Dec 31, 2005

Fat Mexico

It´s projected that Mexico will surpass the USA´s body mass by next year. At present 66% of Americans are fat. That is one hell of a triumph for Mexico, especially on the average daily salary of US 17.40 per day (for officially employed people).

Naturally NAFTA and yankee imperialists like McDonald´s get the blame.

Mexico is the world´s largest consumer of soft drinks and Coca Cola is happy to sell its products at prices that would produce shoppers protest riots in the US. Unlucky for big bad Coke - a little old lady took them to court, and (a first in Mexico) won a multimillion peso judgement against the juggernaut for infringing on competition.

Here in Catemaco the populace lives on junk food, or maybe it just seems that way. Half the merchandise displayed in the hundreds of tienditas (tiny stores) consists of junk food and candy. Even the larger grocery stores seem to stock more junk than food. And boy-o-boy- some of that stuff is delicious.

Dec 5, 2005

Catemaco cheese

I like blue cheese and I would die for some real french roquefort cheese. Soriana recently opened in San Andres Tuxtla and stocked queso azul (blue cheese) around 65 pesos a kilo until a few weeks ago.

They now stock a Soriana private brand cheese labeled "Qso Ro Papil" and the price is marked at 599.00 Mexican pesos per kilo. I requested the clerk to check her computer. She says the price is correct. I ask to speak to the department manager - she also says the price is correct.

Obnoxious gringo that I am, I then search for a store manager and drag him to the refrigerator. The price is correct!, he says. I explain to him that obnoxious gringos do not pay 600 pesos a kilo for cheese wrapped in French francs and flown in directly from the caves of Roquefort, France. He graciously responds "Mexicans do".

I can live with poor service and inept management BUT today I return to Soriana, and for the third time in 6 weeks check the cheese again. It is still the same price, except it has been relabeled, indicating it was packaged 28 November 2005.

It´s still the same old Soriana cheese that´s now turning brown around the edges. I am sure Mexico has laws protecting consumers from that sort of cheating. It is item number 286615 071882 in case someone knows someone at the local department of health.

Los Tuxtlas deserves better than that store, and it is getting it. An Aurrera, Walmart subsidiary will open soon in San Andres and hopefully they will eat that Soriana store for lunch.