Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grocery Survey Rant

Last night, I received a phone call asking me to participate in a grocery store survey. Initially I told the guy thanks, but no thanks. And then he said "Well, it would help improve your local store..." and I thought to myself "Hmm...what if it really did improve my local store?!" Ten minutes later I got off the phone totally annoyed. None of the questions on the survey had anything to do with issues that actually would improve shopping there for me. It's almost as if Safeway doesn't really want to know what it would take to do better. No, it's far easier to push the employees to improve their end of it- which is the gist of the line of questioning of the survey.

So this morning I shot off an email to Safeway, telling them of my frustration with the survey and outlining my suggestions for real improvement. Because honestly, the employees at my local store couldn't do a better job! The employees are great! It's the lack of selection of real foods that sucks so bad. It's a huge, huge store with nothing to eat inside it! I hope I emphasized enough how bitter I am about not being able to buy wild-caught salmon except in giant frozen packages that won't fit in my freezer, or tiny frozen packages that won't feed my family. How hard would it really be to offer fresh, wild-caught salmon? Seriously.

I think ShopRite will get my next email. They've started carrying pastured beef (yay!) that comes from Australia (huh?!). Two miles out of town there's cattle in the field, but the stuff they're offering is from Australia? According to, that's 9788 miles away. That's the best they can do? Really?

Have you contacted your grocery store about carrying more real food? Did you hear back? Tell us about it!

This post is participating in Real Food Wednesday, hosted this week by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.


  1. Hey Maggie....Our local store only sells farm raised salmon that is pre-packed, and I refuse to buy that. Another local grocer, a bit further down the road, sells the wild caught by the pound, when it is in season. Other than that, I buy a 2# frozen pkg of wild caught and use the leftovers in a pasta dish the next night. You are so right....a huge store with nothing nourishing in it! My more local grocers does have an organics produce section, but it is small. I bought 3# of organic potatoes there yesterday for $3.49...that is only 2 meals for us! And, most of the time the produce looks sits there for a long time as it is so pricey. Especially when they are trying to sell oranges that are out of season and outrageously priced!
    For a couple of weeks they sold organically raised chicken parts, but nobody but myself bought them! They can't make money that way, so they discontinued. So...I have to run, willy nilly, all over town, to get the REAL food I want.

    PS...I had total knee replacement surgery nearly 7 weeks ago...slowly but surely getting my sea legs back!!!

  2. I've never thought about contacting my grocery store... I'm trying to shop other places. If enough of us do that, they'll get the message!

  3. Cindy, I am going all over town too. I would say that over the course of two weeks I will hit three different grocery stores, a farm store, and a natural foods store (that actually has TONS of processed foods). Gosh, knee replacement! I figure that's in my future somewhere, and honestly, I think it scares me more than cancer. I think I was traumatized by my grandmother's knee replacements. Here's wishing you a speedy and painfree recovery!

    Chanelle, I'm shopping other places too. But I have to go to several places just to get a week's worth of groceries and that eats up a fair bit of time and money. Plus, the grocery store infrastructure in this country is enormous and already in place. I think the buyers for those conglomerates could get just about any products they wanted to get for their stores. So why not real food? That's how they started out, before they were sort of co-opted by processed food corps. I love buying from our farm store- but the selection is limited and the prices are very high. Making real food accessible in grocery stores would make it available to far more people.

  4. If I started writing to everyone who I thought needed to make improvements, there would be no end! ;) But maybe if we all did, someone would actually listen. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Oh, and I'm definitely going to try that dipping sauce recipe from your last post. It looks delicious!

  5. Right Bank, I hear ya! But I find zapping off an email to be an easy way to satisfy my activist leanings and avoid the "I should have done something" guilt to which I'm so good at subjecting myself.

  6. Hi there,
    My husband and I stumbled across your blog and I'm really interested in making food changes for our family too. We're new to New Jersey and I shop at Shop Rite too....been wondering where to buy local foods because I detest the beef at Shop Rite. I hope I'll find some farmers markets and such soon because I really want to eat healthier. Thanks for sharing your journey with everyone!

  7. Jewels, Well, I'm not in New Jersey, but you could try these: (for a variety of local foods) and (for local grass-fed meats). Also, I would encourange you to pop over to Not Dabbling In Normal. I've just joined the March real food challenge there. You are welcome to join in, but even if you are not up for that, they have posted a wealth of resources. I hope this helps. Please stop back in and let me know how you made out!