09 September 2009

Market Education

Twice last week I was hit with some interesting information on grocery shopping so I thought I'd share.

The first tidbit came via my Peaceful Daily tip that automagically arrives in my in-box daily and involves PLU (Price Look Up) codes on produce:

"Note that each one is composed of four- or five-digit numbers. What do these numbers mean to us? As a matter of fact, they are very important:

A four-digit number means it's conventionally grown.

A five-digit number beginning with 9 means it's organic.

A five-digit number beginning with 8 means it's genetically modified."

The second bit comes from my Rachel Ray mag that I neglected to read this summer (so I missed out on the Summer recipes!) and it involves the tactics used by grocery stores to get you to buy things you might not necessarily need. I have long suspected Wal-Mart of these shenanigans when while grocery shopping one day with my then toddler, I was forced to look upward following her gaze. Lots of stuff going on UP in stores. Try looking up for a minute next time you hit the store. There are "security" devices hanging down in the aisles and I suspect they emit barely audible messages in an effort to get you to buy more Oreos.

And apparently stores use theatrical lighting to make their produce look better (And WHY don't they use this same lighting in department store fitting rooms?) so be sure to squeeze and sniff your produce before purchasing. Also, they play that old-timey musak in an effort to make you purchase things based on nostalgia and feelings. Those attempts are futile when my daughter is in tow -- she can talk over the best of piped in music (favorite TV shows, important conversations, etc).

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