Normally when I visit the grocery store you all hear about it via social media. I whinge and I complain and demand the stores to bring online shopping to my part of the world. Nobody really listens to me. You possibly just laugh.
Today apart from leaving my grocery store muttering ALDI I OWN YOU with my overfilled shopping trolley, I had a sadness in my belly.
The sort of sadness you get when the problem is sooo big you aren’t really sure if you can fix it.
You see I have this thing I do when I shop. It helps me to keep the correct balance of fresh foods over the mass produced rubbish. It isn’t rocket science but it works. You shop the fresh sections first. So the fruit and veges and the meats are your first port of call. You fill that shopping trolley up with so much of it of the fresh stuff, there isn’t really much room left for other packaged items. Except the toilet paper. I always make sure there is plenty room for that 😉 .
In some grocery stores this is really easy to do. The fruit and vege section and meats sections are as you walk in the doors. In other stores like Aldi, you walk straight into the
rubbish packaged foods aisle. This requires either shopping backwards or shopping with loads of restraint.
So today, when I was choosing a week’s worth of apples for 5 people, I overheard a conversation that I would rather of not heard. No that is wrong because that would be denying the issue. I would rather believe that people are able to make informed choices over the food they eat.
A young Mum with a baby girl about 6 months old, asked her partner if it was ok that she bought a bunch of bananas to mash and make baby food for the baby.
His answer was sharp. No.
She pressed on and said but I can mash them and she will love them.
He said no again. Go and get the bottled food he ordered.
I almost dropped my bag apples and some bad language but I found some restraint. (rare I know)
There was a few issues that shit me here.
One was the air of domestic violence, that this young woman felt it necessary to ask if she could buy bananas. (I will leave that topic for another day)
The other was the fact that the man had some sort of repulsion to fresh fruit and thought the packaged baby food was better for his child.
I want to get all WTF on it. But I can’t. I honestly believe he knew no better. Could you imagine him understanding this crazy way I do my shopping? Nope. He has been brought up in a generation where using a packet to create our meals is a given.
Because we are time poor, fresh is expensive, packets are easier … APPARENTLY.
And sadly we WORSHIP ADVERTISING. Advertising that tells us that what has been mass produced in factories full of additives and preservatives is good for us.
Last week my eldest daughter came home from school discussing something that was said in her Health class. The topic being discussed was the importance of healthy eating. She was in disbelief that a student in her class asked the question, ‘what do you do if your parents don’t buy you healthy food?’. She did not believe that this could ever be true. (For her Mother used to give her frozen veges as a treat in front of the telly and she called them lollies) I tried to explain to her that some parents don’t provide healthy foods for their kids. She asked why and all I could say was that some people don’t realise they are making mistakes, it isn’t their fault.
Well that is the bit I want to call bullshit on. I was almost that person once that believed the sprook. Back in my 20’s. Before I had kids.
But then I started to read. Especially the backs of packets. I learnt a thing or two about making food from scratch from two special people that cook for a living, and it was then that I started to realise I wanted better for me and my future family.
Over the years I have gotten better at it. And I have to admit there has been times I have been absolutely rubbish at it. BUT the mindset to eat foods made from fresh ingredients has stuck.
From my point of view right here and now (you may prefer to call it my ranty pants), I think we need educate our most vulnerable young parents to make healthy choices for them and their kids.
It has me thinking about how much I want to make a difference to these young at risk families. Where money is tight and experience with making foods from scratch is limited, if at all.
Can you imagine the ripple on effect if we just changed SOME lives?
Their children would be healthier, happier and have better educational outcomes. They themselves would feel better, start to thrive and may move through life with more confidence and experiences.
I dunno maybe I am barking mad. I have dreamt of having a Green Smoothie stall down in the park for any kids that visit after school. It would be me and my Thermomix and a truck load of fruits and veggies.
So what do you think? How can we make a change? How can we fix this debacle?
Says the woman waving a carrot at her child as she types.