Posted on Sunday, May 22nd, 2005
It’s been a nagging feeling I couldn’t quite put my finger on for months, but the process of food shopping had become less and less appealing since I arrived in California.
I’d followed the same patterns as I had at home – approximately one weekly supermarket shop to get all the basics in, and then maybe one more run to pick up specific needed items later on.
And the supermarkets are convenient: large, situated every half-mile or so in every direction, and (for the most part) open until 2am or later. So why my increasing reluctance to enter?
I finally worked it out a couple of days before Mark Morford wrote his piece Is Safeway Sucking Your Soul? in the San Francisco Chronicle.
In a nutshell, American supermarkets (and the food they stock) are a bizarre, freakish world of depressing clinical blandness interrupted only by day-glo “half price!” signs in the aisles. For all their convenience, they are not pleasant places to shop.