The Guilty Grocery Store Mental Monologue

Author: Skylar Bayer

One of the biggest struggles in my daily existence is going to the grocery store. This is actually impossible when I am hangry. I literally salivate the moment I enter the store just like my dog does when I say the word dinner.

It is not the fact that I actually have to be a responsible foraging adult member of the human species that stresses me out, but that I am a consumer that helps drive markets that in turn dictate how much arsenic chicken get fed, how many antibiotics cows eat, how many people in South America are losing their land and culture to monocrops of asparagus. In addition there’s my health to think about, my wallet, whether or not I’m supporting my local community and if I’m pumping my own body with FODMAPs, PCBs and high fructose corn syrup. Some days I think it’d be better just to be a plant and derive all my food from the sun through photosynthesis just so I wouldn’t have to think about half the issues I contemplate when deciding on items in the grocery store.

Let me give an example of a typical grocery shopping mental monologue:

Hmmm, maybe I will make spaghetti and sauce. Let’s see the spaghetti from the store brand is a nice price and it’s in a cardboard box but some of the ingredients I’m not sure of and it’s probably not actually organic.

But it’s made in the USA so that means less fossil fuels (maybe? But what about trucks and trains filled with tiny pasta boxes? Surely they must be using gasoline unless they use ethanol, but ethanol is bad because corn is basically evil…) were used to bring it to the store. But who knows where the raw ingredients came from. Gah, who knows what’s in it!

I’m going to go to the organic food section… The organic stuff over here is definitely made of better, more “real” food but it’s wrapped in plastic which means that I can’t recycle the container. Oooh, and it was made in Italy which means that there were more fossil fuels (*visualizing jumbo jet planes filled with millions of plastic wrapped pasta packages flying over Atlantic Ocean*) used in bringing it here, that can’t be a good thing to encourage as a consumer. No wonder it’s so expensive.

Ugh, I’m hungry.

I don’t know which one to choose, maybe the store one is OK as long as it’s wheat…

This experience is even more painful when I’m hungry which is not quite the same thing as hangry, mind you. When I’m hungry I want to eat everything, particularly the expensive things that are on display when you first enter the store. The minute I crave something expensively delicious though, I immediately feel guilty and decide I’m only acting out of hunger and shouldn’t purchase the item. However, this loop of hunger-instant craving-instant guilt and stupidity-resist grabbing item results in me leaving the store with usually an uncooked chicken breasts, a few vegetables and some unhealthy snack, which doesn’t even cut it for the next meal I need to make. Once my sugar level returns to normal from the “natural” $5.00 snack I’ve purchased I realize I’ve forgotten just about everything else I need to buy.

I’ll try again tomorrow.






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