Premium is a word some supermarkets love to use, even though it is meaningless. All natural is a phrase favored by food producers who are trying to hide the unnatural things they do to the animals they raise.
You'll find lots of similar words and phrases in the sale circulars of North Jersey supermarkets, including A&P and Pathmark. (A&P owns Pathmark.)
Pathmark says its marinated top round London broil, sliced chicken breast and rotisserie chicken are "gold quality." So is the domestic Swiss cheese it sells. There's no indication that the beef or poultry are raised on vegetarian feed and without antibiotics or growth hormones.
At A&P, 1855-brand boneless center-cut pork chops are "all natural, premium." The Angus boneless top round London broil is "premium gold," but only USDA Choice, the middle grade of three used to classify beef. Marinated meats are "gold quality" and Plumrose sliced bacon is described as "premium." Again, we are told nothing about how the animals were raised or whether the bacon has harmful preservatives
A&P's circular trumpets "See Red & Save," referring to "Red Tag Savings." Circulars that are filled with hype are just making me see red.
- Victor E. Sasson
- Hackensack, NJ, United States
- I was a reporter, copy editor and food writer at The Record of Hackensack, N.J. A downsizing forced me to retire in May 2008. I had nearly 40 years' experience at daily newspapers in the Northeast, 29 of them at The Record. I now write two blogs, Do You Really Know What You're Eating? (which focuses on food shopping and finding pure ingredients for home-cooked meals) and Eye on The Record (a critical look at a once-great suburban daily newspaper in northern New Jersey). I feel newspapers such as The Record abandoned their readers long before they stopped reading the papers. Follow me at www.twitter/vsasson