What Price Garbage Avoidance

We’ve got a Rainbow Foods just south of us and a Cub Foods just north of us. Both are just on the border of walking-distance away (that’s a different story). At both stores, I’m struck by how much of we don’t see, how many aisles we don’t walk down, and how much crap we don’t buy. The other day, looking for a change, we picked up a few things at the local Whole Foods store. Though there were still huge sections we avoided, I felt the high fructose corn syrup content of the store was a factor of 10 lower. Refreshing.

The price difference between the Rainbow and the Whole Foods made me wonder:

In the age of scarcity, price is the value of receiving something wanted.
In the age of plenty, price is the value of filtering out something unwanted.

This filtering-out is why Tivo can charge a monthly subscription and why AOL is marketing themselves on virus, spam, and pop-up protection.

I was listening to my backlog of SXSW ( ) music tonight when Rob McColley’s TeeVee came through my iPod. He sings, appropriately:

’cause the free stuff you get these days
I’d pay to keep away from me.

5 Replies to “What Price Garbage Avoidance”

  1. I eat off the Whole Foods deli at least once a day. Last year Milo and I had a picnic thing to go to and forgot all about the beverage and cookies we were supposed to bring so we ended up going to Rainbow. The cookie aisle was overwhelming to say the least. Far too many cookie choices- what do the people like for snacks these days,everything looked like a variation of marshmellow fluff and chocolate syrup on cardboard. I felt my soul depleting a little standing there, baffled. I prefer the much shorter and much more organic aisles at Whole Foods.
    Related book on excess options: Paradox of Choice (the authors name eludes me)Barry Schwartz

  2. The rule of thumb: “Everything coming in a colorful package is a suspect” works well for me. And what a difference the local wet market to the supermarket is!
    Greetings from the other side of the planet.
    🙂 stw

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