The Food Peddlers
By Joe David
Like many shoppers, I am finding it harder to locate quality food in my local stores at fair prices. Some of my favorite foods are being replaced with those of lesser quality. This shouldn’t surprise us. The current political administration has warned us of impending food shortages. What the administrations hasn’t warned us of is the reduction in food quality.
This summer one respected grocery store chain in Warrenton, Virginia, where I live, sold me three items on the same day of questionable quality—a precooked chicken (dry to the bone), mealy and tasteless peaches (in season), and most disturbing of all, a tainted pork roast (given life with a chemical smelling of and tasting suspiciously like Chlorine). Upset with my purchases, I returned the first two items immediately for a refund, and I recommended to store management, when I returned the third item that it test the meat for its chemical content.
I didn’t stop there. I suggested that members of management address this matter with the butcher. I suspected the meat, which had spoiled while waiting to be sold, was reincarnated by a “gifted” backroom butcher with a high school knowledge of chemistry.
If this is true and anointing tainted foods with chemicals is a general practice, not the act of an ambitious loner who enjoys poisoning customers, this could be an important warning sign to the community.
To make certain that the local store understood the depth of my anger, I contacted the store’s West Coast corporate office (both customer service and CEO).
The result of my effort after waiting five weeks for a reply was exactly what I had expected? Silence!
I am paying inflated prices for food, and in return I get silence from management when I have an urgent concern about its quality. If this silence is the true reflection of management’s attitude toward its customers, and it continues, I worry that the food we buy, when the expected food shortages hit us (as politicians are promising) will only get worse.
My recommendation: We must all do what I did with the tainted roast. It is important that we complain when the food doesn’t meet standards while we still can influence management with our dollar. We can’t allow the food peddlers to take advantage of us. To survive, we need safe and nourishing food.
Joe David, who has been a frequent radio and television guest, is the author of numerous articles and six books. For more information about him, visit www.bfat.com.