It's not easy being green
The Kansas City Star
The problem is you have all these annoying trade-offs. Think how environmentally pure we’d be if we got power only from wind and solar? Of course, we’d freeze in the dark, but we’d have our green virtue for warmth.
Even something as harmless as reusable grocery bags turns out not to be completely harmless. What a bummer. This used to be an effective way to display one’s civic virtue. Think of it. With a couple of resuable bags, you’re saving the entire planet! Maybe the entire universe! And you’re striking a blow against the plastic bag, despised symbol of America’s evil, rapacious consumer culture.
Unfortunately, you may also be endangering your health, because it turns out reusable bags are little bacteria farms. The people at the Property and Environment Research Center, a free-market environmentalist group, found that after San Francisco banned plastic bangs, “deaths and ER visits related to these bacteria spiked as soon as the ban went into effect.”
The International Association for Food Protection collected reusable bags in California and Arizona and found large numbers of bacteria “in almost all bags and coliform bacteria in half. Escherichia coli were identified in 8% of the bags, as well as a wide range of enteric bacteria, including several opportunistic pathogens. When meat juices were added to bags and stored in the trunks of cars for two hours, the number of bacteria increased 10-fold, indicating the potential for bacterial growth in the bags.”
Of course, washing the bags takes care of most of the bacteria, but that unfortunately uses up resources like water and energy. At any rate, the next time you see some environmental saint haul out a reusable bag in the check-out line, make sure those things stay away from your food.