Job of the Day: Produce Butcher

Best job, worst job, or a job that is entirely unnecessary?

Photo: Pixabay

Never have I ever been at the grocery store staring at a mountain of produce and thought to myself, “God, I would love to pay someone extra money to chop these onions and peel this garlic.” Never have I ever thought that this would be a job, either! Like most things in life, I am wrong. “Produce butcher” is a real job that exists! And if you desire to have your vegetables pre-chopped for you by a person standing behind a gleaming counter, you can pay for that privilege at the recently-opened Whole Foods in Bryant Park.

Whole Foods’ New Bryant Park Store Has a ‘Produce Butcher’

Say you buy a bunch of apples, some kale, a pineapple, three onions, and whatever else you might want that needs to be chopped when you get home. The food butcher will do all of those things for you — like having your own prep cook — for the low(??) price of $1 per pound for bulk items, or an extra $1 for things priced individually, with a 5 pound maximum on the bulk items.

Let’s look at the numbers. At my local Whole Foods, a pound of ginger — irritating to peel, but pleasant to chop — costs $4.99. With the up-charge for a person in a Whole Foods apron to peel and julienne said ginger, I’d be paying almost $6. That number feels ridiculous in a way that paying $4.99 for three knobs of ginger doesn’t.

Granted, the person doing the task is probably much more efficient than I am. They will know how to get in the tiny crevices and will process the ginger without waste. Maybe it’ll take them…I don’t know, a minute? Two? The same task, performed from my kitchen in my bare feet, listening to The Bodega Boys, drinking a wine and pretending that I’m Ratatouille, will take me much longer. Chopping vegetables means I’m cooking. Cooking means that I’m not working or staring at the internet or reading articles about sanctuary cities and thinking about whether or not I remembered to buy toilet paper. The time that I spend is worth the dollar saved.

Would you pay for this service? Do you hate chopping vegetables? Is the thought of throwing more money at a person to do a task that a Cuisinart, a mandolin, or your own two hands appealing to you?

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