Been a parsing week. Too many thing to do and hence too much multitasking – and cognition has suffered as a result. So as week out approaches perhaps I can breathe deeply and mentate.
Some time ago I ran across an article [Link] about how many grocery stores people habitually shop at.
“Of 1,321 households studied, only 12 stayed loyal to just one store. More than half, at 51.1 percent, went to an average of five to seven different stores. Eighty-eight households, or six of every 100, went to 10 or more.”
I find myself close to modal. The amodality, or even adistributionality, is that I motor to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill to do most of my provisioning. Only emergency and forgotten foodstuffs are bought here in Greater Metropolitan Arab. That’s because the choices here are between MalWart and two very back-of-beyond rural chain grocery stores. One of these actually has carpenter-built shelving, at least in part. Both have excellent produce, almost as good as the “organic” stores in Huntsville.
MalWart, of course, has a huge but largely irrelevant selection, crippled by its lack of product consistency and its studied apathy to the needs of those who care about their health. Finding No-Salt-Added foodstuffs at WalMart is a depression experience. This is why I am proud to say I haven’t set foot in the MalWart in over a month.
But I primarily buy in Huntsville at a mixture of “organic” and “senior oriented” stores. And the number there is five, three and two, respectively, of the genres. I use parenthesis because the “organic” stores are rather laughable in their jargon and pretension. They basically sell dull, unengaging foods (with a taste that makes unsalted grits seem a thrill ride on the tongue.) They seem to delight in selling both packaged and store-made foodstuffs that are void of an positive taste although excellent texture. And their prices are close to double of the “senior oriented” stores, which are also less than the Arab stores who claim they have to charge more because they are smaller and have fewer customers, which they do not, in either instance.
In fact, the term “organic” is a continual amusement. Having studied chemistry, I am steeped in the idea that “organic” means molecules largely composed of covalent carbon. To them, “organic” seems to mean something anti-scientific and decidedly social justice mumbo-jumbo.
I accept the stupidity because they have excellent produce, superb coffee – at least 20dB better than the big brand floor dirt sold as coffee by everyone else – and hideously hilarious in their arrogant ceremonial self-satisfaction. Rather like hippies who have a permanent LSD trip and are making mysticism out of stercus.
They also have rather exceptional produce, at least 10dB above MalWart’s.
The “senior-oriented” stores are much less demanding of lucre and actually have some “senior-oriented” foodstuffs. Some NSA foods can be obtained there, but not enough to eschew mail-ordering from specialty groceries. They are truly “senior-oriented” in terms of selling that trope to seniors. When I go the only people lacking gray or white hair are some of the employees, who seem to take delight in daring the seniors to play bumper carts with them. Somehow, the layout of the store seems to be anything but senior-friendly from a standpoint of efficient provisioning.
The moral that seems to be emerging here is that the grocery business has become so fragmented that real humans can’t get what they need at a small number of stores. That’s a degree and not a quality. When I was a bairn my maternal parent shopped at two grocery stores – one for meat and the other for packaged foods – and the city farmer’s market for produce.
Amerika: where sophistication is measured by the number of grocery stores you frequent.