Ask a produce expert anything. Going on four years working at a local grocery store.
Only thing I won't answer is where exactly I work, for obvious reasons.
Well we switch out our main tables on a weekly basis, and store the unsold product in back. Depending on how odd the product is, it can sit in the back room for weeks, or even months... citrus is a good example.
Personally, organic is a waste of time. We don't tend to that shelf nearly as often, the produce doesn't last nearly as long, and it comes from oddball companies. But a lot of our non organic produce is also non gmo.
75% of that severely overstocked produce is going to rot before it's sold. How many people eat fucking beets?
Most of the time, the wax on many fruits, like apples, is actually fine to eat, and you shouldn't be concerned. It keeps your fruit fresher for longer. It's why we can keep certain apples in back for weeks. But if you don't like it, just dip it in really hot water
>Ask a produce expert anything.
damn kids, stay in fcking school or you can end up being a produce "expert" too!!
>Going on four years working at a local grocery store
you could have studied your fucking masters of produce in 4 years!
I guess you'll only be an expert now..
The hollow sound is actually a good tell. Otherwise 99% percent of the time it's a total guess, but we get our melons in quite fresh so I always tell guests to wait a day or so before cutting one open.
Knowing what you know about the business, are you inspired in any way to farm or become a grocery owner, or a purveyor some kind of artisanal item? I actually am jealous of people who are able to do that kind of thing.....and often, it's just immigrants actually running the farm.
I don't care for the wax because it tends to attract off favors especially if it's been refrigerated. I don't care to submerge it in hot water because it damages the flesh of the fruit.
Cut the melon and let it sit for a few hours or over night. You will get a much deeper flavor. Using a ripe product will also aide in greater flavor. Same goes with pineapple.
Thanks for the tip, fam. Will try it next time. I also tried putting salt on it like I saw in an anime, but in the end I only liked the salt taste, the melon remained bland.
Got any tips for coconuts? I want to like them too but they taste nothing like the dried coconut you sprinkle on cakes.
You can often buy organic unsweetened coconut shreds....I love them. Good fats with lots of fiber.
HAHHHAH way too much. Depends on what tho. Most fruits, like apples, get sold. Tomatoes tho. Just today I donated over 100 pounds of tomatoes easily. So if I had to take a guess like 10-15% gets thrown or donated
Try lime or any citrus juice and cayenne pepper on melons. Toss them shits and enjoy.
Shave as much of the coconut flesh out as possible and toast it in the oven with a little sunflower oil.
You should piggyback and answer the best questions ITT yourself.....you probably have a more interesting perspective.
Produce isn't like a fucking IPAD. It changes day to day. One day we might be able to get a case of grapes for $1 and then next they could cost $10. There's no simple answer to that question.
Kind of? It depends on what's on sale that week and what we are able to get from our suppliers for super cheap. Bananas are obviously our biggest seller, but if we are selling new or unique product on sale, hell ya we will talk the shit up like it's no one's business
Not op but i can answer shit. the profit margins change weekly. At my company at least. normally we have one or two bomb items we lose money on for a sale like say strawberries that attract customers then we merchandise high margin shit near it so people pick that up as well. So in a way we kinda lure people into buying stuff thats a high margin.
I figure that produce employees are to direct customers to the most perishable items so they sell while they are at their peak that way they can get the most profit from the item. Instead of donating or composting.
I had a customer flip shit on me one day because a brand of grape tomatoes we have called santa sweets went from USA to mexico supply. I was just like uhh wtf do you want me to do? lol
Also here a picture of my potato section. Nothing crazy but this isn't a stock photo. I know someone asked for it earlier.
So I'm guessing the no sell to customers store is a large corporate box store like a meijers or the like, but anon who priced29¢/lb are you at a smaller company or a big box grocer?
Can any of you fellow produce guys guess what this fruit is? I got these randomly without ordering them from my warehouse a week ago.
i think that is rambutan.
here in costa rica we call it mamon chino, google said its called rambutan, the one in your pic related has gone bad. they are bright red when ripe, tastes really good
nah its just the vibes i get from certain organic shoppers is all. Also most organic shoppers don't get that they are the minority, so we don't prioritize making sure their produce looks as good.
Ya like I had a woman today who wanted organic ENGLISH cucumbers. 95% of you anons didn't even know there were multiple cucumbers to begin with. First time I've ever had a guest ask for that. I told her I could order it in within the next two days, and she just told me she'll get it at her "better" grocery store, Woodmans.
the fuck man, i wouldnt eat that.
here in costa rica you just buy them from kids who go pick them to get some extra cash. you can usually buy a bag of about 30 for 1000 colones, thats a little less then 2 dollaroos
yea our managers are fucking shit heads. where i work the district offices are in our building, so we get big wigs all the time. our store manager is a fucking dumb cunt that has run off multiple other managers and is basically destroying the store
I try to shop organic as much as I can but I understand that. I try not to be a cunt about it but I've definitely given some groans about availablity and quality. And to be fair in not mad about the produce worker who I'm usually forced to interact with because the managers are usually too pussy to fight me. I'm agrivated at the system that rewards cheaper, easier products. To all the produce workers I know I've annoyed, I apologize
Depends on the fruit/veggie usually.
I'd like to think that most shoppers at our store understand what is ripe or not. If you're pulling from the bottom, you're A. An asshole or B. Don't want to eat it for a week
The issue with organic is that is costs us more and it goes bad 3x faster. It just doesn't make sense to always have a huge selection of organics. At the end of the day, we're still a business
I actually only got put into a manager position this year, and I'm an assistant so I still make hourly. but 13 an hr, and again I'm still a student and another plus is no drug tests ever. they dont care.
Autistic expert on a lot of stuff.
The reason most fruit and veggies are flavorless, is because they are grown in unfertile soil with too much water. Organic heirlooms taste best. Search out the good stuff that small farms sell at farmers markets. Order some heirloom seeds and grow your own. I did this with tomatoes and the flavor was so much more robust and satisfying.
Interesting story related to this question. One day one of the boxes of roma tomatoes we got was covered in mold. Like completely. So much mold that it looked like a huge spider web or some shit. You couldn't even see much red from the tomatoes. Anywho. We were getting pretty low on tomatoes so we needed all we could get, so my manager literally told me to go through the tomatoes and try and pick any out that looked salvageable. God damn that shit was gross. Fucking stunk.
older pic incoming
We once bought a watermelon box of pickles. Fucking pickles. Shit went bad before we even sold like 1/10th of it. We made a new kid on his first day take the entire pallet/box out to the dumpster and use a shovel to throw them away
Oh and to add. Not OP. So OP how long does it take to be a produce expert? I worked in a produce department for 3 yrs in highschool. Although its been a bit, so maybe I have lost my expertise.
This shit right here is true. But as a customer who wants more products like this in stores we have to demand these items. The problem is a underpayed worker is who the customer interacts with. They have no control over the market or the price. Customers need to educate themselves and demand better products from store managers. And from other customers as well, for the stores to carry the products the have to sell enough. I'm sure I sound like a yuppie foodie cunt but that's the only way stores will go full organic.
Most people don't have the time or ability to grow heirlooms from seed, and many parts of the country can only grow for a finite amount of time per year.
Yeah. Tbh in my opinion most people who came to the produce department usually knew exactly what they wanted already, never had too many questions, and the few I got was just asking where something was. Definitely seemed like produce was one of the easier departments when it came to dealing with customers.
So at my store, our loading dock has a lift because the backroom is recessed below ground level. one of my idiot part timers went to get a full pallet of blueberries off the truck. he dident have the jack all the way on the lift when he went to lower it down so the whole damn thing tipped over and spilled 192 cases of blueberries everywhere. that was a fun day.
In my first year of working, one of my coworkers knocked over two pallets of cuties 30 ft in the air, the little mandarin oranges kids love? our back room smelled like citrus for a month.
you're forever cursed to feel nostalgia whenever you enter a produce section.
you'll be like 90 and still think to yourself "i used to work in a place juuuuuust like this!"
you'll probably even tell your grandkids. and they'll think you are a huge faggot.
Sorry for the shitty cam quality. Dropped my phone too many times after a weekend in Dallas
thx for having my back, anon
you get a funny pic
My nigga, I'll hit 4 years in produce in August.
Are you allowed to sample at your store? My store allows me to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, as long as the customers are getting some too.
Whenever I go into another store thats not mine, I find myself critiquing their produce department. Also i have to fight the urge to return random produce i find in isles back to the produce dept.
Kek. This is true. This thread and the pictures in it are giving me a ridiculous amount of feels. Fucking had me some fun times and good memories when I worked in that produce department despite the pay being pretty shit and the store managers were huge cunts (dept managers were cool though)
Small business here. Only 3 "departments" really. Produce/Deli/Register. Deli usually consists of useless slugs and thugs. Produce is a bunch of awesome assholes. Register is all chicks usually 16-22 and i try and bang them all
Not OP but at our store we got to sample shit literally all the time, whenever we wanted, just get it off the shelf or from the back. didnt even have to give customers samples of what we had. My manager always said that it was so we could "tell customers what everything tasted like" even if it was just fucking bananas or some shit. She didnt care
My store is so huge there is like 200 employees. So the produces guys tend to stick together. There is a few exceptions where someone has known each other for years and they shoot the shit.
Customer fag here, whenever I see food items abandoned in the store I put it in my cart and leave it at the check out line so it doesn't get forgotten about. I never worked in a grocer but that shit always annoyed the fuck out of me.
At my store, there is this one dude that comes regularly in a fucking suped up power wheel chair. i am almost certain he picks shit up and drives around the store eating it and ends up buying like only about a quarter what he grabbed. makes me wanna chuck a watermelon at his head but no one does anything about him.
>tfw me and my buddy who worked in produce with me would spend hrs chilling in the backroom bullshitting about random stuff, like what we would do in the event of a zombie apocalypse
>the last hr before he would leave we qould go out and stock the shelves up again
Shit was fun. Literally my manager always complimented me on how full I would leave the shelves, despite me not doing shit for hours on end.
I asked one of my part timers to fill sweet onions once and a bit later i go and check on him and he made a pyramid like this with them about that high. i just face palmed and walked away.
Alright fags, if the thread dies its because I'm now in a League match, but it was good chatting with fellow produce fags, and other anons.
Itd take a little bit
Did your store not mind you doing shit like this? My store never wanted us to stock shit this full because alot of it would go bad. We could excess fresh for longer periods of time if it was in the back.
or Country of Origin labels
In the US all produce is required to indicate the country of origin on the fruit itself or on the sign next to the fruit.
Dept. of Agriculture and Forestry routinely will come and check to make sure you have them and can fine for each type missing it.
Hahah must be nice. In Louisiana the gov't has no moneys so they have to find clever ways to fund themselves. The FDA requires all produce to be COOL compliant. The stickers are fine, otherwise it has to be on a bulk bin.
At my store we're subdivided further into full-time and part-time cliques. Mind you a lot of the other part timers went/go to the same high school and know each other outside of work
I knew it we were being over worked we only had two people closing, me and some other guy and the other five were in the morning. It was really hard for us during the sales days