Hot coal in my hand

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Take a look at the chicken breasts above before you read on.

I am not naturally prone to anger – but there are a couple things that really tick me off.

Thinking about the number of passwords and PINs required to exist in our world these days can set me off on a tirade that will would make a sailor blush.

The other thing is the way that the big box stores manipulate prices, packaging and the quality of products we eat. It is not as bad as “Soylent Green” but it is almost as icky when you learn what they do to maintain a false perception of low prices.

I have ranted about this one before, with the way bacon packages have shrunk, but I am dusting off the soap box again this week after Maclean’s magazine came out with an article detailing a few more of the ways that that you are being hosed at the big box.

Whether that is cutting an ounce of tuna from the same sized can, shorting the juice in your O.J. or removing a whole row of cookies from the package, manufacturers have been working hard to cover up the fact that the cost of industrialized food is going up.

The bacon and cookie lies chap my hide the most because I think they are betting that consumption guilt will keep us quiet. When you run through the cookies or the bacon quicker than normal are you really going to draw a lot of attention to it?

The frustration for me boiled over when I realized that the consolidation in the grocery industry and the hectic pace of life we all live was combining to create a situation that the options for getting real, honest food were shrinking to the point where there would be just a handful of large corporations controlling all of the food we eat. Wall-E may not have been far off the mark.

Anger is a hot coal you hold in your hand hoping to throw it one day. It does little good. Rather than carry the anger around, I was motivated to do something about it. Local & Fresh is the result.

Take a look at the chicken breast in the picture above. It is a good example of the difference.

This package of chicken breasts cost $16. Yup. That is probably more than the ones you get in the styrofoam pack at the big box – but there are a few differences.

First up, it’s about a pound and a half of meat. That meat is hormone free. The chickens were raised in Saskatchewan with a natural protocol. There is no saline, fillers or chemicals pumped into it or added to it to bulk it up. The people who produced it live here. You can go to their farm and see how they did it. What you can’t see in the picture is the taste. The difference is amazing.

There. I feel better. Thanks for letting me get it off my chest. I would have posted it sooner but I forgot the password to the website…don’t get me going on the password thing.

Andrew Rathwell
Owner – Local & Fresh


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