Grocery Store Fraud

Have we ever been told a good reason why there are produce sprinklers at the grocery store? I’m not a farmer but I know that dead vegetables don’t need to be bathed in tap water to stay fresh. Judging by the red-orange mold growing in my bathtub, I would assume that extra moisture hastens spoilage.

The real reason is because all that water adds to the final weight at checkout. Notice how they only sprinkle the green leafy vegetables that can hold water in their crevices. You will never see them spraying tomatoes or oranges. My calculations show that this extra water pads the industry’s profit by millions of dollars a year, which is why I shake the shit out of my broccoli crowns before I bag it up.

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Anonymous
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haha!

Roissy
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Roissy
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another profit-maximizing trick they do to broccoli is to leave the heavy inedible stalks as long as possible. i break them off before putting the florets in the plastic bag. i then prop the broken stalk ends on a nearby ledge in a facsimile of a veggie stonehenge to let management know i know what’s up.

Rohan
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Also because it makes the vegetables look more visually appealing to the eye. Which is also why vegetables are at the front of the store while milk and bread are at the back.

People are more likely to buy vegetables which look fresh, and thus more likely to return to the store. So you’re right about the presence of the sprinklers being there for economic reasons… but I’d just suggest there’s more to it than simply adding mass to what gets run through the checkout.

nabeel
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nabeel
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if I had a yard, I’ll grow my own garden. that way I know the food I eat is good, not genetically engineered, or whatever chemicals in them. also don’t have to worry if i’m getting ripped off by extra water on leafy veggies

mhm
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You guys are pretty hard up if you are breaking the frickin’ stalks off of broccoli before you put it in the bag.

IMO, it’s more about making the vegetables look appealling than adjusting the weight.

Roissy
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it’s not about the money, mhm. it’s about cultivating a knowing smirk from the satisfaction that you aren’t going to be lumped in together with the mass of rubes that all these clever marketing ploys so effectively exploit.

rohan, milk and bread are at the back because those are necessities that nearly every customer buys on a trip to the grocery store. by making them walk the length of the aisles to get to those things they are more likely to buy other products along the way. but you’re right about the sprinklers — it’s less about weight than it is about mimicking freshness.

nabeel, you’re more likely to get sick from picking up bacteria off organically grown food than you are from factory farm produce.

will
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will
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What about the water they consume hosing the vegetables down? That costs money too.

Lets say you are buying broccoli crowns, which cost $2.99/lb. Water here, in San Diego, from the tap, is $17.60/HCF, or $0.023/gal.

Now, lets assume that there is maybe 1/4 cup of water on your broccoli when you buy it. 1 cup of water (1/16 gal) is $0.023/16 = $0.0014, so 1/4 cup is $0.00036.

1 gallon of water weighs 8.35 lbs, so 1/4 cup weighs (1/16/4 = 1/64) 8.35/64 = 0.13 lbs. This converted into the price of broccoli is $2.99*0.13 = $0.39.

Subtracting the difference, $0.39-$0.00036 = $0.39. So, yeah, they make about $0.39 off of the water they spray on every head of broccoli (assuming 1/4 cup stays with the broccoli, which might be a very liberal estimate).

Brunch Bird
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For us readers not interested in learning how to most cost-effectively bag chicks, I have to say Roosh, you’re offering up good stuff today. Those Safeway tools aren’t getting anymore unnecessary broccoli money out of me.

Matt
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Matt
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Brilliant!

Anonymous
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nice calculation there copernicus but your assumptions are junk because 1) you dont know how much the grocery store pays for water, 2) you dont know if they recycle the vegetable water, and 3) you, or no one here, is qualified to say how much water a crown of broccoli can hold.

i do agree that the broccoli stalk is a waste. and you know those tomatees on a vine? i rip the vines off before bagging the tomatoes. without the vine the clerks sometimes charge them up as plum tomatoes which are much cheaper. i don’t correct them

will
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will
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The general premise, Anonymous (too much of a pussy to use your real name, eh?), is still valid.

If they recycle the water, they spend less on it; if it costs them less – which is most likely, considering commercial customers always pay significantly less than single-family homes – they spend less on it.

Which means they make more.

will
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will
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Oh yeah, Anonymous, have you ever put a crown of broccoli in a plastic bag right after picking it up, and notice how much water drains off into the corner of the bag? Tie the bag real tight, measure how much is in there, and viola! Me, and every one else here (except for you), is qualified to say how much water a crown of broccoli can hold.

Good article, Roosh. It’s nice to see that you aren’t completely bound by your primitive, “Reptilian” cortex every once in a while.

b
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b
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never really thought of that. Good catch

Anonymous
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Anonymous
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Brocoli water? What about the fucking stems!!! Crack those off then checkout.

beledy
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beledy
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Ah, sprinklers in grocery stores. Yet another innovation that hasn’t made it SE DC yet.

I’m not sure how effective sprinklers are, but keeping damp paper towels around your lettuce and greens can help keep them from going brown. So they’re probably not just out to rip you off. That part is a side bonus.

beledy
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beledy
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Now I know I’m bored. Anyhow, I hope the link works.

http://stellaskitchen.com/howtokeeplettucefresh.html

Cob
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Cob
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Anonymous — assume that, at most, the grocery store pays $17.60/HCF.

Simply figure out how much weight in water you believe the veggies hold, multiply that weight by the cost of veggie per pound, subtract the cost for water, and you get the idea.

Tacoma
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Tacoma
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It’s not the cost of the water (which is minimal). It’s the cost to keep the sprinkling system working, and if the water is recycled (YUCK) that would include pumps.
Anyway, I’m cheap, but breaking off broccoli stems, seems pretty tacky.

Andy
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Andy
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Paranoid much?

Jewcano
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Jewcano
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What the hell? Complaining about wet vegetables is like complaining about how gross milk is. Although,

3) you, or no one here, is qualified to say how much water a crown of broccoli can hold.

There’s a qualification process for this? Where do I take the requisite licensing classes? Think of the chicks I could pull in the grocery store! “Let me help you with that, miss, I’m a certified legumary hydrologist.” The next sound I’ll hear is her pants hitting the floor. Money.

Colin
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Colin
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I recommend frozen veggies from Trader Joe’s.

Katrina Martin
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Good post!

BEAVE
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BEAVE
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They find all kinds of ways to get you, and you might not think that a little water on your vegis are worth it, but that stuff adds up. Also when you buy frozen crablegs(Or any other seafood) from your local fish market, make them rinse the ice off it. The last time I did that it took $4.32 off my bill.

SHAWN
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SHAWN
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You are one cheap bastard. I’ll bet you shake the pump at the gas station when you’re done filling up to get every last drop don’t you? Yeah, thought so wink

Sweet
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Sweet
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This is going to make me laugh the next time I’m in the produce section. People are going to look at me and wonder ‘why is this girl giggling at lettuce?’

Phil
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Phil
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I’m pretty sure it’s to keep the vegetables from wilting.

Much in the same manner that a Christmas tree still drinks water long after it’s been cut down.

Jo Bob Feeny
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Jo Bob Feeny
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I like the funny conversation between Will and anonymous. your both idiots.

Davoud Askari
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Davoud Askari
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Hahaha!