News that Giant supermarkets will stop marking food prices on individual items may trigger protests, but I will not be among the protesters.

Before I reach a checkout counter, I know either approximately or exactly what my bill will be, and I have cash in hand to pay it.

I do the addition beforehand, either in my head or on paper, because I cannot follow the flying fingers of most cashiers. I don't know which item they're ringing now or which price disappeared from view just as I shifted my gaze from the counter to the cash register.

I know that human beings make mistakes; yet I don't want to hold up the checkout line while I review a register tape, nor do I want to pay $41.86 for $31.86 worth of groceries. So I add up my bill before I check out.

It's easy to do, especially when you work from a shopping list. Prices posted on the shelves enable you to do your arithmetic as you go along.

Giant's experiment will eliminate the high labor cost involved in marking prices on every package in inventory. Giant has promised its union that nobody will be fired as a result of automation, but attrition will eventually bring costs down, not just in one chain of stores but in all the chains as they follow suit.

We will all benefit from the change, and there will be less of a difference between the price at which farmers sell things and the price at which the public buys them.