Oxymoron of the Day: Greener Convenience?

In an earlier blog post, The Threat of Convenience and Convenience Stores, I riffed off a Grist post about multitide of readily available consumer products that can easily sabotage any effort to eat greener or healthier. In the same post, I also admitted to an unhealthy fascination with Slurpees.

Imagine my delight, then, when I opened up this article from GreenBiz and saw this photo coupled with this headline:

7-Eleven Opening Green Commissary and Distribution Center in Long Island
Photo: Greenbiz

The full article from MSNBC
says that the new, greener supply center in Bohemia, Long Island will prepare and deliver fresh food to 674 7-Eleven stores in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Sadly, the article doesn't mention anything about a greener Slurpee (or one in any of its signature lurid rainbow hues) nor does the news affect those of us not living in one of the above states.

Besides greener food preparation facilities, the new food preparation plant will make use of sophisticated ordering and tracking systems, allowing a very quick turnaround between orders placed by the stores and inventory mobilized for delivery.

Hearing about "fresh foods" in a convenience store context feels a little strange. Will moving away from typical convenience foods (over-packaged, full of preservatives guaranteeing a long shelf life) mean an increase in food waste, due to the shorter shelf life of fresh goods? After all, isn't our demand for instant gratification kind of at the root of a lot of our food and environmental problem behaviors? Yet a finely-tuned order- and delivery system like the one being tested by 7-11 may be the key to marrying "convenient" with "fresh" without generating a lot of waste.

So overall, way to go, 7-11. I'll keep holding out for that sustainable Slurpee.


Tags: Convenience food, Convenience stores, Delivery, Industry, Junk food, Slurpee

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