Bad Grocery Store Mom

by Ann on October 8, 2010

I was at a local grocery store waiting  for meds for my sinus infection courtesy of my son coming home from school with constant colds coughing in my face and lack of sleep due to having a new baby.  As I was waiting, I decided to head to the Health Mart section, right by the pharmacy, to buy some quick Muir Glen canned chicken noodle soup (and live with a little BPA because I don’t feel like cooking with a fever) and some delicious Taste Nirvana coconut water.  That plain coconut water is my favorite of the non-flavored varieties! 

I see this mom and her kids hanging out with their cart of food waiting for dad in the health food section – who was one department over in the liquor section.  The mom is reading something on her cell phone, leaning against her cart looking annoyed as the two kids – about age 4 and 6 look around.  The little girl says, “Mommy, what is this?” and the mom looks up, rolls her eyes, and with a raspy cigarette voice says, “Oh, that’s just the organic section.”  As though organic is a bad word.  The little girl replies, “Well, can’t we at least look Mommy?” 

WHAT!!??  Isn’t the conversation supposed to go the opposite way?  Why is organic a bad word for so many people?  Why do some people think buying organic is un-cool or annoying?  I understand getting annoyed with the extreme people either way.  Extreme health or extreme anti-health, but seriously – to start with your kids at such a young age discouraging healthy foods like they’re bad?  Not all organic food will break the budget AND not all organic food is nourishing (she’d probably like that).  Of course I didn’t say anything to this women, but I wanted to give her a lecture.  That would’ve been weird so I did not do that :)   I doubt she knows that despite the struggling economy, the organic industry is one of the success stories.  Whole Foods and the organic/health industry in general continues to grow and see profits.  That makes me believe this isn’t just a fad.  I think a fad would be more likely to die out if people are cutting costs.  But people are genuinely concerned for their health and have decided to cut costs elsewhere and actually spend more on healthy foods and supplements.  Of course, this includes un-healthy goodies made without the fake stuff.  Want an example?  I LOVE Whole Foods plain white cake.  It’s delicious.  I didn’t even used to really like plain white cake but theirs just melts in your mouth.  Not healthy at all but there’s none of the fake stuff so I tell myself it’s okay in moderation:)  I also tell myself m&m’s are okay not only in moderation but in excess even with all the artificial colorings, etc…  It would be too depressing to cut everything out!  Have you tried the expensive, natural version of m&m’s?  Unfortunately, not even close- they’ve got some tweaking to do.  I threw out a whole batch of cookies once because those expensive candy covered chocolates were gross.  Expensive waste of cookies.

Oops, I was digressing again.  Problem is, the people reading my blog most likely agree with me and those anti-health food people would probably not be reading my blog so I feel kinda sad about it.  I’m not sure how to get those types to open up their minds and realize the potential harm they are doing to their children’s bodies at such a young age.  If you actually care about your children, I’d think you’d be the one encouraging them to eat healthy, rather than your kid asking you.  We all know about the childhood obesity epidemic, little girls getting their periods early, so many unprecedented health problems for overweight kids, blah blah blah.  Most normal kids should be hoping for the occasional treat and candy rather than the occasional healthy treat (thinking about the family in the grocery store).  How about being well-rounded instead?  Isn’t that just common sense?

I’d like to do something about it, rather than just whine on my blog…I feel like my son whining about something that he actually knows how to fix -which is annoying – I just don’t know what to do!  Anybody out there reading this doing anything about it?  My only thought is changing the foods in schools since it’s tough to change parents.   I’d like to actively participate in this in Omaha or nationally – but I’ve only been active at home since I’ve been so pooped all the time with my baby at home!  One of these days we’ll start sleeping.  Let me know if you have any suggestions or know someone!  I feel like just putting my name on a few national petitions is a teensy bit helpful but do I feel good about it at the end of the day?  No.  It isn’t enough.

By the way, right now I’m listening to my three year old singing very very loudly during what is supposed to be his nap time.  The end of nap time is such a devastating time in a parent’s life!!!  His three hour long afternoon naps have turned into an hour long quiet time which turned into 45 minutes of very loud play in his room.  At least he was quiet for the most part and I got to be on the computer for a small part of the day:)

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Rogue Cookie October 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Unfortunately, many who are uneducated about what they are really eating thing ‘organic’ is just a foo foo way of squeezing more money out of them with no real benefit. They don’t see a difference between organic and conventional and since it’s usually a little higher in price, it’s not worth it and seen in a negative light.

It’s all about educating the world…we’ll start with the US, about what food is and what they’re really eating.

2 Ann October 8, 2010 at 8:41 pm

So true. Except- of all people, my brother is like that and will try to argue the opposite point. It’s so exhausting that I’ve given up on him. Hopefully, more people are NOT like him!

3 Belinda @zomppa October 8, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I know this feeling! I have heard this too a couple of times and I am always shocked. It’s made out to seem like organic is terrible or bad. I’m like…what?? There’s a few direct things you can do to get involved. Organizations like Share Our Strength have classes you can volunteer to teach adults, teens, or kids about healthy eating. They would love to have someone as dedicated you engaged. That’s a good place to begin. Think about volunteer at your son’s school with a school garden or nutrition classes. Or adult community classes might be another place. At Zomppa, we totally get you – so we are also now a new non-profit trying to address the very issues you are speaking about! (the .org side, not .com – let us know what you think!)

4 Ann October 11, 2010 at 10:04 am

Belinda, thank you, that is awesome, I didn’t know you had a .org about exactly what bothers me most lately- how exciting! I’ll check it out – let me know if there’s anything I can do…

5 Patty October 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Hi Ann!

I would add something intelligent, but Belinda has already said so many good things! The only thing I want share is that I have found this issue particularly difficult to address one-on-one…like at the park, or school or when you are with your friends during a playdate….that is when i hear these comments the most and don’t ever have the nerve to express my thoughts….I don’t want to see offensive or on the attack, but i do care very much about my friends AND the health of their families….(sigh). In a way, writing my thoughts via the blog has helped a lot and I think some of my family friends are slowly starting to consider changes!

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