The Fresh Market in Columbus, Georgia

After doing quite a bit of shopping in cramped, sometimes dingy Asian grocery stores, or in wet markets, it was a treat to shop in The Fresh Market.  Granted, it’s more of an upscale grocery store, but that will just help to highlight the difference between what you usually see in Singapore and the Philippines, and what’s available in the US.

Fresh Market

The first thing I saw when walking into the grocery store were these humongous apples:

Red Apples

The interior of the store is well decorated and there’s a pleasant aroma of cinnamon and other spices.

Fresh Market Interior

Fresh Market Interior

The fruits and vegetables in The Fresh Market are really awesome looking:

Bright Red Tomatoes

Notice how red the tomatoes are.  When I went to Asia I couldn’t figure out why the tomatoes there always had more of a yellowish green look to them, instead of the read I was used to.  I later found out that tomatoes in the US are artificially ripened using methane gas.  Even knowing that, there’s something comforting about seeing bright red, luscious tomatoes.  The ones in Asia always looked like they hadn’t been left on the vine long enough to finish growing.

Fresh baked pies:


They all looked delicious, and I really love pumpkin pies and pecan pies, but we picked up one that I hadn’t heard of before: praline peach pie.  It’s delicious!

The cuts of meat on display looked incredible:

Country Style Sausage

Ya, with all this good food, I’m gonna start looking like a pig if I’m not careful.

A whole wall of spices:

Mixed nuts:

The Fresh Market is clean, smells nice, everything is in order and it’s quiet inside.  Most importantly, it has plenty of space.  In Asian markets and grocery stores, as in most other areas, you’re constantly jostling around and past people to get to what you need.  Shopping there is an ordeal that has to be endured, but in grocery stores in the US there’s enough space to take your time to find what you want, to enjoy the experience, and you enjoy looking around.  Also, though this doesn’t usually apply to grocery stores, there aren’t jackasses hovering over your shoulder constantly trying to push you to buy something.  I hate that!

This level of spaciousness is something that’s more available in Georgia than New York City, because there are far more people in the city, obviously.  Even there, though, stores often have more space to accommodate people.

Visiting The Fresh Market was a fun experience.

McCurry and McBath

Both of these photos were taken in Kuala Lumpur.

I saw this McCurry while riding a bus and had to rush to snap a photo of it.  This place is owned by a local business man and I remember reading about an 8 year legal battle they went through with McDonald’s, who sued them for trademark infringement.  In the end, the Malaysian courts ruled in favor of McCurry, which only makes sense.  I’m sure the name of this store was inspired by McDonald’s but how can you trademark the “Mc”?  Though not common to Malaysia, “Mc” is a common part of names.

I guess this place followed suit and took it a step further by equating the “Mc” with an American Standard.  I didn’t realize there was an American standard for McBaths or McToilets, but if you’re looking for McBathroom Fixtures this is the place for you.

MSG By The Bag

Well, I was pretty busy today and I’m getting ready to leave for a wedding, so instead of along post, I’ll just post this:

MSG, which has known negative health effects, can be bought by the bag here.  I always thought the stuff was illegal in the US, but I can’t seem to find any info on it right now.  Maybe later when I get back I’ll do a little more digging.

Update:  Information from

  • MSG tricks your tongue into making you think a certain food is high in protein and thus nutritious. It is not a “meat tenderizer”. It is not a “preservative”. The food industry is trying to confuse the issue by focusing on the “fifth” taste sense they call umami. Free glutamic acid is detected by the taste buds as a simple way to signal the presence of protein in a food, just as there are fat receptors to detect fats and receptors that sense carbohydrate or sweet flavors. The purpose is to help us discern real food from inedible matter. It changes your perception of not simply taste but the nutritious qualities of what you put into your mouth. However, and here is the main problem with free glutamic acid – It is the very same neurotransmitter that your brain and many organs including your ears, eyes, nervous system and pancreas in your body use to initiate certain processes in your body.
  • MSG stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin. So many diets these days are concerned about the Glycemic Index of foods and yet none of them address the fact that MSG and free glutamic acid stimulate the pancreas to release insulin when there doesn’t even have to be carbohydrates in the food for that insulin to act on. The food industry has found their own “anti-appetite suppressant”. It’s a convenient way to keep consumers coming back for more. The blood sugar drops because of the insulin flood. And you are hungry an hour later. Sound familiar?

Hey, that does sound familiar. There’s a common saying in the US that when you’re hungry you shouldn’t eat Chinese food because you’ll be hungry a few hours later. I guess that saying is based on the truth of what MSG does to you.

Of course, it doesn’t stop there. MSG is in a lot of foods that you wouldn’t have guessed. Check out the MSG Truth site and see for yourself!