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Old 10-09-2017, 11:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Cooking Goddess View Post
Both of those articles are interesting, as well as sad. So many huge nutritional decisions made by so very few people. All the more reason to buy local, even though some of the locals still have to rely on the big guys.

Speaking of big guys, I'm surprised that Smuckers wasn't on the graph, too. They seem to be represented by more labels than General Foods, for one.

Smucker Brands
That was quite an eye opener. Who knew?
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:31 AM   #12
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Interesting graphic and I was pleasantly surprised that only a little of what we purchase is in any of the blocks.
That is why I love summertime. I can buy local produce that has been grown no more than forty minutes from where I live at the many farmers markets. Fresh foods that were picked just prior to loading up the truck and heading to their slot at the market. We also have a peanut butter company just one town over. When the atmosphere is just right, we can get a lovely whiff of the peanuts roasting. You can buy it all natural or with just salt added. Never any sugar. It makes the best peanut butter cookies you could ever ask for. And they also sell it in a bucket. Kind of when Grandma would buy it.

No matter what size I buy, I always store it upside down. Then when I need it, I turn it right side up and wait for the oils to start to rise to the top again. Then a good stir, and it is ready to use. Teddie Peanut Butter is the only kind I ever buy. It is local and always freshly made.
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:41 AM   #13
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I was brought up in a village which had shops for everything and I'm back there now after years away. I try to buy fresh stuff as locally as possible and in season, eg no South American brussel sprouts in high summer.The next county over - Lancashire - grows a lot of veg and as I use 2 small local independent greengrocers shops most of their "everyday" stock (eg carrots, potatoes, green veg, etc.,) comes from private growers within 30-40 miles and is in season - always cheaper and better than out of season imported stuff. I used to buy mis-shapen carrots, the ones the supermarkets wouldn't accept, by the 28lb sackful for my horse and steal them from him. They taste delicious - none of that soap-y taste you get with supermarket carrots that have been 3 times round the country for a couple of weeks. Obviously, they don't grow bananas or avocados, etc., so where possible I buy Fairttarde. I buy meat from 2 independent butchers who slaughter their own animals. You can visit the slaughter house and see the care they give to their victims and the meat is always traceable to the farm the animal lived on. Not as cheap as Tesco but as my mother used to say "Buy better and you need to buy less".When you're on a limited income you need to be more picky, not less. One of the advantages of small, independent shops is that you come out wich what you went in for not with a load of "Special Offers" which are just loss-leaders to entice you to spend money.

I'm even able to buy flour milled by an independent miller whose family has been been doing it for over 200 years. Compare it with the conglomerates and there's no competition. Marriages flour makes fantastic bread!
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:39 AM   #14
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Time to brake or is it break the monopolies.
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:11 AM   #15
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Everyday citizens like us share some responsibility in this. We choose to support them for reasons of convenience.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:01 AM   #16
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You know Mad Cook, Boston is made up of several separate sections of the city. Except for the part I live in, you can drive or walk from one section to the next. I live across the harbor.

Growing up, each section of the city was a village unto itself. We had a butcher, a small five and dime store, a cobbler, a produce only store, a shoe store, small clothing store, a cleaners, and a corner store for all the little things you may need, like new shoe laces, a small can of tomato paste, a small market for all other goods, etc. It was like that in every section of the city. Today, my whole childhood is gone. It is all huge supermarket stores for you foods now. Around the end of the month when we get our first frost, there will be no more farmers market for us until next spring. There is one in downtown Boston. It is inside of a building, and all the produce is the same as what you buy in the large supermarkets. But it can take about 30 minutes to get there, and you will have all those bags to carry back, unless you have a car. Not worth the trip. My kids were raised in this atmosphere. They never saw their first mall until they were in junior high school.

Today a lot of malls have closed. Folks want that sense of a village back. Come Christmas time, they don't want to fight the crowds of holiday shoppers. And folks are finding that you can order anything you might fancy right on line. Why leave the comfort of your home. Our city government is investing time and money in trying to bring back that sense of village to each neighborhood. I hope it works.
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:06 PM   #17
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I got hit with an ad blocker blocker on your link, GG. Whatever.

Today there are only 4 bakeries which bake 99% of all the bread we eat. Roman soldiers used to eat 6 lbs. of bread a day.

I'm suspicious. Bakeries are almost attaining Free Mason type status.
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:40 PM   #18
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Today I was down at Maverick Square. To my surprise there is a store that carries available fresh produce. Some of it is not the prettiest produce you would get from the giant supermarket. It is all local. During the winter months, they close down the fresh produce part and operate a small eatery. The best part? The bus stops right at their door.
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:28 PM   #19
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Not food related, but the same thing is happening (or has happened) in the Optical industry, of which I am a part. One company owns the brands that make up 80% of all glasses (frames, lenses and sunglasses) sold in the US. Essilor, a French company, over the past 20 years has purchased all of the following brands (many in hostile takeovers)....

Lens Grinding Labs:
Duffens Optical
Pech Optical
Epic Labs
Custom Optical
Pasch Optical
Gulf States Labs
Cascade
Econo-Optic
Hawkins Lab
Encore Rx Lab
DAC Vision
FGX International
Nassau
Omega Optical Labs
20 20 Optics
21st Century Optics
AG Opticals
AR Coating SA
Accu Rx Inc
(These are some of the major ones. Not going to list them all; there are about 350 labs that they own.)

Lens Manufacturers:

Signet Armorlite
Transitions
Varilux
KBco
Shamir

Optical Stores:
Lenscrafters
Target Optical
Pearle Vision Centers
Sears Optical
Sunglass Hut

* Wal-Mart Optical - In this case, the don't own the stores, but the do sell them all of their frames and they provide all of the lab work
Costco Optical - Same as Wal-Mart; owned by Costco, but Essilor does all of their lab work and supplies the frames

Sunglass Companies:

Ray-Ban
Oakley (They also make frames for clear glasses)
Foster-Grant (Sunglasses and over-the-counter reading glasses)
StyleMark

Frame Companies/ Designers
alain mikli
A | X Armani Exchange
Arnette Eyewear
Brooks Brothers
Burberry
BVLGARI
Chanel
Coach
DKNY
Dolce & Gabbana
Emporio Armani
Giorgio Armani
Michael Kors
Miu Miu Eyewear
Oliver Peoples
Paul Smith Spectacles
Persol
Polo Ralph Lauren
Prada Eyewear
Ralph Lauren
Ray-Ban
Starck Eyes
Tiffany & Co
Tory Burch
Valentino
Versace
Vogue
Dockers
Luxottica
StyleMark

(Note that with many of the designer names, the designer sells the rights to use the name and the frames are designed by someone else).

Contact Lens Distributors:
Coastal Contact Lenses - Located in Canada to bypass US Laws regulating contact lens sales
Firestone Optical

Online Retailer (Glasses)

MyOptique
Warby Parker
Coastal.com
Vijaya Optical House
Essilor Lens Online

Other Related Companies

VSP - Vision Service Plan: A vision "insurance" provider
Eyefinity - Software for the optical industry and interface for ordering
Crizal - Anti-glare coating brand
Reflection-Free - Anti-glare coating brand


And if all this consolidation isn't enough to bother you (assuming you don't like monopolies), there are now talks between Essilor and Amazon about Amazon purchasing or merging with Essilor.
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:17 PM   #20
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I have Sophia Loren frames for both my infinity and reading glasses. My lens because they are such a simple prescription, my eye clinic has its own lens grinding lab and if I am willing to wait, I get my eye exam and glasses all in the same day. I have had the same frames for more than ten years. My health plan paid for both frames and the only thing that changes with each yearly exam is my infinity lens maybe. The frames have stood up all these years. I love the frames and it is the best thing I have ever chosen for myself.
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