Direct Link to Latest News

 

My Guilty Pleasure: Supermarkets

May 8, 2016

shopper.jpg
(Happy shopper)


I'm embarrassed to say it, but my
guilty pleasure is supermarkets.
I enjoy shopping for food.

On Mother's Day, 
I decided to repost
an upbeat article. 









(from April 3, 2015)
by Henry Makow Ph.D.


Supermarkets are near the top of my list of things Western society got right.

I marvel at how society provides people with a variety and abundance of food, cheaply and efficiently. Thousands of products from all over the world are magically assembled and kept in stock on a daily basis.

What thanks do supermarkets get for performing this beneficence? Like Mom, they're taken for granted.

Their profit margin is 1-2% .

Have you heard of anyone going to such an effort for such a small return? They're practically working for nothing. They may as well be food banks.

Contrast this with Apple whose profit margin is close to 40%.  Most industries range from ten to twenty per cent. 

 THE SUPERMARKET EXPERIENCE

I do not take for granted that I can fill a big shopping cart with delicious fresh food, and most people around me are doing the same thing. I love that supermarkets have bakeries; delis; cheeses; sea food; international foods; bulk items and practically anything you want.

I shop at many different supermarkets. In fact, this is usually my daily outing. I like to see people. I still have an eye for an attractive woman. In my younger days, I perfected this supermarket pick-up line which I never used: Sidle up to a nubile young thing who is putting mushrooms in a bag and say: "That's enough." 

Supermarkets have a different vibe based on the customers they attract. Walmart shoppers are the least considerate of other customers. They're mostly working poor. Based on this, I developed the thesis that good social skills are a big factor in success.

My Safeway is the most upscale. At Superstore, customers differ depending on the time and day. The vast quantities at Costco are always mind blowing. Their well-paid employees and the successful customer-members exude an upbeat vibe.

Supermarkets each have some unique items.  Recently, I found the perfect pork pot stickers at Superstore. Walmart has an incredible canned Thai soup base which allows me to make soups the equal of any restaurant.

My wife is a techie who doesn't like to shop or cook. On the other hand, I can't read or follow instructions. We complement each other.

Recently, I had an idea which I give the Supermarket industry in appreciation. Stores ought to have a website where customers can review their products. For example, I'd like to know what customers think of different frozen hamburger brands. I don't want to test them all. This would be a
great way for supermarkets to get constant feedback.
 
Good food lifts my spirits.  A bad meal depresses me. I can ask, "what do I feel like having?" and usually can rustle it up. Eating is essential, but being able to eat what you want, when you want is a special kind of freedom.

I invite you to send a short email describing your guilty pleasure. Or tell me what else Western society got right. I will post.

Have a nice Mother's Day!
 






Comments for "My Guilty Pleasure: Supermarkets "

Right Here said (May 9, 2016):

She told me to be strong and stand up for what is right. She said this is called "moral courage." "

Your mother was a beautiful woman. Inside and out. For a woman without a formal education, she did a good job.

God Bless her (and you).


IF said (May 8, 2016):

Maybe Canada has nicer supermarkets than where I live (the USA). You do realize Henry that those supermarkets are run by occult corporations? Their logos represent Satanic and Occult symbols (Red Snake S for "Satansway- Safeway)? At my local Safeway they have one checker only. The line is always to the back of the store. There are mostly GMO toxic products. They are way overpriced. You actually think they make 1 or 2 % profit margin? You have got to be kidding me. These stores exploit their employees and create a negative atmosphere for customers. The only thing I can think of is that Canada has better markets but since you know who runs corporations, why should it be different with these markets? I hate supermarkets. What did western civilization get right? According to your website the west is a satanic cult. But I like air travel. Ability to leave the country. I've got to come check out Canada.


Steven said (April 6, 2015):

Supermarkets are way up on my list as well; but I know they shouldn't be. These days they all operate under the Just In Time system, and any major disruption to the supply chain will see those supermarkets empty within 2 or 3 days.

My guilty pleasure SHOULD be gardening or hunting so I can be more self sufficient. But after another day of workday BS, all I've got the energy to do is go down to the supermarket and then go home and de-stress.


Matty said (April 5, 2015):

My guilty pleasure for sure is searching for and shopping for music. Mostly vinyl records but also collectibles of similar kinds: box sets, ltd edt CDs, mixtapes, merch, special downloads. It doesnt matter that much what it is as long as I like the vibe about it.

Its my curiosity about all kinds of creativity, but especially music. I love meeting with other collectors and they are like the only people I like to have small talk with and maybe even share a coffee. In fact coffee and philosophizing about music is almost like sharing a good wine with good friends. All these points of views clashing and merging, so much creativity and so much passion! I love it! i confess

I'm a collector beyond remedy and I love making mixtapes under blacklight, djing around on parties and just celebrating putting on some vinyls at dusk with a glass of whiskey or wine. Then just as well I also celebrate visiting my record dealer of trust and just hanging out there to see what happens: most of the time I also find a new record or an old collectible, but even if I don't, I always meet interesting people, friends and always have interesting conversations about all kinds of topics.

Music is the universal language that connects us all, and I believe it also balances us even if its only in the back of our mind like a soundtrack to our lives. that's my 5cents here :)


Cecille said (April 4, 2015):

I go into the American supermarkets and I do not think of "guilty pleasure", but I cringe! The sea of GMO's......and the uninformed public has no idea what they are eating. Two percent profit? You have got to be kidding me. Or is it worth making such dismal profit (if even true), just so they could feed all the dumbed-down public with GMO's?


Diane said (April 4, 2015):

My guilty pleasure is shopping on ebay! I find the best bargains and the most unusual things, and best of all, the nicest sellers from all over the world! These people are running ebay stores from their home, and it is refreshing to do business and converse with them during the process.

Here's some bargains I got: brand new Merrell shoes for my sons for less than half the price! Team sportswear with my husbands favorite sports teams for a fraction of the price, by an overstock seller. For my motherinlaw, a vintage travel guide from the town she grew up in, from the time she lived there. She loved it, the town has now been gentrified so has lost its charm. And of course for me, designer clothes that someone may have worn once but their loss is my gain, and really nice handbags that may have been used a couple of times.

I'm totally stylin' at less than a quarter of the retail price! But best of all, unusual things, that make very unique gifts. I go to malls maybe ten times a year, its always kind of depressing for me to go, but this way with ebay I do get brand new things, and save tons of money. It is like a treasure hunt.


NN said (April 4, 2015):

THIS site MUST mention supermarket social engineering for the PTB: muzak, scented
A/C, coupons and gas gimmicks, temptation candy + bobbles + cigarettes + lotto, in-store megabank branches, pharma sales and in-store vaccinations, big brother database club cards, overhead spy cams, addictive additives, pulp novels, Hollywood
sex-violence-horror-fake-history movie rental stalls, and of course, last but not least ... CIA tabloids! Supermarkets will implement antichrist food controls, when you'll need his chip implant to EAT.

I wonder if profit margin is so small. Who says? What proof? A link to some
US Treasury subdivision...gimme a break, Henry! That crew omits food and gas
from inflation figures just to keep us dumb and docile.

Why do megachains dominate? Where did mom-n-pop stores go? And Walmart food quality, oh the horror, the horror. See what nature makes from Walmart food at PeopleOfWalmart.com and for reference, nexusmagazine.com/OilingAmerica.1.html

I once prayed that God would help megachains see profit in organic food, not just extruded simulacrums. It's become an example of people power. The stores follow our money if we lead them. Megachains have launched house organics.
I still worry about flouridated water in organic processing plants, and toxic-soil organics riding slow boats from China, but it's a start.

I hope more neighbors start gardens and trade produce over the fence. And I wonder about foreign shopping customs. Don't many Europeans still shop mom-n-pop street stalls for each day's meals, ditto Asia, ditto Latin America? What are
we missing? I'd like to hear from overseas readers.


NN said (April 4, 2015):

THIS site MUST mention supermarket social engineering for the PTB: muzak, scented
A/C, coupons and gas gimmicks, temptation candy + bobbles + cigarettes + lotto, in-store megabank branches, pharma sales and in-store vaccinations, big brother database club cards, overhead spy cams, addictive additives, pulp novels, Hollywood
sex-violence-horror-fake-history movie rental stalls, and of course, last but not least ... CIA tabloids! Supermarkets will implement antichrist food controls, when you'll need his chip implant to EAT.

I wonder if profit margin is so small. Who says? What proof? A link to some
US Treasury subdivision...gimme a break, Henry! That crew omits food and gas
from inflation figures just to keep us dumb and docile.

Why do megachains dominate? Where did mom-n-pop stores go? And Walmart food quality, oh the horror, the horror. See what nature makes from Walmart food at PeopleOfWalmart.com and for reference, nexusmagazine.com/OilingAmerica.1.html

I once prayed that God would help megachains see profit in organic food, not just extruded simulacrums. It's become an example of people power. The stores follow our money if we lead them. Megachains have launched house organics.
I still worry about flouridated water in organic processing plants, and toxic-soil organics riding slow boats from China, but it's a start.

I hope more neighbors start gardens and trade produce over the fence. And I wonder about foreign shopping customs. Don't many Europeans still shop mom-n-pop street stalls for each day's meals, ditto Asia, ditto Latin America? What are
we missing? I'd like to hear from overseas readers.


Bill said (April 4, 2015):

I enjoyed your delightful article about the wonder of supermarkets. After having visited some smelly Asian markets, the first thing I appreciate about my local Publix (Florida) is the lack of bad odors. Occasionally, there is a wonderful aroma emanating from the area where a cook is making the feature dish of the day - and handing out samples. Then around the corner are all the components of that meal, should you feel so inclined to purchase them. They even provide a recipe card.

I was there Friday afternoon to get some celery. On sale for half the normal price - perfect! Then I noticed that sliced mushrooms were BOGO (buy one, get one free). I rarely eat mushrooms, but the thought of sauteed mushrooms and onions made my decision easy. Over in the nut section, I see that walnuts are on sale - done. In the chip section, the sign said BOGO for the Party Size of various Lays products. I grabbed 2 Sour Cream & Onion bags and price checked them at the register. Nope, not on sale - put em back!

However, the store manager Jerry was standing there. He went over to the display and held up 2 bag of regular flavor chips. Those were BOGO, so I took them and handed him the others. Big smiles all around.

Jim, the produce manger always greets me by name. I chat with a retired corporate media exec occasionally about his golf game while he carefully stocks shelves. It's one of my favorite things to do too. Thanks for sharing, brother - and Happy Easter.


Kevin said (April 4, 2015):

As far as denying ourselves in observance of Good Friday, (see D below) that’s the old work for salvation game.
Good Friday is a good time to remember the meaning of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus.

“Behold the Lamb of God Who taketh away the sins of the World” The accumulation of all the sins of humankind were placed on him, and he died as a substitute for me and for anyone who will receive this fact.

Resurrection Sunday we can celebrate Christ’s victory over death, to die no more.
and to open the way into God’s presence and love forevermore.


Austin said (April 3, 2015):

One of my favourite pleasures in regard to shopping, is to get a whole bunch of bargains at the one store, if possible. Here in Oz we've had the Coles vs Woolworths "duopoly" for decades. That implies "competition" but it actually looks more like 'price fixing' on many occasions. Both supermarket chains have bought into fuel and energy in order to broaden their profit bases (gas stations etc).

Newer operators such as Costco and Aldi Brothers have widened the competition base, making shopping that much better and bargain hunting a lot easier. I can save $20 to $30 per week with wise shopping and little waste, but its taken years to teach myself how to do that.


Asim said (April 3, 2015):

Very touching article on Supermarkets-and so true!! I enjoy shopping for food and other items and often am sent on errands to stock up on whatever my other-half requests. As a result, I have made these observations.

It seems that there are lots and lots of single and lonely people over here in the UK, and shopping in supermarkets seems to expose this fact. I shop mostly late hours 5-9pm, and often see many young women aged 25-40, walking alone down the aisles, stocking up on ready-made processed meals, their facial expressions downbeat, aloof and dejected.

A simple eye contact, and the next minute, they're standing right next to me, entranced by the latest brand of cheese i happen to be looking at! Lol!!!!! Comical, if it wasn't so sad!


My guilty pleasure is obsessing over books, dvds and other sci-fi stuff on amazon and ebay; ordering said items like an excited 10 year old child and awaiting the packages, and finally getting the rush of seeing the postman walk to my house with a big brown parcel and and handing it to me like chocolate candy!!!! .......then its hiding in the shed when my wife finds out!!!!

The other one, honestly Henry, is accessing your website, and devouring the latest article on show!!


Todd said (April 3, 2015):

I struggled to get through the guilty pleasure supermarket article as supermarkets remind of the psychotics in charge of the world.What we put in our body is so desperately important to our quality of life and connection to God. We trust that the people we buy our food from provide us with things that are good for us but what do we get pesticides, GMO food, and generally poison.

Eating things that are bad for us habitually affects our energy level, leading to sickness and interaction with the "medial professionals" who continue to decrease our health, and limit our ability to live to our potential by inhibiting connections with others and God. So on some level calling the supermarket a guilty pleasure may be appropriate because a number of our guilty pleasures are not good for us.


Robert K said (April 3, 2015):

'm not sure what your concept of a "formal Christian" is, but to me the phrase is oxymoronic. There is no formalism in such admonitions as "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath", "The letter killeth, but the spirit maketh alive", etc.

As a believing Christian myself, I am not offended by your article as "D" seems to be. I find it very strange that I have never heard a church leader refer to the superabundance of material things in our time as evidence of the goodness of our heavenly Father. Of course to do so would automatically raise questions about what prevents people from having ready access to the abundance, which in turn would draw attention to the perversity of the current monopoly control of money creation and assignment. The sad implication is that the people who purport to provide moral guidance to the population are as trammeled by the Money Power as pretty well everyone else is.

So thank you for your GOOD Friday article, which I think is nearer genuine Christianity than glorification of suffering and often self-serving doctrines about imputed sin-removal resulting from it.


Richard said (April 3, 2015):

The most expensive place is Whole Foods; my ex-wife used to call it 'Whole Paycheck'. The self consciousness is so thick you can cut it with a scalpel. There's no eye contact. People navigate around each other in the crowded aisles, often actually contorting themselves to avoid having to mutter, 'excuse me'. Every one of these people would say they're a "liberal" by the American definition of that term. But as my grandmother used to say, "they wouldn't spit on you if you were burning in hell".

If they don't feel enough empathy to look each in the eye and exchange a few friendly words when shopping among their own kind, how are they going to save the world?

Today I have to eat fish, so I'm going to see if my fish monger at the Mexican supermarket has red snapper or trout today. If not, there's always salmon! I sauté fish in olive oil, butter, cooking wine and a squeezed lemon, with a side of steamed asparagus.

I don't know why Catholics call eating fish on Good Friday "fasting". That's like calling sex 'celibacy'.


D said (April 3, 2015):

Mister Makow, with all due respect I ask why you have chosen to talk about pleasures on the day (in our Christian civilization) most connected with suffering and sacrifice? Traditionally we fast and contemplate the wisdom of self-denial on the day of Jesus's death on the cross. Denial of flesh brings about spiritual fruit. Was it deliberate? I admire you and do not intend to attack. I needed to ask. That is all.

--
D-

Not deliberate. I am not a formal Christian. I don't observe Passover either. Send me something about Good Friday and I will post.

henry

D writes:

On Good Friday Christians (not pseudo christians who pursue the New Age "liberation" from all objective truth and are not willing to lay their lives down for Truth) focus on the sacrifice of Christ. I do not understand it, never did, why a sacrifice was deemed necessary by God. Yet I accept it as a mystery beyond my comprehension. You might say I bought into a scheme that seeks to enslave me by forcing me to accept impossible propositions, propositions that run against my human dignity. Despite my limited understanding of the necessity of the cross, I know something for sure. Those who reject the cross, who talk about patriarchal oppression and liberation from it, more likely than not are followers of the "enlightened", liberated Lucifer, who does not accept God's command, but rather experiments on his own. Those people go by their own "gut feeling" (or so they think, because more likely than not they just follow trends made attractive to them by social engineers) rather than by some objective reality. They do not even seek it. Reality to them is only that which they can touch and see. It is not tolerance and respect for others which make them mock and belittle Christ's followers, but a hatred of the idea that there might exist a reality beyond physical pleasure and pain. They do not hesitate to abort and euthanize other human beings, as they have systems of calculating their usefulness to them or burden on them.

This denial of the mystery, denial of suffering, this rejection of obedience to the Creator, the Father who knows best, this so called rejection of patriarchal oppression is in reality a rejection of our culture based in the Word, the Logos, reason.

I was raised a Catholic. The Catechism of the Catholic Church taught me that we children of God were endowed with reason and free will. Yet today children are taught to be at the mercy of their organs over which they are trained to believe they have no control. It is not the human being who has autonomy, but his stomach or genitalia that rule over him.

On Good Friday I want to remember the cross, because even though I do not understand it, I see how many of us, who still use reason and free will, are increasingly being nailed to it - by Christ haters and fake christians, who follow the flesh, not Christ who is the enemy of the flesh. Our suffering is proof that the cross, as mysterious as it is to at least some of us, is a reality impossible to ignore. It is unwise and it is evil to ignore it.


KJ said (April 3, 2015):

Your little expose on your feelings for supermarkets is charming. In our house, my husband sets out every Sunday for the supermarket. He is stuck in his doctor's office all week making some money (mainly for his staff, it seems to me). He delights in buying toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags along with the lemons, apples, broccoli and other fruits and vegetables. Foodland on the Danforth delivers the boxes so we have a merry delivery man ring our doorbell in the afternoon.

As for me, I like to shop at the Big Carrot organic supermarket. It is a treasure trove of blood oranges, organic lemons, natural yoghurt and other unique items. The employees have a stake in the place so they are like old friends. I learned a trick or two there - such as, smell the pineapple. If it smells like pineapple, it's ripe. I, too, marvel at the amazing array of food we get. Lastly, I buy myself a chocolate that I eat in the car to reward myself for a job well done.


Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at