Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Susanne)

Here are ten of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

(Jason Bachman)

Bag Of Fresh Spinach Includes Free Dead Mouse

A fresh salad and some lean protein make a fine dinner, but a couple in Georgia are kind of freaked out at the freebie that came in their bag of pre-washed spinach. After eating most of the package, they found a fresh dead mouse at the bottom. How did it get there? [More]

Whole Foods Introduces Produce Ranking System Based On Suppliers’ Farming Tactics

(Glyn Lowe Photoworks)

How do the fruits and vegetables you buy stack up against other produce? Are those flowers really the best you can get? Whole Foods is trying to answer some of those questions for customers with its new “responsibly grown” labeling system that ranks produce and plants at its stores, based on how suppliers farm those products. [More]

Study: Eating These 41 ‘Powerhouse’ Fruits And Vegetables Can Prevent Chronic Disease

Study: Eating These 41 ‘Powerhouse’ Fruits And Vegetables Can Prevent Chronic Disease

Is your daily diet full of “Powerhouse” fruits and vegetables? Probably not, unless you regularly munch on watercress, chard or beet greens. [More]

All Squash Weighs Four Ounces At Stop & Shop, Regardless Of Size

All Squash Weighs Four Ounces At Stop & Shop, Regardless Of Size

We all learned in elementary school that an object’s mass and its size are different things. A pound of cotton candy is much larger than a pound of, say, raisins, because raisins are so much denser. Yet this package of squash that reader Adam spotted at Stop & Shop would have us believe that some of the same vegetable are twice as dense as others. [More]

(liz west)

At Kroger, “Local” Produce Comes From Within 400 Miles

The virtue and environmental impact of buying locally-grown produce is a controversial question, but produce trucked from a nearby farm usually tastes better, at least. It’s also nice when a grocery store points out which items of produce come from farms in your community. The key question is, how do you define “local”? [More]

Cilantro Is Not Local To Ohio When Grown In California

Cilantro Is Not Local To Ohio When Grown In California

It’s not that Nancy expects all of the produce sold at her local Kroger to be grown locally. That’s not possible, especially if you like things that can’t be grown in Ohio. For example: bananas. She does expect that when the company labels produce as locally grown, that it is. The store has some trouble with this concept. [More]

Keep Your Onions & Potatoes Separated And Other Tips For Storing Fruits & Vegetables

(Jonathan Coffey)

We’ve all got kitchens and we all eat food, but not everyone can agree on where and how to store that food so it doesn’t immediately turn into a moldy mess or dry out into a worthless husk. Last week, we looked at the the best places and methods for keeping your bread, dairy and eggs fresh, and in this second Spoilage Wars installment, we’ll deal with the fruits and vegetables you endeavor to keep from rotting away. [More]

Starbucks Offers Vegetable Muffin Or Mini-Quiche In Hong Kong

Starbucks Offers Vegetable Muffin Or Mini-Quiche In Hong Kong

We consider it our duty to keep you updated about the finest and most exciting international fast food available, like Marmite pizza and apple burgers. We’re not so sure that this new pastry offering from Starbucks in Hong Kong will have Americans longing to buy plane tickets, though. It features…vegetables? [More]

Suss Out Fakers At Farmers Markets

Suss Out Fakers At Farmers Markets

As an undercover hidden camera investigation recently revealed, not every bearded and overall-wearing guy behind the stand at farmers markets is selling food he grew himself. Some of them just load up a local produce warehouses and sell it to you at a feel-good-about-saving-the-earth premium. So how do you tell who’s real and who’s shoveling you fertilizer? [More]

Los Angeles Farmers Markets Full Of Lies, Warehouse Produce

Los Angeles Farmers Markets Full Of Lies, Warehouse Produce

If you’re in California and need to make a little extra cash, why not buy a bag of baby carrots from the supermarket, throw some potting soil on them, and sell them at your local farmers market as fresh-from-your-farm organic treats? Okay, maybe technically that’s not permitted, but who’s going to stop you? An NBCLA investigation found vendors at several farmers markets were lying to customers about their produce, and sourcing it from local warehouses instead of their own farms. [More]

How Bags Of Oranges Costs More Than Coke

How Bags Of Oranges Costs More Than Coke

This is also why you’re fat. A graph of inflation-adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows how the prices of different food and beverages has changed over the past three decades. The price of crap food over the past 30 years has dropped. At the same time, the food you used to try to hide in your glass of milk has gotten steadily more expensive. No wonder the average man in his 60’s is 25 lbs heavier than he was in the late 70’s. Hey, govmnt, how about shifting some of those corn and soybean subsidies over to produce growers? [More]

Lay's Chip Tracker Helps You Find The Source Of Your Salty Snacks

Lay's Chip Tracker Helps You Find The Source Of Your Salty Snacks

Do you lie awake at night, wondering where the potatoes in the bag of Lay’s chips you downed while watching “Dancing With the Stars” were grown? No, neither do most sane people. However, our alert colleagues over at ShopSmart magazine have discovered the Lay’s Chip Tracker, which can tell you the potato source based on the bag’s production code. No, seriously.

Store Brand Mixed Vegetables: Not Quite As Mixed As You Would Think

Store Brand Mixed Vegetables: Not Quite As Mixed As You Would Think

Have you ever taken a serving of mixed vegetables and sorted it by vegetable? Louis, annoyed at inaccurate depictions of food on labels, decided to sort, count, and weigh the vegetables in his can of Always Save brand canned vegetables. The results? Uh, not so mixed.

Well Hello There, New Bar Codes

Well Hello There, New Bar Codes

Snazzy new bar codes are starting to adorn our fruit and vegetables to stop blurry-eyed cashiers from ringing up organic produce as the cheaper-priced regular stuff. They’re called GS1 DataBars, and they’re already appearing in select supermarkets to help consumers move faster through checkout lines.

Do Your Homework Before Going On Vacation Or Customs Will Seize Your Goat

Do Your Homework Before Going On Vacation Or Customs Will Seize Your Goat

Customs seizes 4,300 items each day from unsuspecting travelers, so read up on their regulations before jaunting off on vacation or they’ll seize your tasty goat when you return. Customs regulations aren’t as arbitrary as they seem, but they can’t be deciphered by common sense alone.

Walmart Fined $89,705 For Overcharging Wisconsin Customers

Walmart Fined $89,705 For Overcharging Wisconsin Customers

Walmart received an $89,705 fine after the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection found 280 weights and measures violations at nine Walmart stores. The gargantuan retailer failed to subtract the weight of packaging materials, or “tare weight,” when pricing bulk items like coffee, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.

Judy Cardin, section chief for weights and measures with the state, said that in the case of bulk coffee, the weight of the packaging materials was included when the price of the product was determined. The state had tested one-pound bags of Cameron brand coffee beans, which were found to be 3/100ths of a pound over the actual bagged content.

Vegetables Were Healthier Fifty Years Ago

Vegetables Were Healthier Fifty Years Ago

The heirloom tomatoes in your garden may not just be tastier than commercially grown vegetables, but healthier too, according to a study from the American College of Nutrition. The study looked for 13 nutrients in 43 crops grown from 1950 to 1999 and discovered that the vegetables enjoyed by our grandparents were significantly more nutritious than the veggies found on supermarket shelves today.

After rigorous statistical analysis, the researchers found that, on average, all three minerals evaluated have declined; two of five vitamins have declined; and protein content has dropped by 6 percent.