Lynne Evans likes to know the history behind each piece of food she eats.
“You just don’t know whose hands have been where,” she said, “and I’m picky.”
Though Evans lives at 16th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue, she journeys down to the Italian Market on Ninth Street in South Philadelphia twice a month to stock up on food. Since she doesn’t have a car, she will usually get a ride with a friend, but Evans claims the hassle is worth it.
“At Ninth Street you can hand-pick your stuff. You see them put it in the container, wrap it up, and bam,” she said, clapping her hands together. “They’ll tell you what’s fresh, what’s not fresh and how long [the food] has been there.”
Being able to hand pick her food is important to Evans, especially when her sons have different tastes.
“One of my sons likes the big chicken wings, and one of my sons likes the little chicken wings,” she said. “Down at Ninth Street, I can say, ‘Give me five pounds of this one and five pounds of that one.’”
Evans isn’t crazy about candy, chips or soda but rather enjoys fruit, fish, chicken and turkey. Moving from West Philly to North Philly last December, neighbors informed her about a local fish market. Particular about where she makes her purchases, Evans rolled her eyes at the thought of buying her food from the nearby store.
“I’m not a real corner store person,” she said, adding that she is also hesitant about supermarkets, only visiting one if she needs basics such as cereal, milk and eggs.
“You don’t know what [supermarkets] have done to this meat to make the outside look red and pretty,” Evans said, pausing before laughing. “You flip it over on the bottom, and it’s like, stop playing.”
But no matter the quality of food, Evans said, “it depends on where the sales are. Everyone shops for the most you can get for your money.”
Ashley Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.