Forget Freshness, Shoppers. It's Chinatown

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Photo: iStockphoto.com


A reporter for NPR's Morning Edition today took on one of the pretty unvexing questions of our era: Why are vegetables in Chinatown so astronomically cheap? We were hoping the piece would reveal that it was one of those unanswerable but poignant New York mysteries "Metro" section columnists love to mull over — like, why are there no good independent radio stations, and where did that smell come from? But in fact, the question has an equally unvexing answer: Residents of Chinatown buy a huge volume of vegetables, and in volume lies discounts. Plus, because these shoppers cook fresh every day, the vegetables can be thisclose to going bad when they're sold. (Now we understand why our toxic Met Foods apples are doing fine at two weeks and counting.) We confess, though, that we're a little sad the answer wasn't "Because they're made in China."

Chinatown Vendors Ripe For Bargains [NPR]