boil eggs yourself: 
  • Refrigerated, peeled, and ready-to-eat
  • No cooking, peeling, or clean up necessary
  • Ideal for Egg Salad, Deviled Eggs, or as a quick snack
  • Resealable, tamper-evident pouch keeps the eggs fresh
  • Long shelf life
I mean how difficult is it to actually hard boil an egg?

And there are many more examples:

  • Coffee pod machines - all the resources to go into the machine into which you pop  single use pod is so convenient ... but actually how difficult is it to make a coffee is a cafetiere or using a filter.
  • Wet wipes - single use bits of plastic "cloth" that are all too often chucked down the drain to help form fat bergs when jut a few short years ago a washable cloth was perfectly acceptable ad did the same job.
  • Single use crockery and cutlery so we don't have to wash up
  • Nappies - I am old enough to have been a terry nappy baby but I am not that old and in a couple of generations many parents go squeamish at the thought of possibly having to use a washable nappy.  A disposable is just so CONVENIENT.

Yes, convenient for the user but not for the planet. Processed potatoes, ready cooked hard boiled eggs, coffee pods, wet wipes, pretty much any single use item you can think of, nappies and so on and so forth. I could go on for ever but I think you've got the message.

Now I am not one to make New Year's Resolutions but if you do, could you slip this one onto the end of your list >>> for the sake of our planet and for future generations can you

... make 2019 the year you turn back the clock slightly: the year you start to reject all those super "convenient" items and welcome back some old friends - loose potatoes, fresh eggs, filtered coffee, washable cloths, proper crockery and cutlery you use for years, washable nappies etc etc etc.

They are not really INconvenient and the planet really will say thank you.

Woman eating French Fries, a convenience food


  1. Love this post so useful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Precooked hard boiled eggs! Takes about 5 minutes.

  3. Such important information that people need to be aware of. We all should try and safe our planet for the future of our children πŸ‘ΆπŸŒ❤️

  4. Probably! It's not exactly inconvenient to boil an egg! I find it almost disgusting to eat one of those. And the rest indeed. All the fast food chains. They are killing us with inedible food and the planet too with the litter.

  5. We only cook from scratch and buy what we can from local producers. We're cutting back on plastics this year

  6. Oh wow, I didn't even know you could buy such a thing as preboiled eggs!

  7. Not only is convenience killing our planet it's also killing us! The amount of rubbish there is in processed foods is scary! Even food products that you think wouldn't have much in it have loads of unnecessary ingredients in them. It's no wonder we all have health issues these days.

    Last year I started cooking everything from scratch (because of health issues) and we've all felt so much better. #GoingGreenLinky

  8. Love this, it's so true Rosie. We just need to start and think again. Pre boiled eggs? Wow, have never seen that before... #goinggreen

  9. I don't actually think that convenience is helping anyone. People have poorer diets, less money in their wallets and often feel the need to purchase more gadgets and goods as marketing advisors tell them how it'll make their lives much easier. i personally find all of this very stressful. #goinggreen

  10. Some of the convenience foods you see really make you stop and wonder don't they - you can even buy convenience jacket potatoes - erm, isn't that how they come naturally? Thanks for hosting Rosie and (belated) happy new year!