letters to the editor
This article was originally published in March 2019
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Thank you for the article about plant-based diets (“Plant-forward eating,” January). It is very important to highlight this matter and how making this lifestyle change not only is impactful positively to one’s health, but we also can help reverse the environmental damage done by raising animals by committing to cut out animal products.
I’m so glad you addressed the climate impact created by animal agriculture. Let us not forget the compassion of leaving animal products off our plate. Keep bringing us more about living vegan! Your loyal customer,
— Amanda P.
The Plant-Forward eating article refers to Field Roast sausages as soy-based products. My husband is vegetarian and I don’t digest soy well. One of the things I really appreciate about Field Roast sausages is that they are not soy-based, unlike so many other meat-substitute products. We particularly like the Smoked Apple-Sage and Breakfast sausages.
I love PCC. I feel confident when I shop there that the selection is curated to reflect the latest knowledge about what is most healthy for us, the animals and our planet.
— Elisabeth R.
PCC replies: Thank you for pointing out our error in the January reply. You are correct — the Field Roast sausages are made from wheat gluten, not soy. It’s important to include non-soy protein alternatives and we have adjusted the online version of the article to reflect this.
New bulk shampoo coming
For several years now, I have been going to PCC Green Lake on Aurora to refill my shampoo bottle from the bulk section there. Now it appears the bulk shampoo is being discontinued.
I really hate buying a new plastic bottle every time I buy shampoo. Is there any store that still has refill stations? I also use the bulk dishwashing liquid and I hope it will be continued.
— Connie McKibben
PCC replies: Thanks for your environmental stewardship! We have noticed a decline in sales for bulk body care and we believe we can do a better job for our shoppers. Currently, it’s not easy to dispense shampoo, conditioner and other thick liquids — the pumps clog and the product comes out in unexpected directions. No one likes that! We are looking actively for solutions. We also are looking for the most environmentally friendly packaging for our customers who need to purchase a container. We expect to roll out the new program in the second half of this year.
In the meantime, castile soap may work for many uses. We have this available by the ounce and, in larger stores, you may purchase it in gallons. We look forward to supporting your commitment in the coming months.
I really appreciated the spotlight on food waste in the Sound Consumer and hearing the advocacy work you’re doing to push for awareness and solutions. This is such a big topic to solve, especially when it comes to addressing hunger.
I happened to run across this article, ‘‘Repurposing Food Waste as Alternative Building Materials” in Architect magazine. Check out the study by Arup on the Urban Bio-loop referenced toward the end of the story. Here’s the download link for the study.
Thought you might find it interesting.
— Cindy Davis,
Senior Associate and Sustainability Specialist at MG2
Regarding the push to reduce food waste, maybe PCC can collect ideas from members. Here’s mine: Many people remove and toss the skin that is perfectly edible on some foods. These include the skin of potatoes, carrots, fuzzy kiwis, and eggplants (yes, despite what recipes say).
A daughter who lives in Nelson, B.C., said an older resident remembers that many decades ago, oranges were so rare that when they did appear in stores, people would eat the whole fruit — rind and all. So perhaps many more foods can be added to my short list.
— Julie Scandora
Thanks for your article on food waste. One productive solution/use that wasn’t mentioned was vermicomposting, composting food waste with the help of worms.
Before he passed away, my dad would put all his non-meat food waste into a bin with earthworms, who then would turn it into the richest fertilizer ever for his backyard garden.
— Bonnie Foxley
Recycle deodorant containers?
Greetings! Just wondering if Schmidt’s or any of your deodorant lines use containers that are recyclable, including mailing the container back to the manufacturer.
Terracycle has Tom’s of Maine’s program, but currently there is an indefinite waitlist to be able to use its program. Thank you!
— Lisa Hake
PCC replies: Good news! Schmidt’s deodorant containers are recyclable. Please be sure the plastic sticks are completely clean before recycling. If they contain deodorant, they cannot be recycled. More information is available at schmidts.com/recycling-club.
I love the new(ish) store in Bothell and shop there regularly. I buy at least one container of yogurt from the yogurt bar every week and sometimes I get two because my kids and I love it so much!
That being said, I am trying to reduce my waste in 2019 and the thought of getting all those containers each week makes me cringe. For health reasons, I’m not sure if I could bring my own (clean) glass jars to have filled, but I’d love to know if that’s a possibility and, if not, do you have any suggestions for me in this area? I know it’s a small step, but those small steps make a big impact over time.
Thanks so much for your time!
— Alison W.
PCC replies: Thank you for taking the time to write to us with your feedback about our PCC brand yogurt. We’re glad you’re enjoying it.
The Health Department will not allow us to use a customer’s own containers for our yogurt bar. The issue of single-use plastics is top of mind for us, and we are currently in the process of replacing our petroleum-based plastic deli packaging with entirely compostable options. You can learn more about our packaging initiative here. We already have replaced hot and cold beverage cups and lids, soup cups and lids, all cutlery and straws. The round, clear plastic deli containers are a priority and we aim to replace them next.
Thanks, as always, PCC for continuing to be a great place to shop for good food. I’m a Green Lake Aurora regular and love my little store. Just the right size for me.
I’d like to know if the little salad dressing containers — inside the salads you sell in the deli section — are compostable? It’s not clear to me.
Also, I often ask for the brown paper containers when I order from the deli. Are they compostable? I’ve been worried about the coating on the brown paper containers since reading information from the city about composting where they state the lining on food containers is plastic (which, for some restaurant containers, I’m sure is true).
I’ve also read that the interior is plastic and therefore not compostable. Please advise.
— Candace H.
PCC replies: Thanks for asking about our deli packaging. Yes, the small portion cups for salad dressing in pre-packed green salads are made from compostable PLA bioplastic, made from corn. PLA also is used to line our compostable brown paper hot food boxes, not petroleum-based plastic.
We are in the process of replacing petroleum-based plastics in our deli with compostable options. When choosing new compostable packaging, we make sure it meets standards for the composter, Cedar Grove. You can read more about our recent packaging initiative here.
Palm oil concerns
I noticed that some of your PCC-made desserts have “palm oil” listed as an ingredient and that some of the other brands of desserts you carry include “sustainable RSPO palm oil.” Are all palm oil products carried by PCC RSPO, or just the ones labeled so? I see that your website has a number of articles that mention RSPO palm oil, but I can’t tell what your level of commitment is to carrying only sustainable palm oil across the board.
— Jason Foster
PCC replies: Thank you for this great question. PCC identified palm oil as an issue of high concern in 2016 and since then we have educated ourselves internally, ensuring the palm oils we sell in grocery, at least, are certified by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). We also became a retail supporter of Palm Done Right in 2018, but all the palm oil used in our baking and deli has been certified Palm Done Right for years.
The Palm Done Right certification requires fair labor certification, organic certification, Non-GMO Project Verification, and RSPO certification. It also absolutely prohibits any product from clear-cut or burned land, from virgin or second-growth rainforests, or anything produced with human trafficking or slavery.
We are continuing to improve our commitment to sustainable palm oil and aim to establish our own palm oil standards by 2020.