donate buttonThis is Mike’s third entry in the series “Grist dared me to make a change.” Read the first, second, fourth, fifth, and sixth here. And support his dare with a gift to Grist!

rolling tortilla doughFine. I’ll just make my own tortillas. Mike SanClementsThings are a little easier now that I’m over the initial shock of a big grocery shopping expedition. But it’s still a challenge. 

I love to cook and we frequently make Mexican food for dinner, so I figured I’d try my hand at tortillas. (The premade kind come packaged in plastic.) I looked up a recipe and the first few that popped up required baking powder. We’re out of that. So, I walked over to Ideal Market, a small local place in Boulder. Turns out you can’t get baking powder without a plastic lid. Damn. So I stood in the aisle Googling baking powder substitutes, which seemed surprisingly difficult to make. What is cream of tartar? So I kept Googling until I found a recipe without baking powder. My point being that once again, avoiding plastic was a major time suck.

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The tortillas turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself, and making them was easy once I found the recipe. I will certainly be doing it again.

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milk cartonPlastic? Are you in there?Mike SanClementsOne other thing I’ve learned is that you really can’t store lettuce in cloth bags inside the fridge. The cloth acts like a sponge and sucks the water right out of the leaves, making it wilt super fast. Without plastic, we may need to shop more often because food just won’t keep quite as long. Suggestions, anyone?

The homemade hummus we made also turned out well. I put it in an old salsa jar and brought it to work with some leftover tortillas and cheese for lunch.

compostable bagNow this I understand.Mike SanClementsThe comments from readers have confirmed one thing that I am constantly noticing now: There is a ton of food packaging where I can’t tell if it’s plastic, even if I study the label.  

Does my milk container have plastic in it? I dunno. I found myself looking inside it and wondering what the hell it was made of. Psst plastic, hey, are you in there? That isn’t cool! Why can’t all packaging be clearly identified, like the compostable bag I use for coffee? (Nicely done, Allegro Coffee Company of Thornton, Colo.!)

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