Why do grocery stores insist on continually drenching produce? Ive read that its a marketing tactic to ensure that the produce looks fresh. However, I keep getting soaked. If this is really necessary, should I have a fake rain device installed in my refrigerator? And if so, do these devices come with thunder sound effects? Please help! Colleen Collins
The rain forest that is the produce aisle might seem a bit excessive. However, there are two really good reasons for grocery-store monsoons.
First of all, grocery stores need to keep fresh produce fresh, and that means keeping items cool.
The shelves have built-in air conditioning that gently but constantly blows across the food, said Sandy Valencia, a friendly produce clerk at south City Market.
If we didnt spray water, the produce would quickly dry out and go bad, she added.
Before the days of automatic misting, clerks would manually spray the produce. Back then, youd also be hard-pressed to find arugula or endive in stock. Asparagus was downright exotic.
Remember that? No? Action Line must be getting really old.
Anyway, todays produce shelves are self-draining because of modern-day fake rains.
In the salad days of manual misting, clerks would have to remove all the produce at night, clean the shelves and restock a time-consuming process that can bruise leafy vegetables or thin-skinned peppers.
Like the produce aisle, your refrigerator also blows cold air. But you have something grocery stores dont: A crisper drawer. It baffles the chilly breeze so theres no need for a fake-rain refrigerator retrofit.
As for the fake thunder, Action Line suggests downloading an mp3 of a gentle storm. Look in the New Age section of Amazon or iTunes.
Your kitchen will become a progressive sanctuary of inner peace, with happy jicama, kumbaya cucumbers and zen zucchini.
Theres a disturbing trend: Local rafting guides are getting pushier and meaner. What happened to common courtesy on the water? Has the river become the private property of the rafting companies? We try to keep the river put-in clear, but the companies are going as far as dropping their boats directly onto our gear piles. Weve been run over on local beaches by companies landing (one time knocking over my 20-month-old) and making it impossible for us to swim until they leave, with French customer B.O. and Evian bottles left behind. Thank you for helping define river etiquette Jen Williams
Sacrebleu! Those smelly Europeans and their hoity-toity water!
Hmm. Lets all calm down. What we are seeing is river rage. As the river goes down, so does the level of tolerance.
Like bicycle-motorist conflicts or horse-hiker bad encounters, it all stems from frustration and is perpetuated by lack of communication.
The owners of local rafting companies were aghast that one of their guides would behave so rudely. Upon your next confrontation, please talk with the river-rafting company owners so they can counsel, discipline or perhaps dismiss surly oar-slingers.
No one has exclusive use of the river or its banks. The river corridor is for all to enjoy and share.
This applies to commercial businesses operating there as well as the numerous tubers and private paddlers some of whom also need a sobriety test and an attitude adjustment.
Because you asked, Action Line will issue a stern warning.
Hey you, you rude river user! Stop it. You dont own the river.
Youre not that cool. Put on some sunscreen so you dont get cancer.
Be nice. Clean up your mess. Stop knocking over children. Go to another spot if your beach is taken.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if the only dress you wear is a spray skirt.