HOW DO THEY PACKAGE IT? by George Sullivan


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Sullivan's informal history of bottle stoppers, paperboard and disposable tubes, his survey of the development of commercial canning, freezing and pasteurizing, and his projections of future food-storage technology would all be instructive, were it not for his hard-sell insistence that the packaging explosion is ""progress."" Some disadvantages are mentioned in passing--cost, inflexibility, ozone destruction, even the fact that hard to package foods like raspberries are simply shut out--but Sullivan never mentions industrial pollution, possible carcinogens, or the questionable quality of convenience foods. Nor does he ask whether we're really better off when the strip-top individual can of pudding replaces the old-fashioned apple as a lunch-bag staple. The final chapter, on waste and recycling, parrots industry claims that packaged processed foods actually produce less refuse (without pointing out that the manufacturers are talking about biodegradable potato peels, not plastic) and then dumps the responsibility for trash collection and recycling onto the community. A waste.

Pub Date: Nov. 22nd, 1976
Publisher: Westminster