The Grocery Store Rant

I was in a brand spanking new grocery store today.

This store boasted of their health food section so that’s where I headed when I hit the door.  It was sort of cool to see bulk bins in a regular grocery store.  I was even more pleased to see a healthy granola cereal on sale for $1;49 a box.  I got some almond milk for $1.50, a four pack of Izze’s for $3.99 and  some cranberry pomegranate juice for $2.00 or so.  (I had to try it…it sounded so interesting.)  I got through the two or three small aisles, the one freezer filled with Amy’s frozen dinners and $6.00 coconut ice cream and then it was over.  I stepped into the main aisle, out of my little haven and I felt like someone had knocked the wind out of me.

O.K….that’s a little dramatic but follow me.

I drifted out into the large spaces of potato chips, the soft drink aisle that looked like it could have been a long and as wide as my house, the aisle of fruit snacks (an entire rack full…in the natural health section, you can only find one type and they are $4.00 a box), the rows of Chips-A-Hoy and other random snacks that your child will ask for because they are in neat packaging (read: SET UP) and the really long section of dairy/milk/cheese that didn’t include anything organic or soy or other alternatives (it was placed in “our” little section so we could shop in peace).

That’s when it started to bother me. 

Why am I required to shop in my little circle “just because” I am an organic eating, non dairy drinking, high fructose corn syrup fearing individual?  Why are all of the my regular shopping items placed separately from everything else….as if to say eating organic and natural is “special”.  When does it become more of the norm?  Why not put the organic soup RIGHT NEXT TO the stuff that isn’t so great for you?  Are grocery stores scared that people would compare the two on the spot and choose not to buy the store brand anymore?

See, what happens is that there is a certain type person that won’t even come in the section I shop in because they think it’s too expensive or the food is disgusting or they do not really understand the difference.  Stores bank on that.  If they can get you addicted to the cheap, sugary dangerous stuff, you’ll keep coming back.  Heaven forbid they issue a coupon for it….

The funny thing is….I was just in the “health food store” earlier and, with all of my coupons and teacher discount (it’s Wednesday and I’ll take my 5%), I saved $30.00 and I didn’t have one thing in my basket with high fructose corn syrup or anything that I would feel guilty about feeding my kids.  I spent $80 in the other store with some stuff that I had no business buying (my kids have not been completely converted but I am working on it.).  It’s perspective and how we approach what it is that we do.  We’ve just been hoodwinked…bamboozled…….lead astray………

Well, what I am saying is that the grocery store’s job isn’t to make sure you eat the best food possible and it isn’t to make sure you stay on your diet (unless it’s the first week of January when they will have all the special end caps with Slim Fast and Crystal Light and detox pills but I digress….that’s another blog….read: SET UP) and it isn’t to help you save money.  It’s for their profit. We have to be smarter consumers.  And the education is out there.

How savvy are you?

Nutrition Workshops for Real People, Coming in 2011.

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