What’s in your cart?

Mar 9, 2018 | Food and Culture

Every weekend millions of people make their weekly pilgrimage to the grocery store to get their food for the week. . They wander the alleys, pushing their carts with no real plan or consideration for what they are going to put in the squeeky wheeled metal basket that leads them down each ilse. There are the usual suspects like eggs and milk, but often the remainder of the space in the cart is reserved for things that are on sale, or impulse buys. This seems like a generalization, an oversimplification of how most people spend their time at the grocery store. I don’t believe that it is.

You may be saying “Well Ben, I plan my trip. I know exactly what’s going in my cart when I get there.” You my friend are in the minority. Don’t believe me? This weekend, while you strategically fill your cart with your nourishments for the week, notice what other people are doing. Take a look in other people’s carts. You will likely be surprised to see very little of anything substantial. You will see frozen pizzas and other frozen type meals. You will see large bags of chips. You will see canned chili, jarred pasta sauce, Kraft Dinner, and instant noodles. What you likely won’t see very much of is fruit and vegetables, and fresh meat unless something is on sale.

I’m willing to bet that right now you are in one of three camps. You either completely disagree with me and think that I am making it up. If you are a part of this group you very possibly buy your groceries in an affluent neighbourhood. You may agree with me because you have seen what people put in their carts, but you are of the minority that buys real food and that’s why you’re reading a food blog. Or, you are sitting there feeling slightly embarrassed because you are one of the ones with all the shit in your cart. Don’t be embarrassed. you’re part of the majority and it’s not your fault.

This is not about judgement. This is about understanding the state that we are all in. People, the majority of people, don’t cook. They don’t know how. This is not about not having time because if you know how to cook, you can cook something delicious in very little time. This is about education, and understanding. No matter what camp you fall into, when you are at the grocery store this weekend notice what’s in the carts that you pass by, or that you stand behind at the check out, or the one that you are pushing ahead of you. The first step to fixing a problem is seeing that there is one. Open your eyes to what people are actually eating, do not judge, but understand. We need to help each other. We need to improve together. We need to learn to cook.



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