Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Silly Super(?)market Stuff

I have always been simultaneously fascinated and horrified by the supermarket. What makes the produce at Wholefoods so appealing? What makes a deli manager think we will be more attracted to the meats and cheeses in the glass case if they are surrounded by plastic vegetables and greens? Who comes up with some of the odd products and does anyone buy them?

I took my camera to a local Stop and Shop yesterday and found products that exemplified the overpackaged and/or nutritionally deficient fare I generally avoid.

Check out the amount of space dedicated to powdered drink mixes.

I was primarily intrigued by these containers of Crystal Light, artificially flavored Peach and Natural Pink Lemonade flavor with Other Natural Flavor (?). These plastic containers each contained 8 separate plastic envelopes that are added to water. So much packaging so little nutrition.

I'm a great fan of oatmeal. I can buy the organic variety from the bulk bins in Whole Foods for about $1.25/lb. This morning I cooked it in about 20 minutes with raisins, apples and cinnamon, then added pecans and a little maple syrup. Delicious. Here's a shortcut from the supermarket shelves. For $12.63/lb you get lots of plastic, lots of sodium (320mg in this serving), and a long list of ingredients. Easier? At what cost to your health and the environment?

Check out this cereal:
Just look at the cover art. Would anyone want to eat a green circle with red dots? The characters on the box look so creepy. Kellogg's has now added FIBER, and claims it has the SAME GREAT TASTE! Perhaps that's because it has 12g of sugar per serving. Who buys this?

Here's a traditional product with new packaging. McCormick spices packaged in premeasured plastic pouches. At $1.99, the common spices in these packets (pepper, chili powder, thyme, paprika, etc.) sell for up to $122.46/lb. Yes, buying these spices in larger packages would initially cost more, but over time this kind of monetary and packaging waste would really add up.

Finally, a virtual early anniversary gift for my hubby. Here's a product with a brand tie-in you would appreciate. I would have gotten it for you if it had any nutritional value at all. But these fruit flavored snacks made with Real Fruit have corn syrup, sugar and apple puree concentrate as their top 3 ingredients along with a plethora of odd food colorings. Perhaps, you'll appreciate just knowing they are out there.

Are there any products you can't stomach?


rosalyn said...

This should be published.

perchesinthesoul said...

I'm not a fan of canned vegetables (I prefer frozen or fresh). When the local farmer's markets start up again, I think I'm going to try my own canning/preserving. So excited! But I have to say, I also really love Apple Jacks cereal :)

heather said...

okay, that made me laugh out loud... who eats green circles with red dots on them? hahaha. do you ever read consumer reports? this kind-of reminded me of the last page where they make fun of bad packaging or bad marketing.....

Elizabeth said...

This is so cute. I too get amazed when I go food shopping at what they try to sell us. To me it is a bunch of junk. No thank you. I will stick with my real food.