Or, how I brought three little figs, all the way home, unpackaged.
It’s fig season here in Australia. A juicy, ripe fig is the stuff of dreams.
I eat them in salads, with spinach and goat cheese. Or for breakfast, as the showstopper finale in the ensemble hit that is the breakfast smoothie bowl. One of my favourites is figs on toast with a spread of labne.
I was shopping for figs today and, to my utter dismay, could only find them sold as a trio, wrapped up in plastic and seated on a polystyrene tray.
Now, I know where to recycle soft plastics and polystyrene, the efficacy of which we can talk about some other time, but that’s for emergencies, a last resort.
I had been daydreaming about figs all day and wasn’t about to leave the green grocer empty-handed. But there was no way I would buy them in all that unnecessary packaging.
Then I had an idea. I found a fellow who was restocking the produce.
Could I buy three figs without the packaging? I asked.
He didn’t understand at first (and this is normal, and where a smile and some patience will serve you well). I clarified – I’ll buy the same amount in the package, for the same price – I simply want three unpackaged figs. Oh! His face brightened as he registered understanding. We went to the back of the shop together, and three unpackaged figs were proffered. Smiles.
Upon checkout, I nestled the little fellas in with my bulk spinach, itself collected in a reused paper bag. Safe and sound.
No unnecessary packaging, no hard feelings, no sweat. All I had to do was ask. Maybe if all of us pointed out that no, we don’t need any excess packaging thanks, grocers will start offering them this way by default.
This story has an even happier ending. Those three figs were f#%king delicious.