August 29, 2006

Wal-Mart is the devil

It all started with Wal-Mart, the proliferation of dirt cheap consumer goods from toys to clothing to household small electrics and now food. I got so peeved today when I went to the grocery to buy a package of peeled baby carrots. The first bag I picked up was from Guatemala, the second from Costa Rica, and all the other bags came from other countries like China and Belgium but not one bag of peeled baby carrots was grown here in the USA. I looked at other packaged veggies including frozen and they are all imported. Only few are USA grown. I asked the grocery personnel where the fresh vegetables are from, the broccoli and green bell peppers are from Mexico. Just the other day I brought home a package of yellow and orange bell sweet peppers from the Netherlands which I only found out at home. Last week I asked the manager of one grocery chain here in our city why all the Fuji and Gala apples are from Chile and why there aren't any apples from Virginia. There are golden and red delicious from Washington State but that's it, every apple variety is from Chile. It is ridiculous, Virginia is an apple growing state and to find apples from Chile in the middle of summer is just exasperating. I was told by the manager "But, aren't you glad the prices of apples are way cheaper than last year, don't you want to save money?" I told him I don't want cheap and inferior produce, I want fruits and vegetables grown here in my country. It's not the middle of winter so why are these groceries buying produce from abroad? Because they are cheaper to buy and maybe cheaper for consumer but it means they're inferior and more disturbing it means less business for Americans. So why blame Wal-Mart? Because this trend was started by this retail giant by importing really cheap merchandise from China and the trend is spreading fast. The consumers are the real losers here for being forced to buy inferior products. Of course I have the option of driving all the way to the boondocks to buy locally grown produce but that's inconvenient and these merchants are only available during the summer. This is the first summer in almost 15 years that I have not been able to buy Virginia apples from the big grocery chains and I think that's sad. There are some stores near where I live that sell US produce, Wegmans although they also sell Chilean fruits during winter which is understandable AND Costco which sells in bulk and the produce tends to rot before you can completely consume them.

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