I have had occasion recently to be a little annoyed with one of the grocery chains in my neck of the woods. I’m in Richmond VA, which means that I have a lot of locavore/farmers market options in addition to the usual suspects: Walmart, Food Lion (ick), Martin’s, and Kroger.
This particular story involves Kroger. It has a happy ending.
Commercially-produced cheese – and I’m speaking particularly of cheese from US producers – comes with the risk of ingesting rBHT (bovine growth hormone). rBHT is given to dairy cows at factory dairy farms to increase milk production. They also have to give these cows antibiotics to control the udder infections they get due to overstimulated milk glands. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it?
For those of us who have fought the hormone-positive breast cancer troll, it’s important to be aware of hormones in food – and I’m talking about added hormones, not those that occur naturally in the course of the plant’s or animal’s life cycle.
In my quest for good US cheddar, the kind you can buy without going broke, I’ve settled on Tillamook as the best available choice. It’s labeled rBHT free, tastes wonderful, melts beautifully on a grilled cheese sandwich or a cheese omelet, winner all around.
It’s available at my local Kroger.
Or it WAS available, until late May when I could no longer find it in the cheese display.
No one in the deli department had any clue what I was talking about – and the person who DID know was, of course, never there when I asked.
Finally got a name, and a phone number, and a time when that Knower of All Things Cheese would be in the store.
That day was today. And of COURSE he wasn’t there. But the chef in the deli/prepared foods area was.
The chef (John Jefferson, at the Kroger Ridge Rd. store, for those who like full-disclosure), listened to my tale of cheese frustration and promised to call me with a Final Answer, once he found out what that was.
Turns out it was an IT error (don’t you just love it, as an IT geek, when you get blamed for something like this?) – apparently the automatic ordering system hadn’t been set up properly to re-order Tillamook cheese when supplies ran low.
I enthusiastically bought Tillamook, 8 oz. every couple of weeks, from January to May.
They didn’t re-order.
You do the math 😉
I’ll have more Tillamook in my fridge next Tuesday.
Customer: 1 (gets what she wants)
Kroger: 1 (keeps a customer)
Are you listening, Walmart?