The Rant: A Monday Morning View - Grocery Stores
Yeah, I know, you're probably saying, gee, can't she rant about something besides grocery stores. I could but you know, they are the easiest source for something to rant about. I can find something on almost every isle to make my brain go - POP!
The cereal isle is the victim of of A Monday Morning Rant this week, to be specific - I'm going to rant about oatmeal and how the grocery stores manipulate our brains.
My trip to the store over the weekend was the normal weekly run. I had a short list of mostly cleaning and paper products. Although I haven't made a complete transition to green living, I'm working on it. I needed some toilet paper, white vinegar, baking soda, and a few other little odds and ends. As I made my way down the cereal isle I found myself just browsing the shelves; for what, I'm not sure. And there it was, my subject - oatmeal.
Take a look at the photo. Does anything speak to you? Maybe not because we are so accustomed to the brainwashing that we hardly notice anymore. I understand that marketing requires creativity and that bright colors, catchy packaging, and yummy descriptions have eye appeal. So why don't we stop and wonder what's hiding behind the packaging? I think it's because we are bombarded with so many images that we are brainwashed into thinking that it must be good for us or it wouldn't be on the shelf in the first place.
So, I looked at the oatmeal display and the first thing I noticed was that there are four shelves measuring about 9 feet in length packed full of instant oatmeal, in every flavor imaginable. That's 36 total feet of instant oatmeal. Now, look at the photo again. How much space is left for whole oats? There is one pitiful little shelf, on the BOTTOM, measuring about 5 feet for the plain Old Fashioned Quaker Oats.
An Awesome Read about Oats and Oatmeal
- Oats And Oatmeal Health Benefits by rajan jolly
Oats are a nutrient dense food low in calories. Also, a bowl of oatmeal provides more than half of the daily value of omega-3 fatty acids as double the daily value for manganese. To find out many more like health benefits of oats and oatmeal, read on
Now it's no secret that I have a wild imagination and that on a bad day I can submerge myself into all kinds of conspiracy theories. That oatmeal display plunged me into a deep dark world of hidden agenda. For a few moments I lost all track of time and allowed my mind to drift into the world of marketing and design. I wondered, who IS at the helm of this effort to keep us, the average citizen in the most powerful country in the world, toxic.
That's when I realized that I'm no nutritionist. I wasn't sure I knew what I was talking about, so I took a closer look. What I discovered proved my theory that 36 feet of instant oatmeal is far less healthy than 5 feet of Old Fashioned oatmeal. I compared the nutrition facts on both packages. Without going into all the details, I'll just tell you about the ones that jumped out at me.
Peaches & Cream Instant Oatmeal
Old Fashioned Oatmeal
Serving Size: 1 packet (43 grams)
Serving Size: 1/2 cup (40 grams)
Calories from fat
WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, SUGAR, CREAMING AGENT (MALTODEXTRIN, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL**, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, WHEY, SODIUM CASEINATE, SUGAR, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, SALT, SOY LECITHIN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR), FLAVORED AND COLORED FRUIT PIECES (DEHYDRATED APPLES [TREATED WITH SODIUM SULFITE TO PROMOTE COLOR RETENTION], ARTIFICIAL PEACH FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, ANNATTO COLOR), SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, GUAR GUM, OAT FLOUR, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, NIACINAMIDE*, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE*,
100% NATURAL WHOLE GRAIN QUAKER QUALITY ROLLED OATS.
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Okay, so there's nothing earth shattering there but, if you purchase the Old Fashioned Oatmeal, you get ten times more product, no sodium or potassium, and, you get a pure, whole oat product with no preservatives or additives. You also get a lot less sugar and more fiber.
So, what's missing? Fruit taste. Why wouldn't you want to just add your own raw, fresh fruit and avoid those funny little bits of dehydrated, dyed morsels that are only "pretend" fruit?
I'm not a rocket scientist either but, I really think we are being fooled in the name of convenience and slick packages and the price we are going to pay for it is - a shortened and lower quality life.
I wonder what would happen if we all slowed down for just an hour and actually studied the products we are putting in our shopping cart. There are alternatives and they are not only safer and better for us, but they are often a lot less expensive too.
Well, I'll wrap this up. I didn't buy any oatmeal this week but, when I do, can you guess which product will go in my cart?
Thought so. Happy shopping!
© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.