Friday, April 23, 2010

Why I shop in SO many places

Maybe it's a New England thing, but I doubt it.

People ask me where we do our grocery shopping and often are surprised at the answer I give them. We shop in at least 3 stores each week, not including farmers' markets/CSA. Yes, three stores - Trader Joe's, Roche Brothers, BJ's Warehouse Club.

This morning I wondered why I do this as I decided to get most of our groceries from Roche Bros. because the list for Trader Joe's was so short that it didn't seem worth the drive and my kids' limited patience for shopping. I know part of the reason is that we save money this way. Some things are less expensive at Trader Joe's or BJ's than at Roche. Ignoring money for a moment though, I realized I shop at so many places because I simply cannot get the foods I want, the quality of food I want specifically, at only one outlet.

This week, ground turkey is on the shopping list so that I can make a modified shepherds' pie. When I buy meat, I look for humanely raised, appropriately fed, unmedicated meat. I also look for meat that is JUST meat - no added flavors and such. Trader Joe's carries exactly this product for ground turkey and chicken cuts (e.g., chicken breasts, legs, etc.). Roche Bros. is a slightly upscale grocery store. It's not a Whole Foods, but it isn't the average Stop N Shop/Kroger's/A&P either. I figured they certainly would have an appropriate ground turkey already packaged.


Even the ground turkey which was labeled with all the right words - no antibiotics, etc. etc. etc. - yeah, it had rosemary extract added. Why? I'm perfectly capable of adding rosemary if I desire it in a dish. And what is in rosemary extract besides rosemary? I actually found myself growling softly as I read the ingredients of the 2 or 3 ground turkey options available to me. The ingredients should read "ground turkey" or maybe something like "turkey, white and dark meat, ground" but rosemary is not a naturally occurring substance in turkey. Yes, I know it is a supremely good seasoning for poultry (in fact it is my top choice for poultry!), but I don't need someone else deciding how much or how little I should have in my ground turkey, nor do I want them deciding what kind of rosemary goes in my food. After all, this food goes in my body (and in my children's bodies!), so I want to have control over how it tastes and what it contains.


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