About Me

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I received teaching and engineering degrees and have traveled extensively, living ten years outside the US. I moved from the big city of Houston to a small sleepy community in North Carolina, which has been a tremendous change and a great inspiration for my novels, full of the local color. My time has been filled with writing and helping to physically construct three additions to our former farmhouse. I have a great view of the mountains ten miles away across the broad valley and the sunsets are breathtaking. I am an avid reader of all kinds of mystery and contemporary fiction.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Is Whole Foods the Same as Wholesome Foods?

Is Whole Foods the Same as Wholesome Foods?

Yesterday, we made a pilgrimage to Winston-Salem for supplies not available in our small town. The trip was also to return an installation kit we bought from Sears for the new clothes dryer. We usually use the trip as an excuse to go to a different restaurant than those available in our small town.

At Sears, the salesman punched more keys on his keyboard than we could count, all the while saying "Your order was cancelled." He seemed to be implying that, as the order was cancelled, he couldn't refund our money for buying it. I countered with "If you'll refund the money for the cancelled washer and dryer, I'll be glad to keep the installation kit." Finally, he noticed that it was a three-piece kit with a cord and not a two-piece kit without the cord. I had mentioned that the cord had three prongs instead of the code-mandated four several times. Anyway, he finally got it all figured out and gave us the money. Then, we went to the Olive Garden and had a nice lunch. The waiter was a little verbose, but quite efficient. The food wasn't verbose, but was good anyway.

When we were finished with the main shopping area, we headed for the Whole Foods store several miles away. Some years ago, they had by far the best selection of cheese around, but it had been going downhill for the last two years. We first noticed it when a six-month aged Brie from France had been replaced by a fresh Brie from fifty miles away.

This time I was looking for some SnoFrisk goat cheese which I like and which I previously reviewed. At first, I thought I'd gotten lucky. Half a dozen of the easily recognized, triangular packages were on the refrigerated shelf. I grabbed the first and checked the 'use by' date printed on the package. Six days ago. How terrible! But there were five others. No problem. One after one, I checked the dates and they were all to be consumed six days ago.

From there, I went to the cheese counter somewhat depressed. The lady behind the counter immediately greeted me and asked if I needed any help. I pointed out that the SnoFrisk was out of date. "Oh no. It can't be. I just took those out of a new box." I assured her that the cheese was indeed past, not the 'sell by' date, but the 'use by' date.

I had frequently gotten the advice that if cheese were bad, or fungused over, that all one needed to do was scrape off the fungus. I had heard that many times and believed it until my husband ate some Irish Cheddar which had been scraped off and then got sick for a day.

Then the lady behind the counter said, "I'll remove it from the shelves." But, she didn't. She just stood there and asked if I’d like some goat cheese from California. That cheese was within three days of expiration. I proceeded to look at other cheeses and found another half a dozen within two or three days of their 'use by' date. I don't eat enough cheese to eat six ounces in two or three days. So, I passed those by. After I had left the cheese counter, I looked back and she was still standing there.

I always thought Whole Foods was short for Wholesome Foods. Now, I don't think so.

It's a terrible shame when you have the money and are ready to spend it, but the product either isn't there or the people selling it don't care enough to do their jobs. I see it more and more. A great number of people are out of work but those working don't care enough about their jobs to do them properly.

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