Shopping in the USA

I feel vulnerable at the very core of my existence in the USA. Spending 30 years living in a foreign country and coming back has given me a different perspective than the average person.

I see an older couple shopping at Kroger.  They look sweet, loving, normal.  They put two huge boxes of Diet Coke into their shopping cart and take them to their car.  I want so badly to ask them if they’ve ever heard of the dangers of aspartame.  They are not energetic looking, but they also aren’t sickly – not riding in the wheelchair carts like so many I see.  They just look like people who grow older and think that life is all about aches, pains, medication and doing the best you can because we all know growing old brings health challenges.  I don’t know if the Diet Coke is for them or maybe for someone else, who knows?  Maybe they are trying to bless someone else.

They trust the FDA, Kroger and the US “system” to keep them safe and healthy.  They don’t know that their trust has been violated.

I just walk past rows and rows of food.  I don’t stop.  I already know that nearly 100% of it contains ingredients that have been proven to be harmful.  Hydrogenated fats, colorings, flavorings, aspartame, HFCS, and on and on.  It does not promote or sustain life in any way.  It is all marketing ploys to get the unsuspecting public to purchase their products.  I walk down an aisle containing incalculable varieties of products sold to help us keep our clothes clean and fresh.  It is a maze trying to decipher.  Are all these claims real?  Is there any negative impact on the environment from any of the products? What are these things doing to my skin?  Our water supplies?  Does it matter?  Is it all about the cheapest one to do the job, or is the traditional brand, or the one most advertised better?  I’m overwhelmed by just one product decision.

People are oblivious.  They know what they like. They know what their momma used. They know what tastes good.  After all, taste is the supreme indicator for goodness.  Once the bagger at the grocery store asked me if organic bananas tasted better than the others.  As if I am choosing them all because of taste!

What do I do with this great burden I carry?  The burden of living healthy.  The burden of the knowledge of what people are doing to their bodies – yet most are oblivious.

Not all big business is bad.  But big business is in the business of making a profit – for their shareholders.  Along the way something has gone very wrong.  I don’t know how to fix it.  What do I, one individual, have power to accomplish in the face of this onslaught by big business that impacts me at the core of my existence?

I can….

  • Choose to buy organic and local only (or as much as possible – but I can raise the bar higher than is comfortable).
  • Choose to cook healthy food in my kitchen with the organic ingredients I buy.
  • Help others understand whenever I have the smallest opportunity.
  • I can learn the facts so that I can share the cold hard facts and not just vague feelings.
  • Lean hard into Jesus when I feel overcome with fear or anxiety.
  • Meditate on God’s word.
  • Use the passion for health I have been given as a gift to share in a winsome way.

Am I crazy?  Am I delusional?  Is it all safe and I’m just over-reacting?

Or am I on the right track, but missing other important things I can do?  What else can one person do to buck the system, live with health amongst so much plenty?

What thoughts and feelings impact you during your regular grocery store expeditions?