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Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America

by Michael Ruhlman

About the Book

Cookbook author and food writer, Michael Ruhlman wrote Grocery after being inspired by the changes of his local Midwest grocery store. His book offers a fascinating look at how today’s supermarket evolved over time. This ongoing evolution continues today as stores try to keep up with the expectations of their customers. Grocery examines how the need for convenience and changes in culture shape the way we shop. Diving into the world of the grocery store, the author gets to know everyone from produce specialists and managers to check-out clerks and baggers.

Ruhlman further examines how labeling is often misunderstood by the consumer, how shopping the perimeter of the store will yield the most nutritious food, and why “breakfast is the most dangerous meal of the day.“ Fascinating and informative Grocery is both history and commentary on today’s shopping habits.

About the Author

Michael Ruhlman is an American author and entrepreneur. A committed home cook, his main topic of interest, however, is food. He has co-authored nine books with American chefs and appeared on several television shows including, “Cooking Under Fire,” “Iron Chef America,” and “Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations.” His book Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, A Cook’s Manifesto won the 2012 James Beard Foundation Award in the general cooking category. He is an enthusiastic advocate of people cooking for themselves.

Related Events

Kombucha 101

Monday, August 12, 2019, 7:00 pm
Sacred Springs Taproom – 1059 Wealthy St SE

Kom-bu-cha: A fizzy, fermented tea that is rich in probiotics.

Geoff Lamden, co-creator of Sacred Spirits, will present the history of kombucha, the possible health benefits, and how to brew kombucha. The first ten people to sign in at the program will receive a complimentary kombucha culture. The culture is not required to participate in the program, but it can be purchased at the event.

Books and Butchers

Monday, August 19, 2019, 7:00 pm
Main Library – 111 Library St NE

Do you know the difference between spare ribs and baby back ribs? Ever wonder where pork chops come from or what is the difference between bacon and pork belly? The butchers from E.A. Brady’s will offer a unique demonstration of the process of butchering a half hog. As they work, they will share their experience and knowledge about preparing, cooking and serving quality meat products that are sourced in West Michigan. They will also discuss running a socially conscious small business in the Grand Rapids local economy.

Shopping for Food: A Short History

Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 7:00 pm
Main Library – 111 Library St NE

Grocery is an in-depth look at a shared American experience – shopping for food. The way we buy groceries has a colorful past and a future filled with change. Local grocer Hank Meijer looks at the evolving supermarket landscape through the over-lapping perspectives of Ruhlman’s book and his own experience.