the grocery store, and other stories

After a morning of reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (and I am just one
sitting away from the end now...) I went to the grocery store to see what's
what. Now, having been unemployed and therefore chock-full of free time,
I've been to this grocery store a hundred times (and I don't think that's an
exaggeration). But today was the first time I noticed the fluorescent pink
green and orange stickers that tagged the locally owned, locally grown, and
organic items, respectively.

Really Sadie?

Truth be told, I must have seen them, but they never registered in my head
except to say "Hey! I'm more expensive! You should probably just move
along." Looking at them today, I found that not only were the local products
better-looking (in the case of produce) but they were also cheaper than items
from other countries. Who knew?

Now, don't think I haven't registered that I am, in fact, living in California,
and that despite the fog it's the middle of the summer. Of course there will
be piles of beautiful local produce. But to notice, whatever time of year it is,
that, hey, all the apples are from Chile, while the pears are from a few miles
away, is a big deal to someone who has never paid it much thought. Maybe
I'll substitute pear this time around.

The rice aisle was fully stocked with locally grown brown, white, black, short
grain, long grain, sweet, sticky, and arborio rice, to name a few (the flours
were mostly locally owned but grown elsewhere in the US.), and the cheapest
brand of coconut oil they sold was produced in the US and packaged in
Berkeley. What a win!

I made out like a bandit with several types of gluten free flours, all the produce
I'll need for tonight's dinner-for-two, a bag of lemon cucumbers for pickling,
and all the organic pickling spices I could imagine using (including such things
as vanilla beans, star anise pods, and juniper berries) for an easy twenty bucks.
I've never had such a slow and contemplative grocery trip, and it was pretty

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