Monday, November 14, 2005

This is “fresh”??

Sunday is grocery shopping day…better known as a frustrating chore. See, I live in a small town that sports two supermarkets. One is a small chain of three stores and very expensive with relatively poor quality. The other is an Albertson’s…nicknamed by me: Dumb, Awful Albertson’s (remember the Mary Tyler Moore Show, and how Phyllis called Rhoda: “Dumb, Awful Rhoda”?)

Anyway…not only do I live in a small town, I live in a small town in California. The state that is the largest agricultural producer of, well, almost everything… I remember reading that if California were its own country (ha! sometimes it feels like it!), we would be the seventh largest industrial nation in the world.

Okay, I prepare my grocery list, determined to start eating in a more healthy manner (yeah, yeah, yeah…I am fully aware the holidays are lurking just around the corner and tis the season to screw calories, eat hearty and all that jazz…but what can a person do when they suddenly start craving things like broccoli and carrots except succumb to the rare urge and purchase them!)

So, weekly ad in hand, I spy Fresh Salmon filets on sale! Woo Hoo! I love salmon. On the list it goes…. Hmmm…Fresh Shrimp are on sale! Bingo! On the list they go. Hmmm…yum! Grapes…on sale! Yep…mark them babies on the list…can’t forget grapes! Ooh, grapefruit…on sale! How lucky can a temporary health-food nut get! Except to see that avocados are also on sale! (Of course…having grown up in the avocado capital of the world…with a parent who still grows them…I would NEVER even consider buying one from the store!…but still, a girl can drool for a moment—see I had more avocados growing up in the city than I ever got living on a grove of the suckers…)

Then off to the store, I trot, with my list full of goodies…all prepared to spend a ton of bucks. Also on the list is some laundry detergent on sale for an obscenely low price…milk, butter (also on sale!), tuna (yep…on sale!) and Breyer’s Real Vanilla ice cream (on sale! But hey…it’s for Thanksgiving…I shan’t open it a day before…)

So…first item…the grapes…uh…they are from Chile. Okay…I have nothing against Chile…but I really don’t want grapes that have traveled thousands of miles when I live in a grape-growing area. Oh well…

Grapefruit…uh, hmmm… okay…grown out of the country… Okay…I personally even have a bit of a problem buying Florida or Texas grapefruit when we grow so much here…but…at least it grows on the same continent that I reside on…

EEEKK… The avocados are from Mexico???? Mexico??? When the store in which I stand is in the Avocado Capital of the World??????

Okay…so maybe I don’t need those “on sale” foreign items. Off to the meat counter.

Fresh Salmon…from Chile??????? Even the Atlantic would be stretching it for fresh…but from Chile???

But here is the best of all: Fresh Shrimp. Not fresh frozen…not frozen, defrosted…but FRESH! From….drum roll….New Orleans, you are thinking? Wrong! Oregon, you are thinking….Wrong, again!!!!!! Thailand!!!! And Bangladesh!!! And Viet Nam!!!!!! Ten thousand miles away these poor shrimpies have traveled. Heck…No human traveling home to California from those countries is gonna be fresh by the time it arrives…let alone a small fish.

I am at a loss to even try and figure out why…when it is readily available here… Albertson’s finds it necessary to search the world for these items… Oh wait! Cuz we are dumb enough to continue purchasing them. Well, this shopper wasn’t…this shopper spent a lot less money than she thought she would…especially since they no longer had the laundry detergent (probably started out with ten…) or the milk or the tuna or any of the other things mentioned in the ad.

Hmmm…maybe that is why the Albertson’s chain is up for sale….


In a warped way, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who finds grocery shopping such a frustrating exercise. I totally sympathize with you.

What drives me nuts here is that the stores import all sorts of fruits and veggies, and charge exorbitant prices for them. Now, that would be fine if they were in good condition. But a good chunk of the time they are literally rotting in their wee supermarket bins.

It used to be when any of the fruits or veggies started spiralling into decrepitude, the stores would mark the prices down. Now, we're not talking about rotting here - we're talking bruising and such. If they got anywhere near to rotting, they were thrown away. Now they are sold - at the same high price as the non-rotting ones. There isn't much (besides the mandatory group of rude, ignorant shoppers) that ticks me off more in the grocery store than picking up a piece of fruit only to end up sticking my fingers right through the rotting mess on the other side of it. Of course the worst sides are strategically placed so the shoppers don't see them. Then to see that they are still charging full price for them, when they shouldn't even be on the shelves to begin with. grrrrrrrrrr...

I love salmon, and I hope that you have a schwan's delivery service there. I get all of my salmon from there...and being Alaskan growing up with the stuff I know how good it can be.

Schwan's delivery brings a bag of boneless skinless filets to my door. I pay about $20 but I get three meals out of it, and it is so good!

I refuse to eat Atlantic salmon, it isn't as good as Alaskan...period.

I am with you on the fresh thing...I also undrestand the need for other countries to export...but we need to be staying closer to home now adays and work with the resources we have. Stop exporting our avacados to Mexico, and keep our own.

(stepping off of my soap box)

What is schwan's ... and how can I sign up?

Take it is wild salmon? And yes...Alaskan salmon is the best!

I repeat: What is schwan's ... and how can I sign up?

Brooke--who says $20 for three meals is a bargain!

you can go to or something like that. They are a frozen food delivery service. I get my steaks and chicken from them as well.

They have cheese bread, and their frozen corn is really sweet.

There has been very little from them I didn't like. The halibut is too expensive, so I just go without it. But it is all fairly reasonable, and the pork tenderloin is good too, I season it and put it on my rotisorrie or however that is spelled.

Good stuff!!