Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Search for a Grocery Store

We used to do our shopping at the Hilander nearest our house. Earlier this year, we started shopping at Logli, because I went into coughing fits every time we were at our usual store. Well, Logli's meat selection isn't as good as Hilander (and it's more expensive). So, we tried the Hilander again, and I seemed fine. We figured we'd do our main shopping at hilander & go to Logli for the few things that the Hilander doesn't carry.

Last week, I bought a bottle of Pomegranate Infused Red Wine Vinegar. It wasn't until after I used it on some chicken that I looked at the date on it - Best By 12/08/2010. 2010!!!! This is July of 2011! They had food 7 months past its date on the shelves! I am livid about this. It's not about the money that was wasted. It's about total lack of concern for their customers. I also bought a bag of potatoes only to have them all smell rotten on the inside when I cut them up to cook.

This is not the first time that I have had a problem like this with a Hilander store. I check the dates before buying yogurt, because I have so often found ones past the 'sell by' date (in fact, last week I had to dig to find yogurt that didn't have a sell by date that had already passed by at least 2 days). I have found sour cream that was open & molding. I have found chicken broth that was expired. The list goes on.

Yes, I have had occasional problems with other stores. I bought a box of chicken broth from Logli, got home, and found out that it had been opened. I refuse to buy rotisserie chicken from WalMart anymore because the last 2 times we bought it, it was nauseating - the first time gobs of semi-solid fat shot out at me when I cut into the breast & the second time it wasn't fully cooked.

One bad experience or problems with one specific product is one thing. Constantly finding expired food still on the shelves is another. It is part of their job to check the dates on items to make sure that they are not selling food that has gone bad.

So, I am now refusing to shop at the nearest Hilander. I would prefer to not shop at any Hilander at all. We can get most of what we need from Logli, but need somewhere else to get meat. So, yesterday we went to several different stores, trying to find somewhere to buy meat. There is one store that has really good quality meat, but the prices are too high. There was one store that smelled awful, the fruit looked rotten, and the meat was disgusting. All the meat was in a butcher's case, but the back wasn't closed. The meat was piled up in excessive amounts. It was turning colors & drying out from exposure to the air & not being kept cold enough. Most places just seem to have low-quality meat, a small selection, ridiculous prices, or some combination of the three.

Our city appears to have a distinct shortage of meat markets & butcher shops. It is so hard to find quality meat, at an affordable price, in this city. Well, I'm off to do some online research to see if I can find somewhere near us that has decent meat & affordable prices.