… is from page 3 of Michael Ruhlman’s 2017 book, Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America:
We tend to use grocery stores without thinking about them, or if we do think about them, it’s with mild annoyance, the thought of shopping itself a chore. What we rarely reflect on is what a luxury it is to be able to buy an extraordinary variety and quantity of food whenever we want every day of the year.
DBx: Modern bourgeois society overflows with testaments to the marvels of global markets. No testament is greater than the supermarket. Yet as Ruhlman observes, this marvel is so common today that we take it for granted. Sad, that. I wonder how many are the people who, while strolling with their shopping carts through the aisles of a Kroger or of a Whole Foods – buying pints of blueberries in January for a fraction of the typical American worker’s hourly wage, or purchasing for a pittance fresh flowers grown in a different hemisphere – bemoan the “greed” of entrepreneurs and the “imperfections” of markets.