business news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to yesterday’s piece about the Colorado community fighting against Wal-Mart, one MNB user wrote:

It seems to me that the “right to make a choice” in a free society would be up to the people who choose to shop at a store--not to the ones who decide that, if they don’t want to shop there, no one else should be able to either.

We don’t entirely agree. If you feel that a Wal-Mart would change the nature of your community, protesting the building of one seems like an entirely legitimate exercise of one’s basic rights.

And regarding the newest discovery of mad cow disease in Japan, one MNB user wrote:

What the story about Japan and new found case of Mad Cow fails to mention is that due to US pressures, Japan was/is considering lowering the number of tests they perform for the disease and reducing standards for imported beef.

Let's do the math. Japan tests EVERY cow before it enters the food chain and they've found 3 cases of Mad Cow this year. I don't have figures in front of me but, I bet the US consumes as much if not more beef than Japan. And how many cows are tested?

Japan began their program because consumers were concerned about Mad Cow…What has our government done besides taking a ridiculously long time to enact laws that were supposed to have already been followed, place the blame on other countries, and try to bully another nation into to making their food supply less safe?

What does the US consumer get out the this? Maybe they should act with more alarm as the Japanese have or maybe they should be able to expect more from their government.

We got a couple of nice emails regarding yesterday’s essay about the Parisian shopping experience.

MNB user Denise Remark-Lundell wrote:

Your article read like a story -- engaging me to want to see what was around the next turn-of-phrase. What commanded my attention most was your summary of "shopping as event".

Here in humble Akron, Ohio, we have a family owned store called The West Point Market. The WPM is the local "foodie" store, offering high-end and gourmet selections. The store carries mostly fresh foods and is comprised primarily of perimeter departments. They offer a small center-of-store selection of boxed or canned foods, but again, mostly high-end. Although I do 95% of my weekly shopping there, each time I enter the store, I anticipate the event nature of my shopping experience. The food is always beautiful and fresh, and the offerings in the Tea Room & Cafe are delicious. I really cannot imagine shopping anywhere else because it couldn't compare to the "event" that is WPM.

You made us want to visit…maybe we should book a trip to Akron…

And another MNB user chimed in:

You took me right to the Champs Elysees this morning. Once again, you have listed many of my favorite foodie places in your article on Paris. The French do know how to promote food, really the love of food, and they want you to share it.

I had the same experience in Provence that you mentioned in your article...the only difference; most of the food is sold in their outdoor markets. The merchants were eager for you to taste the food, and they savor every bite with about the ultimate 'retail' experience.

And maybe after we go to Akron, we should go to Provence…

Actually, if we had to choose three places to travel to tomorrow – places to which we’ve never been – they would be Provence, Tuscany, and Australia, all places renowned for wonderful wine and food and people.

We appreciate the nice reaction to our ‘on the road” pieces…we’ve got a little Charles Kuralt in us, and we love hitting the road to see new places, eat and drink new things, and meet new people. It is some of our favorite work.
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