In response to:

Wash Your Bags -- Or Else

weedwam Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 3:25 PM
With our acute shortage of potable water, we are now supposed to waste it for washing grocery bags????
Milt37 Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 3:41 PM
"...let it soak in a basin filled with soapy water and either the juice of half a lemon or about a quarter cup of vinegar."

Just think how popular you'll be at the supermarket while dragging around a bunch of cloth bags that smell like vinegar! You might want to chew on a clove of garlic before shopping, just to sure.

I think this idea is being promoted by "Big Citrus" and "Big Vinegar".

But, as Debra pointed out, almost no one (except aging hippies) is ever going to this ritual.

As another unintended consequence, when people get 'the trots' from all the food poisoning, how often are they going to have flush their low-flow toilets? How often will they have to use more than one square of toilet paper?

Oh, the humanity!!!
Mother of 4 -- the original Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 4:01 PM
That particular recommendation is even sillier than the normal government nonsense.

Soap, hot water, and chlorine bleach are the best disinfectants.

People foolish enough to buy bags that won't take proper cleaning are almost as foolish as the people who don't clean them at all.
Milt37 Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 4:22 PM
Mother,

Again, all your points are well taken, but you're missing the whole point. The "cradle-to-grave" cost of a cloth bag vs. plastic or paper has to be considered. When you look at all the resources used to just produce the bags, cloth always loses.

Now, you're talking about the common sense idea of cleaning them between uses. So, someone who may need 4 bags/per week for the trip to grocercy store may need an extra wash load just for the bags. These things aren't just an extra pair of socks, maybe you throw in your dish towels, but no matter what, it requires energy to heat the water, run the washing machine/dryer. Maybe a little extra soap that took energy to produce/package/ship...

Milt37 Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 4:27 PM
I don't want to bore you to death with all the specifics, but cloth will always lose.

Now, any person who wants to choose that option, and ensure their health with proper cleaning, is free to do so. But they are not doing it as favor to the environment. In fact, they are actually doing more harm than good.

But, I'm sure you'd agree with me in that it shoud be an individual's choice, and not a government mandate.
Mother of 4 -- the original Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 4:39 PM
An extra load for 4 bags? ROFLOL!

They're grocery bags, not circus tents. 4 bags wouldn't equal one, thick bath towel in the laundry unless you had made super-sized bags out of heavy-duty denim.

The idea of government forcing people to use reusable grocery bags is absurd.

But the idea that using them is some kind of great inconvenience is equally absurd.
Mother of 4 -- the original Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 4:40 PM
An extra load for 4 bags? ROFLOL!

They're grocery bags, not circus tents. 4 bags wouldn't equal one, thick bath towel in the laundry unless you had made super-sized bags out of heavy-duty denim.

The idea of government forcing people to use reusable grocery bags is absurd.

But the idea that using them is some kind of great inconvenience is equally absurd.
Mother of 4 -- the original Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 4:43 PM
I don't think that they have any great environmental impact positive or negative.

People should use cloth bags if they prefer large, sturdy bags over small, flimsy bags or if they do a lot of shopping at stores that don't give bags.

And if they choose to use them for whatever reason and get food poisoning because it never crossed their mind to keep something that comes in regular contact with food clean its their own stupid fault for being utterly brainless.
Milt37 Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 5:36 PM
Mother,

You obviously are in love with your hand sewn grocery bags, and you have good reason to use them. I hope you were using a foot-pumped sewing machine while making them. I'm assuming that sewing is something you like to do, so as long as you were using a foot-pumped sewing machine, with sunlight coming in through your windows, and thread woven by homegrown silkworms, then it cost you nothing to produce those bags.

As you stated earlier, most people don't have access to surplus parachutes. I guess I could buy a "Maxwell House Parachute... good til the last drop", but it may take a bunch of chlorine bleach to wash out all those blood stains, and since chloride is a highly toxic gas (used to make bleach), I'm a little leary.
Milt37 Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 5:49 PM
I don't mean to belittle you, and you certainly have reasons to use your parachute bags, but to assume that those that do see using cloth bags as inconvenient, and may value their free time in other ways than you as absurd, is wrong.

I know you agree, that true freedom is the in the choice to spend our time how we choose.

The problem, is when you have 51% of American voters choosing Obama, do you really think they're going to wash their bags? My argument is about the washing bags, it's about your free choice to use them, and my freedom (now taken away), not to.
Mother of 4 -- the original Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 6:02 PM
Why would I use a "foot-pumped sewing machine" or any of the rest of that nonsense?

I don't use my reusable bags for either cost or supposed environmental impact.

I use them because they're practical.

Acting as though re-usuable bags were some kind of massive inconvenience makes conservatives look silly.
Mother of 4 -- the original Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 6:03 PM
Personal responsibility.

A person who is too dumb and too irresponsible to wash a cloth grocery bag -- because it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that things which contact food should be kept clean -- deserves food poisoning.
Milt37 Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 6:13 PM
Mother,

You went from great to massive inconvenience. And you got so stuck on CLEANING and CHOOSING TO USE the reusable bags that you're missing the forest for the trees.

I think we agree on most points:

1. Reusable bags: use 'em if you want to.

2. Reusable bags: wash 'em if got 'em.

3. Reusable bags: don't make me use if I don't wanna!
Milt37 Wrote: Feb 10, 2013 6:22 PM
Mother,

And that's exactly the point where you run off the rails. You have obviously chosen to use cloth bags. You're smart enough to know that you have wash things that come into contact with food.

Unfortunately, when the government mandates something this stupid, a lot of people aren't going to see things as clearly as you have. Some are just too dumb. Some are so used to using throw-away bags, that it doesn't dawn on them.

Personally, I don't give poop about this whole issue, except that the government should not be mandating what kind of bags we use.

The fact that you keep agreeing with that MAIN point, and choose to focus on the cleaning protocal of cloth bags, makes me question whether you even got the central point of the column
Mother of 4 -- the original Wrote: Feb 11, 2013 6:43 AM
I'm not immune to the schadenfreude of seeing left-libs' beloved mandates coming back to bite them.

But I don't think it serves any worthy purpose to exaggerate the inconvenience factor of cloth bags. It just makes conservatives look foolish.
Wayne from the Hoosier state Wrote: Feb 11, 2013 1:13 PM
As for sterilizing the cloth bags with bleach...now you are hurting the septic system.
San Francisco passed America's first ban on plastic bags in chain groceries and drugstores in 2007. In a research paper for the Institute for Law and Economics, law professors Jonathan Klick and Joshua Wright crunched state and federal data on emergency room admissions and food-borne illness deaths and figured that the San Francisco ban "led to an increase in infections immediately upon implementation."

They found a 46 percent rise in food-borne illness deaths. The bottom line: "Our results suggest that the San Francisco ban led to, conservatively, 5.4 annual additional deaths."

So is San Francisco's bag ban a killer? Conceivably, yes, but probably...