Godless Communists infiltrate Fresh Direct


About a month and a half ago I ordered some groceries from Fresh Direct. Fresh Direct is a really handy grocery delivery company here in New York City, and I recommend them highly, notwithstanding this incident. They came right up to my apartment with my groceries and wheeled them into my kitchen. I tipped the delivery guy and he left. Then I inspected my groceries. About four cardboard boxes full of groceries, far more than I could have carried on my own, and with much less hassle. On top of them was a small bag containing the lone frozen food item I had ordered, a pint of Ben and Jerry's Dublin Mudslide.

Only it wasn't Ben and Jerry's Dublin Mudslide. It was a loaf of Food for Life-brand wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free fruit juice-sweetened brown rice bread. I went on line to determine how to go about fixing an order, but it involved calling them. This was a problem since I didn't have a phone at the time, and wasn't sure if it was plausible to do it from a pay phone. So I gave up and threw the bread in the freezer.

I mention it now because I've run out of real bread and am now going to try to eat it. I took it out of the freezer last night to defrost. After 24 hours it's still very cold and pretty much still frozen at the core; that's disturbing. I just had a slice of toast and it has a disturbing almost-like-bread-but-not-quite quality to it. It's very dense and sort of... gritty? I don't know. It's not very good, but fortunately I have more bread coming tomorrow, so I can probably safely throw it back into the freezer to re-frost.

I'm sure this was just an honest mistake on the part of the Fresh Direct delivery guys; my invoice clearly says "ice cream" and not "Creepy non-bread." And, annoyed as I am at getting the brown rice bread, I would imagine that Mr. No-wheat No-Gluten No-Sugar was infinitely moreso to get the pint of Ben and Jerry's Dublin Mudslide.

Nonetheless, we cannot discount the possibility that the vast Godless Communist conspiracy has infiltrated into our grocery stores, into our delivery vans, into our very freezers, where their cold, gluten-free leninist hearts refuse our most red-blooded American attempts at defrosting them.


Those are the two most perfect frozen food items to get mixed up. I'm not sure I could think of a better combination if I tried, and I believe you're right about the reaction of the intended (godless communist) recipient.

You may not have meant to do it, but you struck a fierce and blindingly malicious blow at the heart of your local godless communist cell. Good job, you. That knowledge has got to be worth a few slices of gritty frozen semi-toast.

I can't believe you are so lazy that you have groceries delivered to your door. Don't you feel the need to personally touch the food with your bare hands before you buy it? Although, for me, grocery shopping is one of those irreplaceable pleasures in life that I wholeheartedly spend hours doing, so I suppose I have a biased opinion.

Lindsey: Let me tell you about my apartment in Berkeley. I lived on the fourth floor of a building at the corner of Hearst and Euclid. Our building had no elevator. This is on the northern edge of campus, and quite near the north-east corner of campus. It bears noting, in case you have forgotten from your years of attending the Berkeley tournament, that UC Berkeley is built on the slope of a huge-ass hill. My apartment was about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up that hill.

It also bears noting that Safeway, where I did much of my shopping during college, was way the hell up Shattuck Avenue, conveniently located at the bottom of the hill. All told, it was about a mile to Safeway. Further, it was a pain in the butt to take AC Transit busses home, since this required taking a bus to Shattuck and Center, crossing the street, waiting for another bus. All told it took an hour, whereas walking would take about half an hour, 40 minute tops.

There were also the options of Andronicos, which would have been way more expensive at a marginal decrease in distance, and Berkeley Bowl, which I foolishly did not go to until I was a senior because 1. I thought it was a bowling alley, and 2. it's a fairly unpleasant shopping experience.

What this means was that bringing home even a small load of groceries was a herculean effort, particularly with my less-than-herculean arm strength. By the time I got home my hands would be malformed and red from the pinch of the plastic bag handles. A mile walk home, half of it uphill, only to be greeted by three flights of stairs when I got back to my building.

I did this for 3 years and, as a result, have developed a strong aversion to carrying groceries home. I'll do it if there's a bargain involved, but therein lies the second appeal to Fresh Direct: they're actually cheaper than local grocery stores. This is because, as a general rule, grocery stores gouge you in New York City. The cheapest discount grocer here charges slightly more than a regular grocer elsewhere. Fresh Direct charges pretty close to what everyone else charges around the country. Even with the $5 delivery fee, it's well worth it.

That won't stop me complaining that the fruit selector sucks, though. The vegetable guy is good, I get good vegetables from him, but the fruit tends to be sub-par. Particularly the peaches, I've never gotten a good peach from them. On the plus side, though, you can get pretty good fruit from corner fruit stands around here, and it's relatively cheap. The downside is that the fruit has a greater-than-normal chance of being infested with fruit flies.

So, in short: I like shopping for food, but have developed a strong aversion to carrying food home. Hence: Delivery groceries.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on October 3, 2005 9:16 PM.

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