Grocery Shopping in the ’70s: What the Fuck is Tofu?

Per Andrew Filer on Flickr: “Interior of Northland Foods, Thief River Falls, MN. From the scrapbook, `L.B. Hartz, This is Your Life’ and the collection of Pennington County Historical Society.”

Is Thief River Falls an awesome name for a town or what?

grocery store 70s

Please notice the Cigarette Center on the left. (Click image to enlarge.)

grocery store 70s-2

Now that’s a scale! We bought Ding Dongs by the pound.

grocery store 70s-3

I don’t think I ate a piece of fruit until I was 26.

grocery store 70s-4

This place I remember. Is it organic? Go fuck yourself!

(Images via afiler/Flickr)

9 Responses to “Grocery Shopping in the ’70s: What the Fuck is Tofu?”


  1. 1 leftylimbo April 19, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    LOL! “Is it organic” omg.

    Isn’t it ironic that the ’70s was the last decade where it was perfectly normal for doods to walk around shirtless? A buddy of mine and I always joke about the “fat-free” ’70s, and this was before everyone got so adamant about organic foods and low-fat/trans-fat free ingredients. How many people can walk around shirtless these days? Good luck!

  2. 2 leftylimbo April 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    oh yeah – and Thief River Falls is a freakin’ awesome name. I wonder if that fed the egos of all the kids and teens in that town.

  3. 3 2W2N April 19, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    From Wikipedia: “Thief River Falls takes its name from a geographic feature, the falls of the Red Lake River at its confluence with the Thief River. The name of the river is a loose translation of the Ojibwe phrase, Gimood-akiwi ziibi, literally, the “Stolen-land river” or “Thieving Land river,” which originated when a band of Dakota Indians occupied a secret encampment along the river, hence “stealing” the land, before being discovered and routed by the neighboring Ojibwe.”

    Coolness. But you know we would freeze our So Cal asses off in the winter. It would be hell on ice.

  4. 4 leftylimbo April 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Oh you betcha. We’re totally spoiled in SoCal. We say it’s cold when it’s 64ºF! =D

    Man, “…being discovered and routed by the neighboring Ojibwe…” that must’ve not been a pretty sight.

    Speaking of pretty sights—does Game Of Thrones interest you at all? We’ve been glued to the screen ever since it started.

  5. 5 leftylimbo April 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Just took a closer look at those pics. I remember as a kid I used to be totally fixated on those rubber conveyor belts that moved the groceries along…I would focus on that metal-stitched “seam” (you can see it in the 2nd picture from the top, at the register far left), watching it disappear beneath the counter and guessing when it would re-appear.

  6. 6 2W2N April 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Absolutely. I was intrigued by escalators for the same reason. Also, while riding the escalator, I was fascinated by all the lights that peaked and whirred through the steps. It was like a mysterious world down there in the guts of all that machinery.

    Re: Game of Thrones: it’s in my Netflix queue, but we rarely have time to watch anything these days. The kid is turning 7 months and she’s so selfish!

  7. 7 leftylimbo April 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Congrats on your li’l girl. I’ll share with you the words of wisdom that all the other older parents have told us when we were out and about: “Oh, you’re in the easy part. Just wait ’til they get older!” =) Nevertheless, when you do get a chance (when she turns 8), I highly recommend viewing GoT. It pulls no punches!

    Dood, I totally loved watching that weird glow in between the moving steps of the escalator (it was usually a bright green). I imagined it being this total deep chasm of whirring machinery and perhaps even workers toiling away in grease and sweat way down below. Wasn’t it like the most anti-climactic thing ever when you finally saw one under construction or in maintenance? Man, reality bites.

  8. 8 michellehauser January 8, 2016 at 1:03 am

    I just love this. “Is it organic?” — funny.

  9. 9 John Nolting April 20, 2019 at 3:01 am

    My family owned supermarkets in the 70’s those pics bring back a lot of memories.


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