A Costco Shopper Couldn't Believe This Controversial Strawberry 'Hack'

Shopping in the produce department of your grocery store can sometimes be an adventure, depending on what you are seeking out. One professional tip often dispensed, particularly when it comes to fruits and vegetables, is ensuring that you are buying them in season. Seasonal food is generally better overall in quality for several reasons than items bought out of season, according to Seasonal Food Guide. 

Of course, purchasing produce directly from a local grower immediately after it has been harvested is ideal, but if that is not an option, picking up what you need at the store while in season is the next best thing. Studies have shown that foods grown during their natural season have more nutritional content than those grown at other times (via the International Journal of Food, Sciences, and Nutrition). For example, strawberries eaten during the summer taste better and contain more health benefits than those you sample in the winter, per WebMD.

There is no shortage of tricks employed by people trying to choose the best produce at the supermarket, but not all of them are methods we would deem socially acceptable or even sanitary. One Costco shopper was incredulous at a suspect strawberry hack they witnessed and felt compelled to take their experience to Reddit.

The mix and match approach

One Redditor revealed on the r/Costco subreddit that they witnessed a woman opening up multiple packs of strawberries to "assemble a best of, and trade the unwanted strawberries back to a dozen packs" at their nearby Costco. Another user was aghast at this unrefined conduct, exclaiming, "Animals!" Others weighed in with their own stories of dubious grocery store behavior, each more disturbing than the last.  

One contributor recalled, "I worked at a supermarket, and we sold boxes of five dozen large-size eggs. There was this one woman who would try and switch out the large eggs for jumbo eggs." Yet another chilling tale told was of a man at a Meijer's in Michigan who took strawberries and began "eating them out of a container, and he didn't like the flavor, so he spit them out onto the ice they were stored on." 

A sympathetic voice weighed in, claiming that, although they didn't engage in it themselves, they empathized with the mix-and-match approach. They noted that they have been burned before by moldy/mushy produce and broken eggs, "so [they] understand this lady." There can and probably should be a middle ground by which you inspect the top and bottom of a produce container while refraining from opening it and touching — or taste testing — its contents. After all, we're not animals.