‘I Say It’s Spinach ...’
On Dec. 8, 1928, The New Yorker ran one of its most famous cartoons drawn by Carl Rose with text by E. B. White. It depicted a small child eating dinner. The caption:
Young mother: “It’s broccoli, dear.”
Young daughter: “I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.”
Recently, I’ve been buying bagged spinach and either microwaving it in the bag or sauteing it with a ton of garlic.
Great stuff, until nearly 200 people in 26 states became seriously ill with E. coli from tainted bagged spinach supplied by Natural Selection Foods in California’s Salinas Valley. At least one person died and 29 others had kidney failure.
From a public health point of view, the story is E. coli.
In the world of marketing, this is all about brand protection.
Musings of a Naïve Consumer
I work at home, so I do the grocery shopping. Bagged spinach and salad greens make me feel good. For example, the bagged romaine hearts from Earthbound Farms were terrific—no outer leaves to discard, dated for freshness, keeps fresh in the bag. What’s more, these are for sale at the local Super Fresh (an A&P subsidiary) and Whole Foods six blocks away. Whole Foods is a class operation; any product with a Whole Foods imprimatur is fine by me.
I always preferred Earthbound to Dole. Ever since I was a kid I thought of Dole pineapples coming from Hawaii. If Dole produce comes from Hawaii, I reasoned, it takes a long time to get here, so Earthbound must be closer and fresher.
What’s more, “Earthbound” sounds crunchy, organic and natural with no chemicals. Do I pay more for Earthbound? I assume so. Everything at Whole Foods seems to cost more.
Once in a while I go to Trader Joe’s across town and pick up Trader Joe’s brand bagged spinach or salad greens.