The Green Goddess - Changing the World One Shopper at a Time

Central Market, oh, Central Market, what can I say? I am torn. You hold such a special place in my heart but you’re behind the times — and if you can’t change we might have to go our separate ways. Let me begin with the positive, because I am a glass-half-full kind of goddess. Lots of San Antonians love you because of your incredible selection, friendly staff, and atmosphere. Even your prices are competitive, but (here comes the dish): You make no effort to recycle.

I first became aware of your recycling faux pas in the deli when, at a typical dine-in lunch, my salmon and roasted edamame were each placed and sealed in a container with a lid. I expressed to the deli man that I only required a plate, not a to-go container, because I would be enjoying my food 10 feet away IN THE DINE-IN AREA. He looked at me like I had a booger or my skirt was caught in my panties, and curtly said (in a hillbilly accent) “These plastic containers is all we gots.” Hmmm … “Well I don’t need the lids,” I replied and again he looked at me with such confusion that I apologized for even suggesting such a ridiculous notion.

On my many trips back to the Central Market deli the situation did not improve, so finally I forsook the deli for good, limiting myself to the pre-made sandwich selections. But the salmon kept calling me back and sometimes I would break my own boycott, only to walk away in an uproar. Central Market, you put on a good forward-thinking front, but it’s a lie. I want a divorce.

Every time I sat down to eat my delicious deli vittles I ended up with more plastic than food. In addition to these plastic deli coffins, I mean containers, my only option for eating is pre-packaged utensils. What good do a fork and knife do me if I am eating tomato bisque? I once returned an unopened package of utensils to a cashier and clearly stated that, “I did not use this plasticware, I hardly touched it, I didn’t even look at it.” And she threw it away. I stood there and pondered my options:

A: Walk away and forget about the waste.
B: Bitch slap the poor slob behind the counter.
C: Take home all the plastic and recycle it myself.

Most of the time I pick C. So, H-E-B Central Market, if you are reading this complaint here are a few recommendations:

• Provide recycling bins for all those plastic containers and lids.
• Train your staff to be more aware of the waste.
• Get rid of the pre-packaged utensils.
• Offer a dine-in plating option.
• Call the Austin Central Market, because they recycle.

If Central Market is not reading this, here are a few suggestions for all of you earth-friendly shoppers out there:

• Take home all of the plastic and recycle (plastic codes 1 and 2 only) or reuse for it leftovers and storage.
• Use chopsticks instead of plastic utensils.
• Drink your soup instead of using a spoon.
• Make a formal (but polite) complaint to the manager.
• Leave the bitch-slapping to me.

Happy shopping.

p.s. Recently the Central Market deli has had a face-lift, but alas, they still have not fixed their little recycling problem. I think it’s going to take some consumer pressure, but in talking with fellow San Antonians, it would seem that most of you just don’t give a damn. Well, that’s one way to keep San Antonio lame.

— GG