I guess I don’t have to be Popeye (2/9/13)

Missing Spinach at Trader Joe’s

Unfortunately, my last trip to the grocery store was on a Sunday. For anyone who’s ever been to Trader Joe’s then you know exactly what I mean. Making your way from the produce section to pick up some Greek yogurt and a thing of cottage cheese is like running a gauntlet. There’s staff carrying boxes of new produce to put out, barriers like cheese tasting carts (not that I mind this) and reams of other customers clogging the aisles, blocking you off, and pushing their carts directly in your path. Then on top of that after you’ve gathered all your items there’s a long, windy line to wait in. Ugh! And, that’s just one reason I try to avoid shopping on Sundays. The other main reason is that Trader Joe’s has a tendency to run out of food on Sundays. So, it wasn’t a shock when I went to grab a bag of spinach and realized there were none to be found. Normally, this would make me wish longingly for the days when I used to live closer to SuperFresh. They always seemed to have my spinach. But, during this last visit I felt a little differently. I was still initially annoyed, but then I thought about it a bit more. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing for supermarkets to run out of food. There were still other options – I could grab romaine or butter lettuce. Plus, I knew that Trader Joe’s wouldn’t be throwing spinach away at the end of the day. The fact that they ran out of spinach actually demonstrated that they were ordering food more responsibly in a way that helps to minimize food waste. It’s funny, but this made me feel a lot better about not having spinach. Although I can’t be Popeye this week, I’m OK with it. And, I hope more supermarkets will start to follow Trader Joe’s lead and order just enough spinach for everyone (and not a bag more)! (Lauren Hirshon)


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