Manic Organic – Part 2

Today we’re looking at the organic options in the higher-end grocery stores in my ‘hood. And the options really appear to be all about location. In Parkdale proper, even the prepackaged organic items can be hit or miss, but once I headed over to Roncesvalles Avenue where the supermarkets face stiff competition from a plethora of greengrocers, the organic options were overwhelming.

2280 Dundas West

With 300 products in the PC Organics line, I’m not about to list them all, and I’m going to go with the assumption that the Dufferin Mall No Frills offers a good cross-section of the prepared organic products. Instead, at Loblaws I concentrated on the produce section where there was, indeed, a decent amount of organic options to choose from. Organic strawberries were posted as being $5.99 compared to $4.99 for conventional and that price must have been attractive to customers as there were no organic strawberries left when I was there.

Of the organic cabbage, beets, radish, kale and carrots, all were imported. Pineapples, grapes and pears were also sold bagged, so there was no picking and choosing. Organic onions and sweet potatoes were sold in bags only, which might make the conventional versions of those items more of an option for anyone who needed only one or two of each. There was a decent selection of loose organic fruit, however, with mangoes, oranges, pears, lemons, avocado and kiwi all represented, as well as 5 varieties of organic apples.

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Canned Goods and Tinfoil Hats

Greg thinks I’m a bit of a weirdo for laying claim to a section of shelf space in the closet to create a pantry. After Hurricane Katrina, although we are nowhere near New Orleans, or any hurricane, earthquake, tornado, flood, forestfire or landslide danger zone, I got all “emergency preparedness” crazy. Because shit could still happen. It might be another big power outage, like we had in ’03, or an icestorm or an attack by Tara. Or, more likely, it could be an influenza pandemic that shuts the whole city down.

During “the SARS”, I was going for allergy shots every week, and had to do the whole handwash, mask, questionnaire deal just to get in to see the nurse (my doctor’s office is inside a hospital), so I’m familiar with the protocol. And the paranoia. That was bad enough, but a flu pandemic would be even worse.

Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks of these things. The Toronto Star is reporting on a conference held by Canadian Grocers to ensure that grocery stores and supermarkets are prepared for something such as a flu pandemic. Turns out, most of them really aren’t.

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