The tote bag is, apparently, not only a happy marriage of form and function but also a status symbol of sorts: You can imagine that, for some, the type of bag one carries around a very social space like a Los Angeles farmers market is highly revealing, so much so that whatever is displayed on the bag is just as significant as the fruits and vegetables and bread inside it. Thus: What your farmers market tote bag says about you.

Whole Foods reusable bag; Credit: T. Nguyen

Whole Foods reusable bag; Credit: T. Nguyen

Whole Foods

Yes, kale is pretty great, especially since you're juicing, but while you're quizzing your farmer about whether the produce is organic, maybe talk to her about the entire exciting world of leafy greens. Swiss chard? Spinach? Ong choy? All of these are worthy of consideration.

Trader Joe's

How much do you love a good Trader Joe's reusable bag? Let us count the ways: Beachy, themed (surfer, utensils), insulated, jute … in fact, if you rattled off every bag you own, you'd sound like Bubba describing all the ways you can cook shrimp. That said, you recognize you do have a problem that borders on hoarding, but you just can't bear the irony of throwing out stacks of reusable bags.


The radio stations you have preset in your Prius: KCRW, KPCC, KUSC, KTWV.

The discs stowed in your Case Logic CD Visor: Mumford & Sons, The Shins and Enya.


“Spot a mysterious peach on a black background? Restaurant addict ID'ing himself as a fan of David Chang's Momofuku noodle empire.” Thank you, New York Times. Note to Tsujita: Maybe now is a good time to start selling tote bags.

See also: The Ultimate L.A. Farmers Market Guide + Google Map!

Library tote bag; Credit: T. Nguyen

Library tote bag; Credit: T. Nguyen

Libraries of Los Angeles

The last time you read a book was last night (Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall), you have strong feelings about the Oxford comma and whether the period goes inside or outside the quotation mark. During the spring election campaign, you put up lawn signs in support of your favorite City Council candidate.

Home Depot

The last time you read a book, it was the year 2001 (Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), you have strong feelings about “Oxford Comma” and while compressing your thoughts into 140 characters has negatively affected your grammar skills, you do know, at least, that the period is irrelevant when doing air quotes. During the spring Emmy campaign, you put up lawn signs in support of your favorite television series.

Hope/Change We Can Believe In/Forward./Forward!

You supported Barack Obama for President and all you got was a lousy designer tote bag. And also, affordable health care for all.

Sac à Baguette

You often have moments of blind optimism in which you promise yourself various things like: One day, when you're no longer nervous about going east past the 405, you'll shop at the Hollywood Farmers Market. One day, you'll actually cook from one of the Gwyneth Paltrow cookbooks shelved on your coffee table. And so on.

Dapple Dandy pluots; Credit: A. Scattergood

Dapple Dandy pluots; Credit: A. Scattergood

No tote bag. Just crates.

You're making pie. We're following you home.

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