Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Produce Etiquette

I went grocery shopping over the weekend.   The end.

HA!   No.  This story is more interesting than that, but only in a vague way.

So I was standing in the produce aisle trying to find some unmoldy strawberries (FAIL), which was surprisingly difficult.  And this couple comes up beside me.  Which I hate.  People should avoid my general vicinity at all times - I'm thinking about getting one of those giant board signs to wear over my shoulders when I am out but I can't decide what it should say.

The wife says, "OH!  BLACKBERRIES! Let's see how they taste!"

OK.  I am a deadly combination of socially inept and hateful, so forgive me if tasting the produce is a perfectly acceptable behavior.  But I was totally irritated and since I wear my hate directly on my face, I was all * grimace-y * in her direction.

Her husband, sensing my * grimace-y-ness, * makes eye contact with me, and shamefully lowers and shakes his head.  Like, "can you even believe this?  Can you even believe that I have to share a bed with this produce whore?"

Now, I'm fine with opening the little carton of berries and looking around for mold/bug/dirt/dollah billz.  But tasting the food?  Where do you draw the line?  Because you never know if the first one you taste is the ONLY good one in the carton, so then do you taste, like, half of the carton and calculate the average deliciousness?  Squared?  Times five divided by pi?  WHERE DOES IT END, PEOPLE?!

I watched this lady taste a blackberry from six boxes before she walked away without buying any berries.  And?  AND?  AND!!!!!!!!! She said, "mmmmmmm" every time she ate a berry, so you know those fuckers tasted good.

Please tell me: is this appropriate Produce Etiquette?  Would the Emily Post of Produce approve of such behavior?

35 comments:

Danielle said...

Oh my goodness I hear ya!!! I swear people just amaze me in the grocery store! I've seen people do this in this section and since Wegmans has a bulk candy aisle I've witnessed people stick their nasty hands into the candy bins and taste away. It's like come on people you know what the fuck the gummy bears taste like and news flash! The gummy worms taste the fuckin same! I would be willing to bet that Emily Post would NOT approve! :)

Trevor said...

I agree. My grandma always thought it was okay to taste the grapes. Her reasoning was "What if they aren't sweet? Then I'm stuck with a whole bag of sour grapes!". I always told her that tasting the grapes was stealing. She hadn't paid for the grape she ate...besides, it hadn't been washed, so why would she want to eat a dirty grape? Dirtiness of the grape aside, if one eats food in the grocery store that does not specifically say "Sample" or "Try Me" or "Eat Me Right Now" then I think you are a thief. I'm sure Emily Post does not approve of thievin'.

'Murgdan' said...

No way! I've not witnessed this horror in Georgia. But here we can pretty much just find a random field to wander into to taste produce. Okay not really. But I do have a strawberry farm near my house where the berries are supposedly not moldy....but I always end up with the moldy hidden one at the grocery store.

I cannot believe she ate all those blackberries...cause DAYAM, those are 'spensive little suckers.

Courtney said...

Gross! What if she has recently had the flu or something. She touched 5 containers of berries she didn't take with her. Someone else will buy those berries and end up on their death bed. Gross.

Jaci said...

What about old people and the bananas? They go over to a bunch, and then rip off 1, 2, or 3--leaving the rest of the bunch crippled and gross!

I'm not sure about banana etiquette. Can we rip off whatever we want, or is it supposed to be understood that you take a natural bunch? And aren't they like, .49 cents a pound anyway? Who cares if you buy too much and end up throwing a few out?

D said...

Definitely no taste testing!

As for the bananas - I rip off 2-3 b/c I know I wont eat the whole bunch before they go bad.

kimbosue said...

GAH! I DETEST people who "taste" food in the grocery store (unless it's official samples being served by the grocery store employees).

A few months ago I was behind a pack of cows, er large women in WalMart and I swear to God they had an entire meal during the course of my shopping...grapes, berries, crackers, meat from the deli, chips...

WTF! You just shoplifted into your stomach!!!!!

Mrs. Higrens said...

I do believe Emily Post would NOT approve - unless (1) it's one of those package @ $X deals and (2) assuming the above, you buy the package(s) from which you tasted.

Otherwise, IMNSHO, since most produce is sold by weight, that's stealing from the grocery store which means they're just going to jack up the prices for the rest of us. Big finger wagging shame on you to your produce sampling co-shopper.

That's not even addressing the ick factor of eating unwashed produce.

ks said...

My favorite in Grocery Stores is when not only are they munching all the way through out the store on merchandise, but they are doing it while wearing their pajamas... Indecent pj's at that and ususally with their hair pig tails! LOL! All I can do is shake my head!

Amy said...

I'm guilty of the grape tasting...I hate to admit it. But 99.9% of the time I buy the bag I "took" from.

I would never open a package of berries though and try those though.

Amy said...

I hardly ever wash produce (I know, I know), but then I never taste it in the store, either :)

Especially the blackberries/raspberries/blueberries! those suckers are sold by container price and cost a fortune! She just snarfed on and stole from the person who will eventually buy those containers. I would have grabbed a store employee and made a big gesturing, pointing spectacle of her. But I'm mean like that.

Emily said...

(not Post) agrees that this is poor etiquette and worthy of grimaces and side-eyes.

UGH!

Anonymous said...

Unless there is a lady with a hair net and latex gloves with a grocery store apron on standing beside said produce with a little cart that says "Sample Me" I don't think this is EVER okay and I would love for you to please tell me which store so I can totally boycott.

Strawberry said...

"Excuse me, ma'am, when you're done stealing those blackberries, mind if I have a look?"

areyoukiddingme said...

I'd say most everyone agrees that sampling the fruit is a violation. It's not like she'd pick up an apple and take a bite or start peeling an orange...it's just those little containers.

Also, bananas come in bunches of like, I don't know, hundreds, so each little bunch is not natural. It's just what the store would like you to buy. There's no reason for me to buy 5 bananas, when I know only 3 will get eaten.

Sarah + Mark said...

I used to work in a grocery store - that IS stealing. These "sample whores" are unacceptable. Personally, I would have alerted an employee, if nothing else, she would have been embarrassed enough to not do it again (or so we would hope).

The Crazy Baby Mama said...

but on the plus side, she'll probably get e-coli from eating unwashed produce :)

silver lining, people. silver lining.

Crossed Fingers said...

EW she ate unwashed produce?! *gags*

Alyssa said...

My mom does this with grapes. I swear, it is mortifying. I just don't know where you draw the line between taste-testing and snacking.

Cort said...

Unwashed.....Not paid for....Unsanitary for the person whoe ends up purchasing that (or those, I suppose, since there were six boxes or cartons or wahtever) carton or box or whatever of berries.....NO. NOT OKAY. EW.

I get a little stabby just thinking about it. She's a theif. A good-for-nothin', low-down berry thief. I probably would have said something before my internal filter kicked in. That bitch ("that bitch" being the aforementioned internal filter) needs to step it up a notch most days. Maybe more caffiene would help. Or maybe that's the problem.

Aaaaaaaand now I'm totally off topic. Sorry.

P.S. The word verification for my post is "horiften," which is very close to "horrifying," which is EXACTLY how I'd describe the berry thief's behavior.

Rebecca said...

That is stealing. She could get into trouble for stealing like that. Cops called, charges pressed trouble too........It's like opening a bag of Oreos and eating one.

Also, I thought of you over the weekend because of this line that you have on your page "Oversharing with the Internet since 2007. You're welcome.".........My daughter who is four years old..........She started talking at about 18 months really well....and lets just say that she's been over-sharing with the world since 2006

casey said...

it's most definitely disgusting!

add my pet peeve to the list: when you go to a fast food joint and they start putting your food on the tray and some douchebag sits there eating his fries while he waits. horrifically uncouth.

Carter said...

I have been having a really crappy day, so I truly appreciate the humor with which you have provided me.
One time, I was shopping for produce, and I watched a couple who opened up one container of raspberries, and deemed it not full enough to their liking. So they then opened a second container and started putting its contents into the first container. They were priced by the container, not the pound, so they were just doing a little casual shoplifting of produce. I mean, really. Are people that cheap?

LeahB said...

OMG, your Blog is hilarious. I love, love, love it! I might have wet my pants just little bit on this post.

Jamie @ Bungalow Bee said...

My husband worked at a grocery store in produce when he was in high school. He said it's perfectly fine for people to taste, but they should find an employee in produce and let the employee give them a sample. P.S. I'm totally annoyed at personal space invaders, too.

Mel said...

This post made me laugh so hard, I welled up with tears in my eyes. I so wouldn't have been able to resist saying to her, "excuse me ma'am, have you ever heard the expression 'the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice?'"

HAHAHAHA. Now I am crying for realz.

And no, produce taste testing is NOT acceptable. Ever. Never ever ever. But I think I might open up a 12 pack next time in the store to taste test because I can't tell you how many times I've gotten home and realized I grabbed the funkiest beer of all time.

Betsy said...

SUPER valid complaint, and she needs to wash that shit before she eats it. Who knows what other people were digging around in there, testing berries. ALSO, most produce like that is sold at a set price, not by the pound, so other people are paying for that berry!!!!!! I'm so anti-people lately, which is making me a really, as you would say, *grimace-y* bartender!!

Love your blog!

A New Beginning said...

Yep, I am one of those people. I do try the grapes before I buy them. And yes, I have tasted them, and not nought them, because they were terrible. Good thing I didn't buy the whole bag.

And I am also one of those people who tears apart the banana bunches.

Sorry!

Crazy Sister said...

And what a fantastic example she is setting for any toddler in view.

I've lost track of the times I've shrieked at my kids, "FIRST we pay the money! Otherwise it's STEALING and Daddy will ARREST you!"

EB said...

I hate gross people. I hate gross people at the grocery store and I see more gross people there than anywhere. I had to stop shopping at one store when I once saw a woman with a big poop stain on the back of her pants walking around my local market. I was traumatized.

Oh, and I think I have an internet crush on you.

Anonymous said...

I found a DIRTY POKER CHIP in a bag of grapes last week. I am never buying produce from the grocery store again. Never. Again.

Jessica Pruett said...

Hah! I just read through the comments, and someone said their mom does it to grapes and its mortifying! I have a fix for you (I'm mean to my mother and embarrass her all the time :p ).

Next time she does it and there are people nearby, take her hand and pet it, while pulling her away saying "No no hunny, you can't eat those in the store. Nasty nasty. You have to buy them with money first and wash them."

I bet she will never do it again! haha

Candice said...

I think it's cute when I see a little kid wandering around the grocery store eating a stolen grape...but taht's a child. That's where I draw the line!

Christina said...

That should be considered shoplifting!! (sorry, I normally lurk but had to comment)

Lauren said...

UGH! I hate that! The produce department is NOT a buffet people! If you're going to eat it you had better buy it!