Sunday, May 20, 2007

Grocery Shopping

You would think there couldn't be many differences between grocery shopping in the UK and grocery shopping in the US but you would be wrong. First of all there are 3 grocery stores within walking distance to my house, you wouldn't think 1 town would need 3 grocery stores but I guess it does. I'm still trying to figure out which one I like best, today I went to Sainsbury's. It's the furthest from my house but they have a recycling facility there and my plastic bottles were in need of being returned. I can't wait until they start picking them up curbside.

I started off in the fruits and vegetables section. Most of the vegetables are pre-packaged there are very few that are loose and you can just take what you need. This means I needed to buy 250 grams of green beans when I only needed a handful for dinner tonight. I'll either have beans for dinner every night this week or a lot will be thrown out. It's ironic that the food is all packaged this way as it creates more waste while there are all kinds of signs asking you to recycle and reduce what you throw away. The plastic trays that the vegetables come in is not recyclable so that must be thrown out along with the plastic wrappings. Some of the grocery stores provide a wider variety of loose vegetables such as the mushroom section at Waitrose and there's always the farmer's markets. Unfortunately the farmer's market doesn't always have what I'm looking for.

I have now gotten used to ordering meats and cheeses in grams and not ounces or pounds. Although the stores do show the price per pound and per kg. It usually takes me a little while to quickly do some conversions in my head to make sure I'm not ordering too much or too little.

The brands here are also completely different to what I'm used to and am still trying to figure out what's good and what's not. I did however stumble across a great find this weekend. I found a Whole Food's market in Kensington. I didn't stop in as I was afraid I would want to buy things and I was heading to watch The FA Cup , a return trip is definitely in store for next weekend.

Eggs are not stored in refrigerators, instead they are on the shelves just like any other boxed or canned item. The number of variety of eggs are astonishing - they are classified by the type of hen that laid them, the size, and whether they are free range. I haven't yet conducted a taste test to see what the differences between the different eggs are.

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