Recently, I have moved back to the city of Dalian, in the Liaoning Province of China. One thing I have loved so far about living here is the food. The selection and freshness would amaze you, and there are countless small grocers, butchers and bakers you can go to to get fresh, quality food stuffs.
My new home is in a shopping district (meaning clothes, bags,shoes, accessories) and I have found it hard to find good places to get food. There seems to be a “district” for everything here. If you want a sink, you have to go to a “plumbing” district, and there will be HUNDREDS of stores selling sinks. These shopping districts can be blocks and blocks of huge buildings, containing hundreds or thousands of independent stores and stalls. Most of the products are very similar, so the concept is a little alien to the Western eye, and the competition is of course, fierce.
In an environment that so segregated by type of product, “One Stop Shopping” has become verrrry popular. WALMART has really thrived here, as in the west. If you can believe it, the products in Chinese Walmarts are even cheaper than the products in Western ones…
I asked some neighbours where they bought their meat and vegetables. They told us they went to Walmart. With so many butchers and farmers selling on the street, and in markets… they go to Walmart?
In other places we lived we had our “Chicken Lady” and “egg dude” and “Noodle guy” and “veggie man” we could go to and struggle our way through miming and broken Chinese to get the food we wanted. But man, it was fresh. We have since found a few small grocers and butchers hidden amongst the giant apartment building, but it got me thinking about the food system and Mega stores like Walmart.
Centralized food systems are convenient, but they continue to take us further away from the farms and the people who grow our food. In the US and Canada, much of our food is being imported and spend a lot of time being shipped, processed, and are even being bred for shelf life rather than taste and nutrition. Although the market is speaking, and is demanding fresher, “organic” ingredients, we are still a long way off from promoting safe and healthy practices. Convenience is becoming less and less convenient to our health.
Although this list is not only about food, there are some alarming numbers contained within. When doing your shopping, Walmart may be convenient, but it is important to find the time to get your food from independent grocers and farmers, and support local businesses when you can.
20 things you may not have known about Walmart
1. At Walmart Americans spend $36,000,000 every hour of every day.
2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
3.. Walmart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.
4. Walmart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.
5. Walmart employs 1.6 million people and is the largest private employer, and most can’t speak English.
6. Walmart is the largest company in the history of the world.
7. Walmart now sells more food than Kroger & Safeway combined, keep in mind they did this in only 15 years.
8. During this same period, 31 Supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.
9. Walmart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
10. Walmart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had 5 years ago.
11. This year, 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur At a Walmart store. (Earth’s population is approximately 6.5 billion.)
12. 90% of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Walmart.
13. The value of product for Walmart passing through the port of San Diego each year is a larger sum than 93% of ALL countries Gross National Product (GNP) …..and that is only ONE port …..one way that s how Walmart gets it’s stuff.
14. Of the 1.6 million employees, only 1.2% make a living above the poverty level.
15. Walmart’s head office is located and centralized in Bentonville. Due to this fact, there are more millionaires per square mile there than any place on Earth.
16. The official U.S. Government position is that Walmart’s prices are no lower than anyone else’s when compared to a typical families weekly purchases. That’s the view of the statisticians at the Bureau Of Labor Statistics (BLS) responsible for calculating the Consumer
Price Index (CPI).
17. 92% of everything Walmart sells, comes from China. Another 4% comes from Chinese owned companies in the U.S. or in 3rd world Countries.
18. Walmart and MOST large companies, take out life insurance on it’s employees, without their knowing. If an employee dies, ALL the insurance moneys go to the companies. I.e. An employee making $18,000 per year, dies, and the company might make as much as $1 million. Most often these moneys, coming from what is commonly referred to as “Dead Peasant Life Insurance Policies”, is paid out to executives as bonuses. (A common practice, unknown by the average consumer).
19. Walmart now averages a “profit” (not sales) of $36 billion per year.
20. Walmart is killing local, organic food producers and smaller grocers. Diversity is good! Perhaps you should consider shopping elsewhere.
This was sent to me as an email from a fan. I was familiar with a lot if the information listed, but it has not all been vetted. Have a difference of opinion, or want to add something? Let us know in the comments!