Fark pointed me to a site fresh from 1997 - Amazon Grocery. Yes, apparently once again the whole 'delivering groceries' thing is going to be tried. This time, however, Amazon seems to have caught on to the idea that they should only list products they can make a profit on - like dried seasoning packets, boxed pasta meals, and energy drinks. But what I really like about the site is the disclaimer at the bottom of every page:

While we work to ensure that product information is correct, on occasion manufacturers may alter their ingredient lists. Actual product packaging and materials may contain more and/or different information than that shown on our Web site. We recommend that you do not solely rely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product. For additional information about a product, please contact the manufacturer. Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. Amazon.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements about products.
I think the short version goes 'if you're going to die after eating stuff you bought here, don't sue us!'

I already buy some of my groceries online (our coffee all comes from Sovrana, for example), so what Amazon is doing seems to me like a good idea. If they really want to impress me, they could work up a distribution chain allowing them to deliver perishable goods! And then burn through a billion dollars in venture capital, and then fold overnight. That would be cool!

In the interest of full disclosure, the Amazon link pays me if you buy stuff. Which would make me happy. Someday. If enough people do it. Probably.

Lisa Dugdale commented:
Yikes! I think if anybody posted the number of gallons of gas burned for each item, people might start to realize some of the real costs of buying food on Amazon.com. (Food?? Seriously, what were they thinking!) Not only do all the ingredients have to make it to the manufacturer, but then they have to get shipped to people. As it is, food travels on average 1,300 miles from farm to table, not a good use of energy resources. Here's another fun fact, courtesy of foodroutes.org: "Only about 10% of the fossil fuel energy used in the world's food system is used in production; the other 90% goes into packaging, transportation, and marketing..."
on Thu Jun 15 22:43:33 2006

Anonymous commented:
on Fri Jun 16 12:58:24 2006

Derek (Erb) commented:
Here (France) we do a rather large amount of our grocery shopping online and for quite some time now. All of our non-perishable "big" stuff comes from Ooshop (http://www.ooshop.com). When you have a family of 4 or more, like us, this makes a huge improvement over spending half the day Saturday at the supermarket, shopping, loading and unloading the car. The delivery guy carries the stuff right to the kitchen. Their web site has been acting up lately making the shopping experience frustrating and long (according to the Queen of the house who does this sort of thing). But it's still preferable, in my opinion, than the "offline" alternative.
on Fri Jun 16 12:59:49 2006

David commented:
But it does have to be said that in France, most things are grown a lot closer to home, which makes delivery a much nicer option than, for example, my Italian coffee which is flown to California (6300 miles/10000 Km) and then to Michigan (1970 miles/3200 Km). Also in France, taxes are high enough to make the cost of fuel closer to its actual overall impact.
on Sun Jun 18 23:16:45 2006

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