Are you a produce sampler?


I was shopping around in the produce section of my local grocery store. Looking at the grapes, I couldn't decide whether I wanted green or red ones this time around. I usually choose whichever looks fresher or is on sale. Sometimes I just alternate. Last time, the green ones were chosen so this time, the red ones were catching my eye.

A woman walked up beside me, in a hurry and pulled off a grape and plopped one into her mouth. She then turned to her significant other and stated with almost a self-righteous tone "Yes, THESE will do." She then looked at me and responded with a "these ones are good" and grabbed the bag to put into her cart.

I stood there stunned by her demeanor. It was then I wanted to open my mouth and ask her how the tomatoes or better yet, the watermelons, were. But I refrained.

I'm not really sure why I was irked. I think it was her attitude by it all, not necessarily that she took a taste. It was a sort of sense of entitlement she had that I just didn't like.

I'm sure everyone has seen someone test out a grape or cherry at the supermarket. It's a monkey-see, monkey-do type of thing. I can't tell you how many times I've observed people knock on melons, smell their produce, pinch their kiwi's or squeeze their tomatoes which have led me to try out these techniques too.

grapes diptych

I'm not going to lie, I have tasted a grape or two in my past. However, I would do it secretly. You know, look around nonchalantly, to see if anyone is watching, grab the bag to "examine" it, while plucking off a grape and then "cleverly" pretending to cough or scratch my face while I throw the grape into my mouth. Don't groan, I know, it's still sad.

But I mentioned earlier, you wouldn't go crack open a watermelon and test it out before you buy it! So, what makes grapes ok to eat or other small fruit ok? Because they are small and we can get away with it? I'm not really sure.

You won't catch me testing out any produce now. I remember thinking one evening that if only 25 people everyday had a sample of grapes, that would really add up! We're talking almost 10,000 grapes in a year! That's a lot of waste that the grocery stores have to add to their accounting and add to your final bill. And if you think about it, it's stealing, sure it cost a penny but you didn't pay for it.

I'm not going to judge you if I see you at the supermarket picking up a small sample size of fruit however, I will snicker. But please, for my amusement, at least try to conceal it. I enjoy the bad acting. And remember, chew! Think of the your embarrassment if you made headline news ... "EXTRA EXTRA: Heimlich performed on choking grape tester in the produce section of local grocery store."