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robertogreco : groceries   20

Should America Be Run by … Trader Joe’s? (Ep. 359) - Freakonomics Freakonomics
"ROBERTO: “I’d like to open a new kind of grocery store. We’re not going to have any branded items. It’s all going to be private label. We’re going to have no television advertising and no social media whatsoever. We’re never going to have anything on sale. We’re not going to accept coupons. We’ll have no loyalty card. We won’t have a circular that appears in the Sunday newspaper. We’ll have no self-checkout. We won’t have wide aisles or big parking lots. Would you invest in my company?”



"So we put on our Freakonomics goggles in an attempt to reverse-engineer the secrets of Trader Joe’s. Which, it turns out, are incredibly Freakonomical: things like choice architecture and decision theory. Things like nudging and an embrace of experimentation. In fact, if Freakonomics were a grocery store, it might be a Trader Joe’s, or at least try to be. It’s like a real-life case study of behavioral economics at work. So, here’s the big question: if Trader Joe’s is really so good, should their philosophy be applied elsewhere? Should Trader Joe’s — I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but … should Trader Joe’s be running America?"
traderjoes  2018  freakanomics  retail  groceries  psychology  choice  paradoxofchoice  decisionmaking  michaelroberto  competition  microsoft  satyanadella  markgardiner  sheenaiyengar  economics  behavior  hiring 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Farm-To-Table May Feel Virtuous, But It's Food Labor That's Ripe For Change : The Salt : NPR
"Novel and thrilling in earlier days, today's farm-to-table restaurant menus have scaled new heights of supposed transparency. The specificity can be weirdly opaque, much like an actual menu item that recently made the rounds: Quail Egg Coated in the Ashes of Dried Sheep's S***. Farm-to-table fatigue is most evident in those of us who cook in farm-to-table restaurants — Even We Are Sick of Us.

In the 15 years since Lantern opened, guests at my Asian-influenced farm-to-table restaurant have only rarely asked why a white girl from New Jersey is cooking fried rice in North Carolina alongside a kitchen crew mostly born in Mexico. The food we cook is openly and inherently inauthentic. But guests are sometimes surprised to learn that every single thing we serve isn't both local and organic, that our relatively expensive menu yields only slim profit or that we can't afford a group health plan. Diners occasionally comment that our use of Alaskan salmon or California cilantro has detracted from a truly "authentic" farm-to-table experience.

The ubiquity that makes farm-to-table meaningless also gives it its power. It has come to signify authenticity on almost any level, suggesting practices as complicated as adherence to fair labor standards, supply chain transparency or avoidance of GMOs. As farm-to-table has slipped further away from the food movement and into the realms of foodie-ism and corporate marketing, it is increasingly unhitched from the issues it is so often assumed to address.

Farm-to-table's sincere glow distracts from how the production and processing of even the most pristine ingredients — from field or dock or slaughterhouse to restaurant or school cafeteria — is nearly always configured to rely on cheap labor. Work very often performed by people who are themselves poor and hungry.

Inequality does not affect our food system — our food system is built on inequality and requires it to function. The components of this inequality —racism, lack of access to capital, exploitation, land loss, nutritional and health disparities in communities of color, to name some — are tightly connected. Our nearly 20-year obsession with food and chefs has neither expanded access to high-quality food nor improved nutrition in low-resource neighborhoods.

Only an honest look at how food gets to the table in the U.S. can begin to unwind these connections.

Food workers, as members of both the largest and lowest-paid U.S. workforce, are in a unique position to lead these conversations. Many of us have already helped incubate policy change on wage equality, organic certification and the humane treatment of animals. But a simpler and maybe even more powerful way we can be catalysts for real change in the food system is to simply tell the stories of who we are.

Take immigration. Our current policy renders much of the U.S. workforce completely invisible. This is more true in the food industry than in any other place in American life. There is a widespread disconnect on the critical role recent immigrants play in producing our food and an underlying empathy gap when it comes to the reality of daily life for these low-wage food workers and their families.

For example, here in North Carolina, over 150,000 immigrant farm and food-processing workers harvest nearly all the local food we eat and export, but their living and working conditions would shock most Americans.

Our state produces half the sweet potatoes grown in the U.S. — 500,000 tons a year — which are all harvested by hand. A worker here has to dig and haul 2 tons to earn about $50. In meatpacking plants, horrific injuries and deaths resulting from unsafe working conditions are widespread. Farmworkers are exposed to far more pesticides than you or I would get on our spinach. Poverty wages allow ripe strawberries to be sold cheaply enough to be displayed unrefrigerated, piled high in produce section towers. Nearly half of immigrant farmworkers and their families in North Carolina are food insecure.

When as chefs we wonder whether a pork chop tastes better if the pig ate corn or nuts but we don't talk about the people who worked in the slaughterhouse where it was processed, we are creating a kind of theater. We encourage our audience to suspend their disbelief.

The theater our audience sees — abundant grocery stores and farmers markets, absurdly cheap fast food and our farm-to-table dining rooms — resembles what Jean Baudrillard famously called the simulacrum, a kind of heightened parallel world that, like Disneyland, is an artifice with no meaningful connection to the real world.

As chefs, we need to talk more about the economic realities of our kitchens and dining rooms and allow eaters to begin to experience them as we do: imperfect places where abundance and hope exist beside scarcity and compromise. Places that are weakened by the same structural inequality that afflicts every aspect of American life.

Roger Ebert described the capacity of movies to be "like a machine that generates empathy." With more expansive definitions of authenticity and transparency, restaurants can become empathy machines and diners will get a better understanding of the lives of the people who feed us."
farmtotable  inequality  labor  2017  andreareusing  jeanbaudrillard  groceries  food  rogerebert  immigration  northcarolina  economics  us 
august 2017 by robertogreco
The Land of Big Groceries, Big God, and Smooth Traffic: What Surprises First-Time Visitors to America - Max Fisher - The Atlantic
"The U.S. can be such a jarringly strange place for many foreign visitors that travel guidebooks detail everything from the dangers of talking politics to tips on respecting Americans' famously guarded personal space. But what do those visitors find when they actually get here? This American Life spoke to a relatively narrow slice of foreign arrivals, but a thread on public question site Quora, jumping off from the radio segment, asks web users from around the globe to chime in with what surprised them about America. 

The stories are self-reported…some…anonymous, so it's difficult to tell whether some of their answers might be exaggerated or even false. But there are some consistent themes in what surprised them…which might say as much about the people who visit the U.S. and assumptions they bring with them as about America itself."

See also: http://www.quora.com/How-Americans-Are-Different/What-facts-about-the-United-States-do-foreigners-not-believe-until-they-come-to-America ]
image  media  stereotypes  perception  travel  differences  capitalism  society  groceries  food  foreigners  cultureshock  culture  us  thisamericanlife 
august 2012 by robertogreco
SOL Seasonal, Organic, Local - Fresh and healthy organic foods, farm fresh and nutritional - Southern California - WELCOME
"Real Food. Close to Home." Opening soon, SOL Markets will sell the freshest, healthiest local foods and will be available to you seven days a week. We’ll have a bar serving local beer and wine, a café where you can enjoy dishes prepared with ingredients available right in our store, and plenty of opportunities to spend time with and learn from people who grow, prepare and care about quality food and community.

2855 Perry Road, San Diego, CA 92106 · Cómo llegar

Seasonal Organic Local. We sell only the freshest and healthiest food grown by local farmers/ranchers, then serve that food in our cafe along with local beers and wines. Opening soon in Liberty Station."

[See also: http://www.facebook.com/solmarkets?sk=wall ]
sandiego  food  groceries  local  organic  seasonal 
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Urbanophile » Blog Archive » Yes There Are Grocery Stores in Detroit by James Griffioen
"I hope this tirade accomplishes my primary goal of eliminating the gross generalization that there are no grocery stores in Detroit & that its citizens are forced to leave the city borders to buy fresh meats and produce. That myth is fueled by the unfair assumption that big-box chain stores are the best and only places to shop, which is particularly nefarious in my opinion because the model used by those stores is largely unsustainable for our cities’ futures. Chinese-manufactured goods shipped and trucked tens of thousands of miles and sold for razor-thin profit margins may seem convenient, but I truly believe we still haven’t learned their true cost. In my opinion, it is the exurban and small town shoppers who must choose between the uniform selections of a Wal-Mart, Kroger, or Meijer that truly have limited options. I prefer to celebrate the absence of these national retailers in this city rather than add it to the heap of things we already have to complain about here…"
detroit  food  media  culture  cities  bias  supermarkets  groceries  jamesgriffioen  sweetjuniper 
january 2011 by robertogreco
What Food Says About Class in America - Newsweek
“Essentially, we have a system where wealthy farmers feed the poor crap and poor farmers feed the wealthy high-quality food.” —Michael Pollan
food  health  us  michaelpollan  hunger  obesity  groceries  farming  farms  locavore  politics  policy  local  anthropology  class  wealth  poverty  agriculture 
november 2010 by robertogreco
The Great Grocery Smackdown - Magazine - The Atlantic
"In an ideal world, people would buy their food directly from the people who grew or caught it, or grow and catch it themselves. But most people can’t do that. If there were a Walmart closer to where I live, I would probably shop there.
walmart  wholefoods  agribusiness  agriculture  business  cooking  distribution  groceries  food  farming  sustainability  organic  produce  local  locavore 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Detroit: A city without chain grocery stores - Jul. 22, 2009
"Detroit is one of America's largest cities, but there isn't a single grocery chain store within the city limits. Spurned by national retailers, Detroit's nearly 1 million residents instead rely on independent stores run by local entrepreneurs for their most basic needs.
detroit  groceries  food  retail  economics 
august 2009 by robertogreco
San Diego Food Not Lawns
"grassroots group based in San Diego, California (USA) and focused on "cultivating an edible future" and working together to offer information, facilitate communication, and otherwise act and effect local change regarding a variety of food and land relate
sandiego  food  groceries  produce  gardening  california  activism  nutrition  slow  slowfood  grassroots  agriculture  sustainability  diy  ecology  green  local  community 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Edible San Diego
"Through our magazine, website, and events, our aim is to connect consumers with local growers, retailers, chefs, and food artisans. We will bring you the stories about new products, old ways, markets, restaurants, must read books, and thriving traditions
food  magazines  sandiego  local  produce  groceries  farming  agriculture 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Local Harvest / Farmers Markets / Family Farms / CSA / Organic Food
"Use our website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies. Want to support this great web site? Shop in our catalog for things you…"

[see also: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ ]
food  organic  local  farms  farming  agriculture  green  activism  vegetables  groceries  produce  sandiego  localism  locavore  us  sustainability 
july 2008 by robertogreco
North Park Produce - San Diego Entertainment Guide at SignOnSanDiego.com
"In the 10 years since North Park Produce opened, it's carved out a niche as a specialist in ethnic foods of all kinds, from Middle Eastern to Mexican and Indian. Located at 3551 El Cajon Blvd., corner of Wilson Street, the store is a treasure-trove of un
sandiego  produce  food  groceries  northpark 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Nijiya Market
"NIJIYA MARKET Specialize In Gourmet Japanese Ingredients, Fresh Fish (sashimi quality), Ocean products, Meats, Organic produce, fruits and natural Ingredients. Our kitchen is always preparing fresh sushi, sozai, and other prepared foods daily."
food  sandiego  groceries  japanese  california  sanfrancisco  losangeles 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Ethnic Markets in San Diego - California - Chowhound
"OK, I'm hoping to compile a list of ethnic super markets in San Diego along with people's thoughts and experiences about them. I'll start use off with a few listings."
sandiego  food  groceries  produce 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Laurent Haug’s blog » Blog Archive » « My daughter never went to a supermarket »
"The future of grocery shopping might be a wonderful, sensitive and spectacular experience on one side, with computers, recommendation engines and home delivery on the other. Does that strike a cord? Sounds an awful lot like Apple stores to me."
apple  retail  food  shopping  future  groceries  experience  design  interaction  online  internet  web 
february 2008 by robertogreco
The Simple Dollar » The One Month Coupon Strategy: A Really Clever Way to Make Coupons Worthwhile
take the wad of coupons to the store [four weeks later]...Magically, most of them will sync up with stuff that’s already on sale...combine sale price & coupon, you’ll be able to get items for next to nothing."
consumerism  budget  coupons  finance  groceries  food  lifehacks  productivity  shopping  money  diy 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Groceteria.com: Did You Bring Bottles?
"Groceteria.com is a site about the history of the American supermarket, from both an architectural and a business perspective. As a general rule, the site covers events and stores of the 1920s through the 1980s."
food  culture  architecture  design  groceries  blogs  business  us  history 
june 2007 by robertogreco
What the World Eats | Photo Essays | TIME
"What's on family dinner tables in fifteen different homes around the globe? Photographs by Peter Menzel from the book "Hungry Planet""
comparison  cooking  travel  world  food  culture  health  global  photography  classideas  sustainability  storytelling  statistics  diet  eating  socialstudies  society  visualization  groceries  consumerism  consumption  economics 
june 2007 by robertogreco

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