Poor quality of grocery store produce

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by melbo, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. Disciple

    Disciple Monkey+

    the crappy veggies is exactly the reason I grow my own, and I can grow a very good variety so we can can/freeze eveything If I think I'm going to need say green chilli's for my queso dip I'll buy canned in a store,(ro-tel) Other veggies(i.e. ones that my family will not eat I just don't grow them so I can grow exactly what I needto feed my family. other things such as dried thai chilli peppers(for my Dilly Beans) I will order those on the net and have them shipped to me. Oh and guys if you want the resipe for dilly beans just let me know they are a good snack.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Since the last post in this thread, I've noticed further degradation in quality. Seems to last longer than back then, but where did the flavor go?
  3. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++

    Buy from the store in your area with the quickest turnover. They can afford to buy better produce going in because they turn it over faster. It is not all the same. Like meat, it is graded before it is sold wholesale.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  4. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I worked produce departments in my late teens and early 20's. Keeping the stock fresh and rotated is a lot of work and proper inventory control isn't easy. Too much inventory and you lose money due to mark downs and too little you lose money due to lost sales. The trend at that time was moving away from local produce, though I still bought it where I could.

    The biggest problem we had selling local was that there was an expectation of perfect appearance by our customers, so they would buy a salmon pink tomato out of California and turn their noses up at perfectly ripe local tomatoes because they all weren't exactly the same size. The varieties that get shipped out of California, Mexico, etc. are designed for shipping and are picked green even if they appear ripe, and intended to ripen a bit.

    A classic example are strawberries. The stores are chock full of large red berries that are tart and have no flavor. They outsell the smaller and far better local berries by a large margin and most stores no longer carry local, so I buy at stands directly from the growers, or go to a local produce only market that carries them. Also, when you go to local "saturday market" type operations you are buying a mix of local and long distance shippers so you even have to be careful there. Your best bet is to find a local produce only market and ask questions.

    For your standard grocery store take a moment and watch the clerks work. When they refill are they pulling the existing stock out then adding a layer of new to the bottom before replacing the stock they just pulled? This is proper rotation and necessary to keep the stock fresh. They should also be removing (culling) anything that isn't fresh. If they aren't doing this properly where yo can see them work then how do they handle the stock in the back room?

    Probably the thing I see mishandled the most are bananas. Bananas are picked dead green (actually improves the flavor) and arrive that way at the warehouse. Bananas are ripeness graded 1 through 7 (https://www.cde.state.co.us/nutrition/osnffvpproduceinfosheetsbananas) The store will usually order number 3's. Now, if the store over orders the bananas will turn too ripe for sale - anything riper than a 5 will usually need to be marked down or tossed. Bananas will ripen faster by getting them warmer, and as they ripen, they like most fruit, will emit a gas that makes them ripen faster.

    What I see a lot of in the last several years are ripe bananas that are dead cold on the shelf. What this tells me is that they let their bananas get too warm to get them to ripen than then stuck them in the cooler when the ripening gets out of control. They probably stuck them on top of the coolers where it actually pretty warm and then forgot to pay attention to them. A cold but ripe (grade 5 and above) banana won't last more than a day once it gets warm. When you see this (I just bought those yesterday and now they are overripe) it's a big indicator that everything else is being mishandled and you should look for other sellers.

    Since I had to check every item for freshness when I rotated my stock I got pretty good at quickly identifying a fresh item. The things to look for are firmness and relatively heavy weight. Most fruits and vegetables dehydrate while on the shelf, and the longer they are there, sprayers or not, the more they dehydrate. A fresh item will almost vibrate in your hand. For long thin things like zucchini, carrots, and cucumbers give them a gentle flex. One that is fresh will hardly flex.
    chelloveck and Motomom34 like this.
  5. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Already picking a few

  6. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I have found places like Sprouts market and Trader Joe's that sell cheap produce, their produce seems to go bad fast then my local Krogers. @3M-TA3 is correct about the strawberries. They are awful, tasteless and huge.
    Legion489 likes this.
  7. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    I always wondered why the US imports vegetables and other crap from Israel that can NOT be sold there due to the food laws there concerning cleanliness, GMOs, spraying poisons all over the food, etc. But it comes in here with no problems.
  8. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    It could be the prophet motive! ;)
    Legion489 likes this.
  9. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Problems with good fresh fruits and veggies is that they are seasonal, dependent on growing and weather conditions and we don't know how to eat them. 60 years ago you always put cauliflower, etc into a bowl of salted water to get the worms out of them, trimmed out the bad spots, expected to see different sizes and colors etc. If I find a worm in a veggie, I compliment the seller, shocks the he** out of them, but it proves that they were actually raised without pesticides and you have to expect some. Apples raised without spray will usually have a little scabbing and may have worms, trim it out and enjoy. As more and more of our food stores are owned by chains, the local and regional fruit and veggie wholesalers are disappearing and the local merchant has no place to purchase product every couple day, nor does the local grower have a place to sell his product. The farmer's markets help as does local farm to table operations, but we are losing the middle marketing tier and it shows. We used to have excellent food, but only available at limited times, now we have less than perfect food, but available all the time. It is a trade off.
    oldawg and 3M-TA3 like this.
  10. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    That's it exactly. The best produce as well as healthiest is what is in season in your area. Any produce that is shipped long distances has been developed to handle shipping while having the best cosmetics in order to sell. Flavor and nutrition are of no concern. The best bet is what you grow yourself followed by what you can buy direct then indirect from a local farmer at a produce stand or store.
    Gator 45/70 and Cruisin Sloth like this.
  11. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Get to know your local farmer or grower well. I get dozens of bushels of peaches, apples, squash, etc for free to dry, can, and freeze from a local large grower. He has a box for me and when he sorts out the produce with blemishes, soft spots, too ripe to have on the shelf for 3 days, odd sizes, insect damage, etc, he throws them in my box for my "chickens", wink wink! A neighbor with chickens usually gives me eggs as the rejects from my green house and the peels, trimmings, rejects etc from my storage preps are greatly appreciated by his hens. The same with drop apples, help pick them up for his cider operation and get to keep the best for apple sauce, apple butter, and drying. Often can "strip pick" the peach trees after the main part of the season has gone by and it doesn't pay to pick the few peaches still ripening. Costs me a good bottle of Scotch at Christmas, but still a very good bargain and he gives me the commercial discount on fertilizers, greenhouse supplies,etc, and lets me order things on his order so I get the wholesale rate and free delivery. Father is in his 90's, son in 60's,grand son in late 30's, great grandson in teens, and after 40 years, they have reached the point that my "scrounging" is just part of the operation as is being called at midnight to help run the smudge pots when we get a frost, or at 6 AM when there is a problem with a sprayer and the temp and humidity are at the right point for scab and the spraying can not be put off for 6 hours.
    Gator 45/70, Cruisin Sloth and 3M-TA3 like this.
  12. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    I work the same deal with a few also . It's not only my way , but Im sure one day my A$$ will be saved as it has so many times B4 .
    Sloth .
    3M-TA3 and duane like this.
  13. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Most farmers etc are really good people and are willing to work with you. It is a 2 way street and no one likes to be lectured to, looked down on, or be taken advantage of, help as much as you can in your area of expertise, and always offer to pay for anything they offer, they do it for a living and you should never forget that. They live in a world where cows have to be milked and fed, on time and every day, fields have to be tilled, planted, managed, harvested, and stored , on time and it can't wait for your needs. If you say you will help, do so, they do not like excuses and will not forget. As far as lifestyle, farmers, fishermen, loggers, etc, live in a world that has many of the basics of a world post SHTF, things have to be done, preparations have to be made ahead of time, they have to work together as nature does not accept excuses, and they have a long term outlook on life. You may have to plow in the fall, plant a cover crop, plow it down in the spring, fertilize and plant a crop, you may have to have wells and pumps, sprayers and cultivation equipment, harvesting equipment, storage facilities, marketing facilities, etc and a short term crop takes 1 year, orchards, vineyards, building up a herd, may take several years, they have to have things ready when needed, seeds, feed, fertilizer, equipment, fuel, etc, a lot like having your preps in order if needed. Most have absolutely no tolerance for BS or pretensions, if you don't know, say so, if you can't help, don't offer, etc. Many of the older ones will treat you very much as the stories stress on how the guards treat refugee's, do you have something that might help them and are you worth getting to know? They can be valuable friends, save your butt in many ways, make your life much more pleasant, and multiply you chance of surviving a SHTF event many times. They are not and never should be treated as a resource to be exploited as they rightly will not tolerate that type of behavior and will react very badly to any attempt to do so.

    I apologize for the thread drift, but the interactions between the older style farmers and most modern Americans leaves a lot to be desired. and I feel a great need to speak to others about what we are losing.
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
    Gator 45/70, oldawg and Cruisin Sloth like this.
  14. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    True ^^^^
  15. FTM2 Tartar

    FTM2 Tartar On Hiatus Banned

    I too have noticed a dramatic increase in the speed of the rot over the last few months. And I suspect that it is due [as it was back in 2010 when this thread started] to a dramatic increase in the dosage of radiation given to imports.
    But I'm sure it is for our own good... hehe
    Gator 45/70 and Yard Dart like this.
  16. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Not only the produce, but the beef and pork quality has slipped as well here. Going to have to start making Costco runs....
    3M-TA3 likes this.
  17. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    When my wife and I flee Nutlandia food quality is one of our considerations as is having enough land to raise some beef. FWIW it seems that the further north its raised the better the pork.
    Gator 45/70 and Dunerunner like this.
  18. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Farms up here YUP
    Beef (Angus ) next door , Lamb,duck ,chicken (here), fish from the local bands (native swap)
    Greens all over
    duane, Dunerunner and 3M-TA3 like this.
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary