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Home economics tour Save Mart

In a practical tour that taught students about consumer purchasing, nutrition and the behind-the-scenes working of a supermarket, home economics class visited Save Mart on Oct. 23.

About 28 students when with home economics teacher, Sharon Scharf, on the annual trip. Half way through the trip, the students entered the freezer.

“The freezer was very cold and had a particular odor right before we went in,” Jon Tantraphol, ?03, said. “It was near the freezing point and I am glad I didn’t get stuck in there. There were huge packages of meat and I am glad I didn’t become one.”

The trip gave students the opportunity to find out how a supermarket is organized and run from those in charge. Students learned about the testing of the fat content of hamburger, recycling of fresh products that are not sold and how products are repackaged for sale.

“I learned a lot about the vitamins in fruits and vegetables,” Dani Fries, ?02, said. “Only certain fruits and vegetables are supposed to be in the cooler because some of them would go bad. Bananas go bad and turn black in the cold. Tomatoes lose their nutritional value.”

The class learned that when meat has expired, it is sent to reprocessing plants and rendered and used for cosmetics, tanning lotions, etc. These items require fat when produced. The vegetables are made into mulch and are sold as compost.

“I thought it was so gross when Mrs. Blakley said meat gets recycled into make-up,” Amber Dragoo, ?02, said. “I’m never wearing make-up again.”

The unused grocery bags and cardboard are collected and pressed into school paper or other recycled paper products.

“Save Mart was fun and interesting,” Whitney Luallen, ?03, said. “We got to go into the back of the store and see how they repackaged the food and how they store it. I was most impressed with how they make cake. I even bought one!”

Some products are repackaged or renamed when sales quotas are not met.

“I learned today that prunes are not being sold as prunes anymore because that had a negative connotation,” Scharf said. “Now they are sold as dried plums and the market has soared.”

“Kiwi used to be called Chinese gooseberries for the same reason,” tour guide and district Save Mart consumer relations spokesperson, Sharon Blakley, said. She spoke about produce renaming after sales dwindled. “Now Kiwi is a top selling fruit at Save Mart.”

As students finished the tour, they received a package of coupons: a free loaf of bread, container of yogurt and a package dried plums.

For more information on supermarket news and food information, go to www.gourmetnews.com/home.htm.

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