Monday, January 24, 2011

Producing Produce UnProductively

I have just returned from the grocery store, and I am quite irritated. The irritation is not at this particular grocery store, but more because I have had the same problem for exactly 3 weeks in a row.

Bad Produce.

When Alex and I went to the market last week, I needed potatoes. We eat a lot of potatoes because Alex doesn't really like many veggies, and so potatoes become a versatile side dish, or easy dinner that I can whip up quickly. The whole stand full of potatoes was rotten. Moldy, cracked, blackened, rotten potatoes. I was quite upset, and quickly decided that needing potatoes could wait until I went to another grocery store. Potatoes were not the only rotten veggies though. Pomegranates looked bruised, discolored and sickly. Bananas were spotted and squishy or far too green to really justify being there. Onions were turning black with mildew along the edges of the skin. I was disappointed and Alex pointed out that perhaps it was simply because we were at the more 'discount' of our local grocery chains.

Today at a completely different grocery store, and, sad to say, a much more upscale grocery store than the one we had frequented previously, I came across the exact same problem. In fact, I brought home two small bags of onions that were one sale (2 bags for $3) and out of 11 onions, 5 of them are unedible, growing mildew and mold, bruised, blackening and oozing mush. I did the best I could to examine them before sticking them in the cart, but I still ended up with rotten stuff.

What am I complaining about? A lot. But mostly I am once again pointing out that grocery store imported, out of season produce is unreliable and a waste of money. I can't wait for the snow to start melting so that I can plant potatoes, onions and cabbages and then preserve them, dry them or freeze them as necessary to avoid having to purchase inferior produce.

Frequent your farmers' market, buy local produce and grow what you can, if you can!

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