Why I Hate Shopping at the Grocery Store


I avoid the mainstream grocery store as much as possible. Call me a snob, but I really have a hard time noticing much real food in the aisles. Luckily, I can find the real stuff–such as local produce–at the Holland Farmers’ Market or through my CSA, and happy, local, grassfed meat through the West Michigan Co-op (until our order is ready at Lubbers Farm).

Sometimes, however, there are things I just can’t get anywhere else, or–I give in–the price is better. Or, it’s just a one-stop shop for a few essentials. So I head out to the Family Fare Supermarket in Holland, Michigan.

For example, I can pick up my favorite brand of orange juice, some wine, Stonyfield yogurt (until I start making my own yogurt like my friends Lois and Julie do), and citrus fruit. I can’t make a mojito without limes, right? But I avoid going until I just can’t wait any longer for that mojito.

When I get there I realize one of the most absurd things about our culture, or perhaps the Family Fare Supermarket in particular: What’s wrong with this picture?

See the last line item on the Aisle 4 sign? “Nutritional Foods.” For one thing, this implies that Aisle 4 is the only one that has foods that are nutritious. For another, you should see the products considered “nutritional foods” in Aisle 4, such as Slim-Fast.

It’s pretty gross, Slim-Fast. Have you ever looked at the ingredients in it?

Never mind that one of them is my favorite fiend, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Check out all the other ingredients on the list. Why is this stuff considered a “nutritional food?”

And, the “nutritional foods” only take up about an eighth of the whole aisle. The rest is dedicated to cookies,  crackers (hence the Kraft Easy Cheese shown above), “lunch packs,” and “juice.”

I say “juice” because of the minimal amount of juice in products such as HiC and Hawaiian Punch. And, again, HFCS.

After a morning enjoying the Chef Series at the Holland Farmers’ Market, it was really a downer to go to the grocery store. I have some good advice if you ever shop at the Family Fare Supermarket: Avoid Aisle 4!

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