Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How fresh is too fresh?

Because of some contracting issues/regulations/blah, blah something, all the food that is sold at our grocery store on base MUST be shipped in from the U.S. including all fruits and vegetables, all meats, seafood, everything.
As a result, we don't get any fresh meat, poultry or seafood, it's all been frozen for shipment from the States. All juices and refrigerated products, frozen for shipment. We have an okay selection of fruits and veggies, not great, and everything is slightly less than fresh, since not only does it have to survive the shipment from it's original country to the U.S., it then has to be processed and shipped to us in Japan.
But on the bright side, pricing is extremely reasonable, close to half of what we'd pay at a Japanese grocery and we have all American products. While the selection can't compare to an actual American grocery store, it's definitely good enough to keep you from getting homesick in your kitchen, and believe me, I know just how fortunate we are. And we do get fresh bread and pastries because there's a bakery on the base, our bakery makes all the bread products for all the U.S. bases in Japan, so that's nice.
And then, there's the milk. I bought this carton on Friday, Feb. 13:

No, that's not a misprint.

This milk, bought on Feb. 13, expires in 2 MONTHS, on Apr. 11!!!!! I still haven't quite figured this out. It's processed by something called "ultra pasteurization". It tastes fine, and really does last the whole two months, usually several days longer. But I'm still a bit concerned about how healthy it actually is.





illahee said...

i think most japanese milk is processed this way. it's just the way it's pasteurized, nothing should be added. :D

Gina said...

That is really cool that the milk lasts that long.

And heck, if you guys got usage of an American grocery store, I think more power to you guys, honestly. Whatever way we can make life easier, we should do. I shop Costco and FBC and expat express in Japan, but I make use of my flying free and I go to Guam every few month's to grocery shop. However we can ease getting homesick, the better. Because living in Japan, one can get homesick and especially for the food. : (

I think having the American fast food like you guys do and the grocery is so cool. I'd love to live on base like that. Ha ha ha.

Slime said...

I buy Japanese milk occasionally (we often run out of things at our grocery store) and it tastes better than our milk, does it have a 2 mth shelf life?

Gina - I trade grocery trips to Guam for my American grocery store any day!! LOL So cool that you have those kinds of perks!