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Friday, February 22, 2008

Reclaiming "Fresh"

Have you noticed that in the world of business there are certain words that have become essentially meaningless through misuse? You know, words like "fresh", "guarantee", and "sale".

I'm thinking about this as I pull the wilted green pepper off my Subway "Eat Fresh" sandwich. I'm not great at keeping vegetables fresh in my fridge, but I know that green peppers are some of the more hardy vegetables, and that they can tend to last a little longer than things like lettuce and tomatoes. So I know that if I'm pulling wilted green pepper off my Subway sandwich, then the green pepper most certainly isn't anything close to "fresh". Subway also likes to tout the fact that they bake their bread "fresh" in house. Alright, they do bake it on site, but how many Subway sandwiches have you eaten in which the bread was actually first-day fresh? Or how many times have you walked into a Subway and been greeted by the smell of bread baking? I don't think I've ever experienced either of those things, and if they think people can't tell the difference between first-day fresh bread and bread that's been sitting around for a day or two, then they're deluding themselves.

Which brings me to another egregious offender of the word "fresh": Smith's "Market Fresh Everyday" Marketplace. I once wrote Smith's a nasty gram saying that they ought to change their slogan to "Mark it 'Fresh' Yesterday", and for good reason. You will never, ever, not even once find fresh bread from the Smith's bakery. Nor will you be greeted by the smell of fresh bakings from the bakery section. Oh, but the bags that cover their French bread always claim that the bread was baked "fresh" on whatever day it's laying out. Sure it was. And I wouldn't know the difference, cause I've never had fresh bread in my life, right? WRONG! I've had fresh bread, and there's no passing off that shitty old Smith's bread for fresh bread.

I wish there were honest-to-god bakeries in the western U.S. We just don't have them. Ok, I take that back, we've got the Avenues Bakery, and they make mighty fine fresh artisan bread every day, and for a good price. And there's Gourmandies (aka, The Bakery), and they make fresh bread, but their prices aren't as nice. But besides that? I can't think of anything.

During my study abroad experiences in Germany, I was delighted to find that bakeries abounded on every street corner. They were the source of many breakfasts for me, and I miss just being able to walk down the street and get some fresh bread.

Our American businesses ought to be ashamed of themselves. Ashamed, I say, ashamed! Ashamed for not caring enough about quality, and ashamed for lying about it by misusing the word "fresh".

I'm not usually a fan of government interference and regulation, but I think there is a difference between government regulation of individuals and government regulation of business. I think it is the purpose of the government to protect individual rights, and to keep businesses from abusing individuals' rights. I think that's the difference between the Republican and Democratic views of government: Republicans say they like small government, which sounds like a good thing, but what they are really saying is that they don't want government to interfere with business; Democrats, on the other hand, know that it is the nature of business to prey on individuals (they don't call it capitalism for nothing!), and so they know that businesses need more government regulation in order to protect individual rights. And I'm all for the Democratic view of governmental regulation.

So I think there ought to be restrictions on businesses' right to use words like "fresh", "guarantee", and "sale". Namely, they shouldn't be allowed to use those words if their product or services do not adhere to the dictionary meaning of those words.

It's called ethics, pure and simple. But we all know business ethics is an oxymoron, so what we need is government-imposed ethics.

We need to take back "fresh"!



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16 comments:

Melliferous Pants said...

Pinon Market bakes everything (really) daily. Their prices aren't low, but I love that the owner refuses to serve day old bread.

Sra said...

Thanks for the tip, Pants!

Note to self:
Pinon Market
2095 E 1300 S
Salt Lake City

Sovknight said...

I had some delicious rolls from a place uptown once. I think it was called Lion House or something like that. All I know is that they were fresh and delicious and I want some more. I don't know if it's a bakery of some kind though.

Sra said...

I've had Lion House rolls. A couple friends and family members did their wedding receptions at the Lion House. It's not a bakery, just an old polygamy era house (right next to Brigham's Beehive House) where the servers still dress like polygs. Creepy. Their food is pretty decent, though.

heidikins said...

There's a German bakery downtown, don't know if you've ever gone or not, but they have some great bread!

Vosen's Bread Paradise.
249 W 200 South

Also? I'm a huge fan of the Aves Bakery... yum!

xox

Sra said...

That's right, I always forget about Vosen's! I actually haven't been there, but I had an Austrian friend recommend it to me. I'll put it on the agenda for this weekend.

Loralee Choate said...

See, reading these comments about all these amazing bakeries that are AN HOUR AWAY from me would count as one of those times that I miss living in an area with more than 100,000 people.

:S

Sra said...

I guess I really have nothing to complain about then, do I? ;)

Katie Peterson said...

I thought this article was going to be about reclaiming fresh for use in its slang version of the early 90's, like "That guy's butt pants are so fresh!" Okay, that was a bad example sentence. I recently purchased a set of vintage slang flash cards that teach you to use terms like "tin lizzie" and "pitch woo." I may sound silly, but I think period slang is the bees knees. Let's reclaim fresh!

Sra said...

Ha ha ha! What's Pitch Woo? That's crazy talk.

I was always a little annoyed when the CW started calling new episodes of their shows fresh. "Now, here's some fresh Gilmore Girls!" Fresh off the shooting schedule, my friends.

Katie Peterson said...

To pitch woo is to lavish with compliments, gifts, etc. in order to get some play. It can also be used to mean canoodle.
"He can pitch woo all he wants, but I'll never go out with him!"
"We were pitching woo all night long."

Sra said...

That's high-larious.

Sra said...

That's high-larious.

Katie Peterson said...

To pitch woo is to lavish with compliments, gifts, etc. in order to get some play. It can also be used to mean canoodle.
"He can pitch woo all he wants, but I'll never go out with him!"
"We were pitching woo all night long."

Sra said...

Ha ha ha! What's Pitch Woo? That's crazy talk.

I was always a little annoyed when the CW started calling new episodes of their shows fresh. "Now, here's some fresh Gilmore Girls!" Fresh off the shooting schedule, my friends.

Sra said...

That's right, I always forget about Vosen's! I actually haven't been there, but I had an Austrian friend recommend it to me. I'll put it on the agenda for this weekend.

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