Have you noticed people at the supermarket looking a little longer and a little more intently at the various vittles that line the aisles? I have.
Have you noticed people at the supermarket looking a little longer and a little more intently at the various vittles that line the aisles?
One of these shoppers the other day seemed to be transfixed in the meat section.
First, he perused the ground beef, starting with the packages atop the section proclaiming the beef to be 93 percent meat, before working his way down the shelves.
The lower the shelf, the lower the price. The lower the price, the higher the fat content.
He moved along to steak without buying any ground beef. He checked the various cuts for several moments before making his way to pork.
The pork prices seemed to perplex him.
He wondered why they weren’t lower.
True, the “swine” flu had nothing to do with eating a pork chop for dinner, but the man hoped other shoppers would be irrational and prices would drop.
He was disappointed.
Then the man came to the chicken.
He couldn’t have been more focused had he been hunting fowl in the wild.
The “roasters” didn’t interest him.
They were oddly gargantuan, in his opinion.
If he wanted a turkey, he’d buy a turkey, he thought to himself.
The chicken identified as fryers, were what he was hunting, though he fully intended to roast them despite the packaging.
He narrowed down his selection to two whole-chicken choices.
Each seemed appropriately sized for a chicken rather than a condor, but both had different body types.
The cluckers on the left were kind of stubbier than their brethren on the right.
The coloring was a little different, too, with the stubby birds a little more golden in hue than the lankier contingent on the right.
The guy thought maybe the birds represented different branches of the chicken family.
He didn’t really care that much about their respective backgrounds as long as they were capable of joining a roasting pan filled with sliced potatoes in the oven for 90 minutes or so.
On closer inspection, the guy saw that the more athletic-looking featherless friends on the right’s packaging proclaimed them to be free of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics. The labeling said they were also fed a “100 percent vegetarian diet.”
The couch-potatoesque poultry on the left claimed only to have “no artificial ingredients,” (which is good for those fearing faux-chicken), and no preservatives.
It kept mum on the presence of hormones, steroids and antibiotics. Their diet was also left a mystery. They could have been raised on cheeseburgers.
Then this shopper noticed something else before chucking one of the birds from the left into his basket.
It was $1 cheaper per pound.
Frank Mulligan is an editor in GateHouse Media Service’s Raynham, Mass., office and can be reached at email@example.com.