Reuasable shopping bags and risk ranking

Senator Chuck ‘Chuckles’ Schumer, a New York Democrat, sent a letter on Sunday to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, urging the agency to investigate the issue of lead in those trendy reusable shopping bags – available for sale at most retailers.

I’m sure the Senate has other food-related matters it could be dealing with; I’m sure the FDA has some things to do; and I never understood why a consumer had to buy a new plastic container to recycle or compost, or a lead-lined bag to go shopping.

Everyone’s got priorities. And someone’s making a buck off it.

So as Chapman has written, the lead stuff isn’t much of a food safety priority.

Risk rankings are risky because inevitably, someone will get pissed.

But, as noted in the N.Y. Times on Sunday, “there is no evidence that these bags pose an immediate threat to the public, and none of the bags sold by New York City’s best-known grocery stores have been implicated.”

USA Today today reported that Publix Super Markets and Winn-Dixie are asking suppliers to make reusable bags with less lead, according to Schumer. Wegmans Food Market in September said it was halting sales of some bags.

“They say plastic bags are bad; now they say these are bad. What’s worse?” asked Jen Bluestein, who was walking out of Trader Joe’s on the Upper West Side with a reusable bag under her arm on Sunday.

“Green is a trend and people go with trends,” Ms. Bluestein said. “People get them as fashion statements and they have, like, 50 of them. I don’t think people know the real facts.”

Whose facts are real?

Catherine Paykin, standing by the meat counter at Fairway said,

“I wasn’t planning on throwing it out, so that’s a positive thing. As long as I use it and don’t throw it away, that will be my plan.”

Sure, but wash it now and then. And if buying meat, wrap it in plastic and throw the plastic bag out.