Well I lied…this post won’t exactly be a picture only one to be honest it won’t have any pictures at all. I know I know disappointing yet again, but the topic was just so important that I had to write about it before I had time to find some pictures.
What topic do you ask? The GROCERY STORE..dun. dun. dun.
Now that I think about it I seem to blog quite a lot about food, but I guess that makes sense because I LOVE it so much! A little shy of five months ago, in my young inexperienced study abroad times, I blogged about how overwhelming the first grocery shopping trip abroad was for Jennifer and myself. I talked a bit about how difficult it was to decipher what products where what, find things that we knew how to cook, let alone operate the crazy shopping carts with 360 degree rotations! Well I ventured out to the land of Super Wal-Mart for the first time today, and oddly enough I had the same overwhelming experience.
The store was not only twice (possibly three) times the size of what I had become accustomed to, but there were SO many options. Cookies here. Cookies there. Pizzas in that aisle. Chips and dip in this aisle. Pop tarts, oreos, Tostitos, granola bars, ice cream, popsicles, and much more EVERYWHERE. I didn’t fully realize how much I had streamlined my grocery shopping process in Europe until I was faced with the task of grabbing a few items and fighting the temptations of so much caloric and mouth-watering American landmines. I can truly see how America has become known for its weight problem, I mean when you have two entire aisles of every kind of cookie known to man people are obviously going to buy them! And you know as well as I, buying leads to eating, and eating leads to weight gain. (Learned that one first hand in Europe…wince.)
Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Oreos and frozen pizza, but I have learned that my body can’t take that everyday of the week (or really more than once every other week) and not see any downward facing changes. I’m not sure that I have a solution nor that there even is one, I can simply state that after nearly five months away returning to the “super sized” world of the American grocery store was certainly insightful.
I can say however, that Europe did rub off on my grocery shopping habits a bit! After seeing how wasteful and unsustainable we are by using ridiculous amounts of plastic bags EVERY time we go to the store, I brought along my own shopping bags to the store today. I know this isn’t a new idea nor is it even my own, but it is such a simple change that if more people would catch on to could really make an impact. PLUS I was able to bring all of my groceries into the house in only one trip because of the bigger bags. Now tell me that isn’t a good enough incentive!
So the next time you head to the land of consumption and plastic waste, I challenge you to bring along that duffel bag stored in your closet and see just how much better your experience will be. Plus you might even save a planet or two…