>> Sunday, January 31, 2010
Inside it looked like most any regular buying club-style grocery store. You may already be familiar with Sam's Club or CostCo, and that's the same kind of impression I got when I walked inside. The only thing you have to keep in mind was that this particular business is catering specifically to restaurants as clients. I believe you're supposed to have a registered business in order to sign up with their club. With that in mind, the feelings I had after that ranged from disappointed to appalled when I saw what kinds of things were on the shelves.
We walked inside the refrigerated section of the store, which is like literally walking inside a ballroom-sized refrigerator. Perhaps not the most cost-efficient way of storing food, but then there really was so much of it that it made sense to have the entire section so cold. That's not really my call, though, because I don't know their numbers. However in here we found meats, produce, and dairy. As for organic supplies, there was an extremely tiny sliver of shelving dedicated to Organic Valley-brand products, and that was it. Keep in mind, this is the kind of thing that you're probably eating whenever you go out to the average restaurant. Sure, prices were pretty great, bought in extreme bulk, but there were worse things in addition to the conventionally-raised vegetables.
There were institution-sized buckets of margarine or other non-butter spread, highly-processed meats, fake cheese, desserts with who-knows-what kind of preservatives or artificial flavors, ... the list goes on and on. This is why it's so important to be careful about what you eat when you go out to eat: those in charge of supplying restaurants or catering services are in business to make money, and using this cheap, unhealthy food is good for that business.
Stepping outside the refrigerated section, there were shelves upon shelves of continued great deals on lots of processed foods. The walls of pop are so standard everywhere that they really need not be mentioned. There was everything from bulk spices to artificial flavorings to everyone's favorite: Creamy Liquid Fry Oil! Before I let you browse through the pictures I took, I'd like to share with you some of the details from this little package. It says it's a "no salt", "no cholesterol" food - as if that somehow remotely means that it's healthy. It claims that it's "Great for cooking, baking, frying, dressings, and sauces." And the best part is the ingredient list: "Liquid and hydrogenated soybean oil, TBHQ and citric acid added to protect flavor, dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent added."
Restaurants serve this to you without a second thought.