Thursday, September 11, 2008

Small Packages

Proving that that's really where good things come from, The New York Times featured an article yesterday that highlighted an encouraging deviation from the bigger-is-better business plan so prevalent in food retailers. Apparently the grocery giants are taking a cue from Trader Joe's and small-scale vendors who sell smaller quantities of better stuff. The midwest's Jewel-Osco, the ubiquitous Giant, and even - brace yourself - WalMart, are opening smaller versions of their megamarts to cater to the harried consumer who hardly has the time or inkling to peruse forty types of yogurt and eighteen varieties of peanut butter on her lunch break. The goal is to rope 'em in and spit 'em out in ten minutes or less, after which they're happily armed with the evening's dinner and arsenal of paper towels.

I feel positive but skeptical about this trend. On the one hand, it indicates that there is a demand to choose less over more, which is a healthy blow to the ethos of over-consumption. And that push has to be pretty firm to reach the guys and gals in the big, windowed offices. On the other hand, it's slightly disheartening, since it plays into this whole gulp-and-go mentality that has become too ingrained in our culture for Alice Waters and the Slow Food-ers to battle alone.  But hell, I'll take what I can get.

Also, I loved this article about cookbook maven and certified badass Marcella Hazan. This feisty old broad knows that produce ain't what it used to be, and that an artichoke the size of a Nerf ball does not belong in her hallowed roasting pan. Preach it, Senora!

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Gimme urban farms. I don't care who sells it. Get all that chemical shit out, bring it back old school.

FUCK walmart