HOW MANY CHOICES DO WE REALLY NEED?
By William of CrossDove Writers
The other day I was making a stop at our local grocery store, and I’m not counting Wal-Mart, to pick up just a few items.
Since I have health issues which require me to walk as much a possible without over doing it, when I visit the grocery store I tend to stroll through every aisle as I need to be walking as many steps as possible each day due to health issues.
While strolling through the aisles I literally became almost overwhelmed by the amount of food offered, and how certain brands seem to have what seems like an overabundance of flavors.
When I get to my store I usually begin by the meats and on the opposite side of the aisle from some of the meats are the crackers, snack foods and candies. Do we really need that many flavors of Trixcuit’s or even Chez-Its?
The next couple of aisles have all the liquids and soda (or pop depending on where you may be from), and it never ceases to amaze me how many flavors and sizes there seems to be.
Let me ask you, why would one need a Coca Cola Cinnamon or Coca Cola Orange Vanilla? Why would you need Pepsi Ginger, Pepsi Wild Cherry, Pepsi Cherry Vanilla or Pepsi Citrus? Even Mountain Dew has more than a few flavors, why?
As I continue to move through the aisles, I enter the two major frozen food aisles and wonder if anyone even cooks their own food anymore? How hard is it to cook your own egg, piece of sausage and toast a muffin to make your own breakfast sandwich? The real difference comes when you look at the amounts of sodium, carbs and miscellaneous stuff in these premade meals. And we wonder why our folks are so much overweight when compared to other countries.
That enormous number of premade meals doesn’t stop in the frozen food aisle either as you now have a large number of items such as that line of Hormel Completes, which offers up to 17 different options, in the dry goods aisle.
By the time I get to the cereal and breakfast aisle I am already overwhelmed by the amount of food one can choose from and then I wander down the through that cereal aisle and almost pass out.
Let’s take for instance the popular cereal Cherrio’s. Not sure how many different flavors of Cherrios were on the shelf at our store, but I do know that if you pull up the cereal on the internet you will find 18 different flavors to choose from. Beyond the original and Honey Nut flavors you have Multi-Grain, Peach, Toasted Coconut, Blueberry, Maple, Oat Crunch, Frosted, Fruity, Very Berry, Chocolate, Apple Cinnamon, Banana Nut, Oats ‘N Honey, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Honey Nut Medley Blend and get this – Pumpkin Spice!
It seems to me that it would be just as easy and most likely healthier if one were to buy a box of the original flavor Cherrios and that add some fresh fruit like peaches, blueberries, bananas or even a few thin slices of an apple with a touch of cinnamon.
And that is just one cereal brand, others from Post or Kellogg cereals have more flavors than I can imagine including Peeps (yes, like the Easter Candy), Smores, and more.
I was reading recently about the differences between our grocery stores and those that one would find in European countries like Germany.
Some of those differences with most European grocery stores include the amount of shopping space is much smaller without anywhere near as many choices, they are never open 24/7 or on holidays with most being closed on Sundays. Their frozen food sections are way smaller because for one – Europeans tend to cook and eat fresh foods instead of buying frozen, premade stuff, plus freezers in Europe are much smaller which means less space to freeze items and when they do freeze items it tends to be fresh meats.
While I have never been to Europe and most likely never will, I have heard or read that fresh food departments are larger in stores because fresh foods are more in demand due to those Europeans taking the time to cook their own meals from scratch instead of throwing something together from a box.
In our store, at one end of the produce and dairy area are floor shelves that are packed with prepackaged or premade foods like potato salad, macaroni salad, hoagie sandwiches and so much more.
Maybe it’s just me or maybe it’s because of health issues that I have a more concerned outlook on what I buy, cook and eat. I mean, if we really want to look at being healthier, than one should never consume half the stuff you find in the grocery store.
Occasionally I will stroll through an aisle and just randomly begin to pick up various offerings to just see what exactly is in the container or packaging. Do folks not understand that you should never consume more than 1,500 to 2,000 mg. of sodium in a day or 225-325 grams of carbohydrates (which equals to between 900-1,300 calories).
Since I began having major health issues a few years back I have learned to eat without much, if any salt while being aware of the good and bad fats. What that did mean was I put an end to eating those items I found so tasty during my traveling days. What it also meant was, I began to find again, my enjoyment of cooking in the kitchen while trying different spices and revamping recipes to the tastes of our family.
So, as I check things out at the register and grab my few bags of goodies to head home with, I take a couple of deep breathes and exhale to fully relax me from the anxiety which seems to go with those strolls through the grocery store these days.
The over abundance of food and goods being offered is one of the reasons why we here in the ‘states’ have issues with weight and health – that I am convinced of.
The over abundance of food and choices also encourages us to overindulge which leads to waste, waste and more waste of foods which we may be unable to get eaten before they spoil – but that my friend is another chat for another time.
With that – hugs, prayers, blessings and happy thoughts from Grumpy Gramps.
(Copyright@2019, CrossDove Writers – no part of this posting may be printed, copied or used without written permission by CrossDove Writers and Grumpy Gramps.)