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Old 01-22-2018, 05:42 PM
 
5,001 posts, read 2,956,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
You see fields of produce and in the US you just don't see that very much because it's not usually grown locally, it's grown a thousand miles away and by the time it gets to where I live, it's on its way out.
You can't make a blanket statement about produce in "the US," as it obviously depends heavily on where you live. In California, farmer's markets are open year-round and we can buy fresh local produce any time. I am getting great lettuce and strawberries right now. But the first time I went to a supermarket in a Midwestern states in the middle of winter, I was shocked by the pathetic state of the vegetables. I would imagine that in winter in the UK, the situation would be comparable--either most fruits and vegetables must be shipped in from a distant southern locality, or they aren't available at all.

Food is best if it's locally in season, of course. Unfortunately that means that people in many areas have few options for produce in winter, and they understandably get tired of cabbage and turnips. You can't blame them for wanting to truck in some bell peppers and zucchini.
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:19 PM
 
13,505 posts, read 22,201,073 times
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^^^

The prices in the US are generally lower than in Europe on many items. Tesco, ALDI and LIDL all post their ads online.


And as much as I like ALDI USA, their prices are at best 20% less than the major supermarket chains on MOST items - meat is an exception where they are often higher.

==========================

We were having lunch at work a few years back with an employee who was originally from Sofia, Bulgaria.

Her first reaction on her 1st visit to an American supermarket: "What party do I need to join in the US to shop at THAT supermarket !!"
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:26 PM
 
13,505 posts, read 22,201,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
You can't make a blanket statement about produce in "the US," as it obviously depends heavily on where you live. In California, farmer's markets are open year-round and we can buy fresh local produce any time. I am getting great lettuce and strawberries right now. But the first time I went to a supermarket in a Midwestern states in the middle of winter, I was shocked by the pathetic state of the vegetables. I would imagine that in winter in the UK, the situation would be comparable--either most fruits and vegetables must be shipped in from a distant southern locality, or they aren't available at all.

Food is best if it's locally in season, of course. Unfortunately that means that people in many areas have few options for produce in winter, and they understandably get tired of cabbage and turnips. You can't blame them for wanting to truck in some bell peppers and zucchini.


That may have been the case thirty years ago. It is not the case anymore. I could get ANYTHING in Chicago that I could get in San Diego. With the advances in logistics and the expansion of crops grown in Western mexico, there is a large amount of high quality produce available year round throughout the US. In the past few months, I am seeing better strawberries coming out of Mexico than Watsonville.
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Kuwait
2,896 posts, read 995,746 times
Reputation: 2136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_M View Post
I've got to wonder why Anyone cares about this?

I mean, anyone here going to move to a different country because the grocery shopping is different (supposedly "better") ?
That's exactly why I went to London.


I spent a few weeks in London and was overall impressed with the quality of the food and the availability of healthy ready made meals, etc. Prices I thought were good. My biggest complaint would be no one was available to ask questions.


I will say that my local whole foods grocery chain where I live in Seattle area is very excellent though the prices are a bit high, I feel it's worth it to get quality.
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:19 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
19,960 posts, read 24,861,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Okay, now I've read the second article. I am not going to disable my ad blocker so that I can read the first one.

I agree 100%. The prices here are higher, the quality lower. And there is all kind of junk food and extra "stuff" that we don't want. Always some greedy corporation pushing "new" and bigger and better.

And the part about what you first encounter upon entering the store is spot on. When I enter my local grocery stores I see cheaply made donuts and cakes and pies--I wouldn't eat that junk because of the mile long list of ingredients, mostly artificial, including artificial colorings and flavorings. So that's about the last thing I would want to see upon entering a food store.

I've noticed that in the expensive stores over here (Whole Foods, which I can't even afford) you do see beautiful loaves of bread when you enter. You see nice fresh vegetables, cheeses too.

And another thing I forgot to mention is that we can barely get decent bread over here. It's soft and spongy. In England the bread is more like home baked.

We are starting to get Aldi and the prices are usually half of what our regular stores charge. HALF! If we get Lidi too, then maybe our food quality and our prices will get better.
I've shopped at Aldi since about '93. You can't get everything there, but since Lidl opened near me, I do significantly less shopping at regular grocery stores & supermarkets.

I've been in a couple of grocery chain stores in Luxembourg, about 20 years ago. I noticed significantly more meat & almost no cold cereals. Other than that, there wasn't a significant difference other than prices for produce being by the kilo & eggs are sold in containers of 10.
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:21 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
19,960 posts, read 24,861,317 times
Reputation: 7779
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Okay, now I've read the second article. I am not going to disable my ad blocker so that I can read the first one.

I agree 100%. The prices here are higher, the quality lower. And there is all kind of junk food and extra "stuff" that we don't want. Always some greedy corporation pushing "new" and bigger and better.

And the part about what you first encounter upon entering the store is spot on. When I enter my local grocery stores I see cheaply made donuts and cakes and pies--I wouldn't eat that junk because of the mile long list of ingredients, mostly artificial, including artificial colorings and flavorings. So that's about the last thing I would want to see upon entering a food store.

I've noticed that in the expensive stores over here (Whole Foods, which I can't even afford) you do see beautiful loaves of bread when you enter. You see nice fresh vegetables, cheeses too.

And another thing I forgot to mention is that we can barely get decent bread over here. It's soft and spongy. In England the bread is more like home baked.

We are starting to get Aldi and the prices are usually half of what our regular stores charge. HALF! If we get Lidi too, then maybe our food quality and our prices will get better.
I've shopped at Aldi since about '93. You can't get everything there, but since Lidl opened near me, I do significantly less shopping at regular grocery stores & supermarkets. You'd probably like Lidl's bakery.

I've been in a couple of grocery chain stores in Luxembourg, about 20 years ago. I noticed significantly more meat & almost no cold cereals. Other than that, there wasn't a significant difference other than prices for produce being by the kilo & eggs are sold in containers of 10.
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:10 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,012 posts, read 20,821,632 times
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The US has several big corporations that own most stores. The largest of these being Kroger. The rank just these stores in a similar way to an earlier post, here are the Kroger stores:

More upscale variety:
Fred Meyer. Not available in every state

General:
Kroger, Ralphs, QFC etc. There are others and exactly which brand depends where you are. Example; Ralphs in Southern California, QFC in the Pacific Northwest.

Discount stores
Food 4 Less. Known as FoodsCo in Northern California due to another store in the region with the Food 4 Less name.

Then there was the Albertson's-Safeway/Vons merger

Within a region, most stores will have pretty much the same thing. There are large variations from region to region so for this reason, it is very difficult to compare grocery shopping in the US with that of the UK. On the west coast, particularly California and Washington states, fresh produce is abundant year round and there is a lot of it. This isn't the case in most of the rest of the country. Likewise, Seafood is a lot more varied and abundant in places like Boston, Seattle, San Francisco and New Orleans. Not so much in Omaha and Memphis.

New York City really doesn't compare well to any place and is not the best example for shopping in an American City for this reason.
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:50 AM
 
Location: Ankara, Turkey
401 posts, read 140,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
For me - compared to Germany - the US had too many choices. Yes, sorry, IMHO.
Now, to eliminate confusion - I am talking about big grocery chains, compared to chains in Germany but also the availability of smaller, specialty stores.
E.g. laundry detergent: several rows of it, same company, same size, different package, pretty much the same detergent. Till I learned to not pay any attention to it, I would spend hours trying to make sense of it. There is no sense. People make choice depending on price/size or brand they favor.
Same with shampoo and many other health/beauty products.
Produce - lets say apples: again too many kinds, most taste the same (actually have very little taste). Big box coffee or tea - a disgrace, if comes to quality/taste. Toast bread - different companies, same cardboard taste.
Not enough quality products, mainly because most Americans want big and cheap. Too much processed food - most grocery aisles are occupied by different brands of junk. Expensive juices and mineral water.

Seasonal products. Almost always available in the US. Not always ripe or tasty, because of the long storage in the warehouse coolers.
This is not the case in Germany, as produce is typically only available when it is in season. Germans love local, organic produce, and many Germans prefer to buy their produce at the local farmers market instead of a chain store.
The size: most everything is huge in the US. I saw apples the size of handball. Again - taste like a cardboard. Huge containers of many products, like made to feed family of 10. Probably contributing to waste.

I miss the quality, the food regulations and inspections, the abundance of healthy food.
Grocery prices in Germany are cheaper overall compared to the USA.

I like the shopping hours in the US. Got used to stores that are open 16-18 hrs. I also like the availability of free parking at the shopping stores.
I thought you were Polish.
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Old 01-23-2018, 02:42 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
1,729 posts, read 543,009 times
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Just back from the supermarket in the Philippines. Regular shopping cart, prices on he shelf. Main difference in produce. Most produce, carrots, potatoes, okra, green beans, are shrinkwrapped in small quantities, like two carrots or three potatoes, weighed and labeled with the price, weight, and price per kilo. Buy as many packs as you need. Request meat by weight at the meat counter, a staffer bags it and weighs it. Everything is nutrition-labeled and best-by dated, just like in US. Nearly everything is at least packed in Philippines, if not produced, and very very few US imported products.

Some (but not all) produce, fish, a few other things are much cheaper out in the street in market stalls. Most packaged things more expensive than US, except local tropical fruit and rice and fish. Most supermarket shelves are stocked with US-style packaged convenience food, and even worse here for heavily sugared and processed foods. Only the relatively affluent shop at supermarkets, the poor majority have a very limited diet. For lunch I can have filling rice and soup for 40c, or a nice sized burger, fries and coke at BK for $2.00. For the two of us, our total food budget for a month is around $120.

Checkout lines are slower than US, usually, where an efficient cashier scans everything, and an easily visible display names every item scanned, its price, and a running total. Credit cards processed quickly without fuss.

Nearly all supermarkets are in shopping malls (of which there is a huge number, including the 6th largest in the world), ours is less than $2 by taxi to our house. Fifteen cents each to get there, but hard to carry lots of shopping bags home by public transport, so we take the taxi to our door.
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Old 01-23-2018, 08:55 AM
 
5,001 posts, read 2,956,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
That may have been the case thirty years ago. It is not the case anymore. I could get ANYTHING in Chicago that I could get in San Diego. With the advances in logistics and the expansion of crops grown in Western mexico, there is a large amount of high quality produce available year round throughout the US. In the past few months, I am seeing better strawberries coming out of Mexico than Watsonville.
I'm still of the opinion that fresh local produce is superior to anything trucked in from Mexico or elsewhere. There are exceptions; bell peppers from Mexico are pretty good. But I personally never bother to buy strawberries from any supermarket; on the rare occasions when the farmer's market is closed for a holiday, I just don't buy them. The lettuce, spinach, parsley and other greens there are much crisper and fresher than the supermarket equivalent; you can observe how much longer they last in the fridge. As for supermarket tomatoes and stone fruits (peaches, apricots), they are pretty terrible even in the summer.

Your mileage may vary, but I'd be willing to put the January SoCal farmer's market produce up against what you can buy at a supermarket in Chicago in January.
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