Saturday Miscellany: GF Foods, Plantar Fasciitis, West LA Markets, and Bag Closures

userpic=observationsThe “clearin’ of the links” post seems to be increasingly moving from Friday to Saturday, so let’s just go with it. There is some slight connection between these stories, but not enough to make a full themed article:

  • Gluten Free Waste. My wife is gluten-free, for a reason. She’s dealing with Celiac, and there’s a medical basis. But for many people, going GF is the latest food fad. A recent Time article posits that we are wasting billions of dollars on GF food unnecessarily. They cite a new survey from market research firm the NPD Group that found America is cutting gluten out of its diet in a big way, with just under one-third of 1,000 respondents agreeing with the statement: “I’m trying to cut back/avoid Gluten in my diet.” Time notes that is the highest level since the company added gluten consumption to the surveys it does about Americans’ eating habits in 2009. TIME labeled the gluten-free movement #2 on its top 10 list of food trends for 2012. Time’s contention is that many of those paying a premium to avoid gluten are doing so without any legitimate medical reason. From what I’ve seen of fad diets, I’d tend to agree. As always, we’re heading towards a GF bubble here.
  • Foot Pain. Another article that hits close to home deals with Plantar Fasciitis. This is something I dealt with recently — it impacted my ability to exercise tremendously, and it took me almost a year to get rid of it. They recommend shoe fixes, but I haven’t seen that my fancy insoles made a big difference. More important, to me, was a “boot” I wore at night that prevented the Plantar from relaxing, so it didn’t get re-inflamed when I stood up in the morning. That, combined with anti-inflammatory medicine, seemed to make the biggest difference.
  • Remember Market Basket. Curbed LA had an article this week about a sad Pavillions at Wilshire and Stoner being closed, and talking about redevelopment that might occur at the even sadder (but open) Santa Monica and Barrington Vons. This caught my eye because of the location. You see, many many years ago (back in the 1970s and 1980s) the Wilshire and Stoner location housed the Market Basket where we did most of our shopping. My parent’s accounting office was in the Barrington Plaza next door, and I was always picking up stuff there for them (either there or Westward Ho on San Vicente). Wilshire and Stoner was also the location of the Crocker Bank where I got my first credit card (which I still have). In the 1990s, they “redeveloped” the parcel putting in an office building, but with a covenant that they retain a market there for the Seniors living in the Barrington Plaza. They put in a fancy Ralphs… which died. Then came the Pavillions, which died. Meanwhile, the really old Marina style Vons on Santa Monica stays busy.
  • There’s Profit in Everything. We often think about the big parts of business, not the little parts. For example, when we talk GF bread, we think about the bread itself not the bag… or how they close the bag. Well, Businessweek did that thinking. They have a really interesting article on a big battle between the clip-on bag closer and the twist-tie closer manufacturers to gain market share. As I said, big business… and not something you commonly think about.

Music: The Legendary Josh White (Josh White): “Trouble in Mind”

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