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About food shopping

Saturday, June 09, 2012

When I was in USA ...1992 I was stunned at the food store aisles - SOO much food. We did have the same food in Swedish sort but not ten brands of each! Today we do and that is one of the reason that we get more and more overweight, the more we are exposed to food, the more we tend to eat and buy.

Today we do have the same overwhelming food aisles in Sweden - yesterday my daughter and me went shopping and on our list was important cat food and paper wash cloths... when we had circled the store and gotten the yogurt and chicken and got close to the cashier - we realised that the cat food was wayyyy down at the other end of the store. I think it is about hundred meters. We walked back and picked it up - did not have any chart because we had not planned to shop that much so we carried our stuff. Then we started looking for the wash towels - I thought they would be by among soaps, shampoos, toilet paper and detergents that are close to the cashier ... nope I suddenly remember that it is usually by the baby stuff and ..where is the baby stuff? Next to the cat food! all the way back once more.

But this is not a blog about exercising in the food store although it can surely be done. More of the danger of passing through a modern food store... our path is encumbered with foods temptingly exposed for us to buy. Some are good healthy stuff, and some are crap.. on a friday there is also four or five counters with taste stuff, ladies standing there and trying to sell something. Yesterday it was frozen pizzas...both the salami and the spinach pizzas had mushrooms and daughter does not like mushrooms, otherwise I might have fallen for it because it seemed simple panic food when you don´t have time to cook... and I don´t even like frozen pizza, I like the unhealthy ones you buy at a pizza restaurant and we have one fifty meters from our house (our salvation is that they don´t accept credit card, to go there I have to plan and get cash when I am in the city and that I don+´t do...)

Where is this blog going...two conclusions - one: society is working against us - the stores are constructed to make us shop more of stuff we don´t really need. Sure it is my own responsibility what I put in my mouth but, as sw3eden laws only allows liqueur to be sold in special stores, I get help not to drink, it is sort of easy to stay away from those stores. I would be better of if I shop food at smaller stores where the offers aren´t so overwhelming.

Conclusion two: I was thinking of creating a "healthy path" through the store avoiding all the unnecessary stuff but realised that it can´t be done. I would need a blindfold to cross certain parts...

No, I need planning, go in the store with a complete list of what to buy and never leave that list however "good" or budgethealthy an offer seem. I can´t buy three of something just because it will same me some crowns, if I have not put it on my list. Not to make it entirely impossible I give myself the possibility that I can buy something not on my list - if I call an OA friend and tell them first....

We are up against some strong powers here, and they want us to shop. Willpower is not my weapon to fight these powers... accepting my needs and possibilities and using support is!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    how interesting - we had a visit from a young friend from sweden in 1994 just when a new huge safeway had opened and he was astounded to see what an american supermarket looked like.

    when we lived in sweden in the 70s and 80s, there was no obesity. we usually did not see anyone overweight until we got to the airport and saw other americans heading for the states. sadly, sweden followed in the footsteps of the US - we were there when the first burger king opened in malmö; now there is a mcdonalds or equivalent on virtually every corner of every major city in sweden (or so it seems), and conveniently located along the highways etc in the rest of the country.

    you are right about swedish supermarkets - to get to the fruits and vegetables at our supermarket (Torp, outside uddevalla) you have to go straight through the middle of the store (maxi), though coop has the produce right at the entrance. in a US store, we usually say to shop the perimeter to avoid the processed foods.

    i was in stockholm last month and was heartened to see that vegetarian/vegan restaurants had become so popular. one lunch place had people waiting in line outside on the street; another had every table full and we managed to sit at a table for 4 with another couple; yet another was nearly full on a monday evening for dinner.

    clearly things are changing in that direction. but the quantity of processed food and fast food compared to just a few decades ago is astounding.

    2717 days ago
    You are absolutely right about the stores layout plans to "keep us there" and "impulse buy". When our store remodeled, we have many but I mean the one most convenient for me to use; they gave us a map of where things were relocated. Had to ask at the service counter. I took the map and made my own basic list, isle by isle on my computer. I print one out each month and it's on my refrigerator. That's where I build the list for my big once a month shopping, which includes all my staples and pet food. I move through the store quickly and my small stop and shops through the month are limited to the perimeter of the store: produce, dairy, frozen foods; also a quick trip. No mindless shopping, no mindless eating. A list is your friend! Most of what is in the center of the store are packaged items; not much I need there, oatmeal, canned goods and paper/personal products.
    All those choices from all those manufacturers are a testimony to what they are doing to processed foods. Adding things to them to make us WANT to eat them. Not a nutritional advantage, a commercial one. Too much sodium, sugar, fats; all addictive in my opinion, with no enhancement to nutrition. Don't be fooled, refining out 46 nutrients and adding back 18 is NOT enrichment! Careful shopping is essential to good health.
    Enjoyed your blog and love that you keep finding ways to plan for success and good health. Plus, you make me think; that's a good thing. emoticon
    2717 days ago
    Yes, I live in a relatively populated area of the East Coast here in the US, and not only is there a whole lot in the store, there's a whole lot of stores, everywhere you turn, as well as fast food etc. What's helped me in the store is the same thing that helps me when people bring treats to work: I keep hearing my sponsor's voice in the back of my head. "That's not my food." And planning/having a list helps too. It also helps my budget :)
    2717 days ago
    Yes, I had a very hard time shopping in a different store the other day.. Price Chopper is particularly nasty about putting the temptation foods on the end caps. Maybe the store I regularly shop (Hannaford) is bad, but I have gotten used to it and know where to avert my eyes. Then went to Market Basket today for the greek yogurt, which is way less expensive than the other two stores.. and they have most of the temptation foods out front. If I can avoid that and then shop the exterior of the store, I can usually avoid most of the stuff that tempts me.
    2717 days ago
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