I Ventured into a Supermarket and Didn’t Know Whether to Laugh or Cry

February 5, 2016

People who know me well know that I don’t like shopping in big places. I don’t like supermarkets or giant hardware stores. I don’t like the bright fluorescent lights or the feeling of excessiveness that prevails.

I Ventured into a Supermarket and Didn’t Know Whether to Laugh or Cry

Every once in a blue moon I can tolerate Target, and I did let my friend take me on my virgin trip to BJ’s Wholesale Club before my birthday party. But when I say this happens once in a blue moon, I’m not kidding.

It’s just a three-block walk from my apartment to Shoprite, BJ’s, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Simple. I can take my cart and be there in five minutes. But in the year-and-a-half since I moved here, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been to these stores. I think I’ve been to Shoprite four times.

I prefer the farmer’s market, where I can get to know the farmers who grow my food, or the little family-run market and hardware store in my neighborhood. We know each other by name and they’re always glad to try out products that customers suggest.

But yesterday I was on the hunt for organic wild blueberries and so I decided to venture into the abyss otherwise known as the American supermarket.

OMG. There are so many things wrong with this institution that I don’t know where to begin.

The minute I walked into the megastore I felt judgment starting to rise up inside me. I work really hard not to be a judgemental person. But just the fluorescent glow and aisle after aisle of garbage “food” made me cringe.

No wonder this country is plagued with obesity, diabetes, chronic illness, chemical sensitivities, etc. etc. The sheer volume of junk food and toxic home products is staggering.

Do people still buy Hostess Cupcakes? The lady in front of me at the checkout still does. Three supersize boxes and one sad bag of frozen vegetables were in her cart. Again, I heard the little voice cautioning me not to judge. Maybe her child was having a birthday party and it was a special treat. But she was obese and looked sadly unhealthy.

I loved Hostess Cupcakes and Twinkies. Ignorance was bliss back then. I might have had one after my lunch of a Big Mac and fries when I was younger. But do people really not know what’s in them? Let me enlighten you, as curiosity made me Google it.

Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes contain:

Sugar, Wheat Flour Enriched(Flour, Ferrous Sulfate[Iron],Vitamin B[Niacin Vitamin B3, Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1{Thiamin Vitamin B1}, Riboflavin Vitamin B2{Riboflavin Vitamin B2}, Folic Acid Vitamin B9]),Water, Vegetables, and/or, Animal Shortening, Contains One Or More Of The Following(Soybeans Partially Hydrogenated, Cottonseed, Or, Canola Oil, Beef Fat),Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup High Fructose, Corn Syrup, , Contains 22% or less, Whey, Corn Starch-Modified,Leavening(Baking Soda, Sodium Acid, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate), Salt, Corn Syrup Solids, Calcium Carbonate,Corn Starch, Calcium Sulphate, Dextrose, Soy Lecithin,Polysorbate 60, Mono and Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum,Calcium Caseinate, Wheat Gluten, Agar, Gelatin, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Caramel Color, Chocolate Liquor,Locust Bean Gum, Potassium Sorbate, and, Sorbic Acid, To Retain Freshness, Flavors Natural & Artificial

Beef fat in a cupcake. Yum. High fructose corn syrup AND corn syrup. In a bleeping cupcake.

I passed aisles filled with laundry detergents, fabric softeners, bleach products, etc. that are laden with unnecessary chemicals and an ingredient list that only a scientist could understand.

The yogurt section has hundreds of selections, mostly low or no-fat (don’t they know the no/low fat craze is over and only led to more obesity?)

I Ventured Into a Supermarket and Didn't Know Whether to Laugh or Cry, Barbara Sinclair Holistic Health

The milk is homogenized and ultra-pasteurized (even the organic brands), rendering the dairy virtually devoid of any nutritional value whatsoever. “Nutrients” have been added in because pasteurization has killed them all.

Ultra-pasteurized? Let’s think about that for a moment. How healthy can milk be that has an expiration date in months, not days. All for convenience sake.

I drink only raw milk now. And if you think I’m crazy, check this article out. The statistics may surprise you.

Turning down another gigantic aisle I came upon a box of tissue that claims to kill 99.9% of cold and flu viruses? Seriously? If I made the claim that elderberries or yarrow kill 99.9% of cold and flu viruses, I’d have the FDA after me.

I Ventured Into a Supermarket and Didn't Know Whether to Laugh or Cry, Barbara Sinclair Holistic Health

This was one of the “Products of the day”.

I Ventured Into a Supermarket and Didn't Know Whether to Laugh or Cry, Barbara Sinclair Holistic Health

Who buys this stuff? Most Americans, I’m sorry to say.

I can’t stop myself now. I’m hopelessly passionate about this issue. I’m not a food nazi. Really, I’m not. I’ve toned down my healthy eating spiel because it was off-putting to some people. I keep my mouth shut on family vacations.

But I have some experience here. I healed myself of a chronic illness with help from clean, organic whole foods. It was a huge piece of the healing puzzle.

Food is medicine. I can’t say that enough. It’s the truth.

The real (sad) truth is that now we have to say “organic food is medicine”. Pesticide and GMO-laden food are not medicine. Along with junk food, it’s poison.

I didn’t even go down the numerous junk-food aisles. I imagine the cereals and cookies number in the hundreds. Maybe even the thousands. I love cookies, but if I’m going to eat one, it’s not going to contain food coloring and high fructose corn syrup and maybe even beef fat.

Do you know that some of the American cereal companies provide Europe with cereals free from food coloring and other additives? Yet they continue to supply their American customers with the poisonous version just because they can.

Have we become so disconnected from Mother Earth and the food she provides for us? Are there mad scientists working in labs creating taste combinations to lure our palettes into a food coma and addiction? Yes, actually there are. They’re called flavor chemists.

Does this make your mouth water or does it make you gag? I laughed out loud when I saw it.

I Ventured Into a Supermarket and Didn't Know Whether to Laugh or Cry, Barbara Sinclair Holistic Health

Wow. This is cathartic. If you didn’t abort this post early on because of my ranting, I thank you. It had to come out. I know that for many of the people who visit a holistic health site, I’m preaching to the choir.

I don’t know what it’s going to take to change the situation. I guess all that any of us can do is take care of ourselves and our families (hopefully, they’re on the same bandwagon).

“But supermarkets are cheaper”, I can hear people saying. Or “I can’t afford organic food.”

I’ll tell you why I don’t buy this argument anymore. First of all, supermarkets, like shopping malls are designed to make you spend, spend, spend – mostly on stuff you don’t need.

Walking through a supermarket is like a child walking through a toy store. So many choices! So many bright packages with cartoon characters! Items on sale. You can use coupons.

When you buy healthy, whole, clean (preferably organic) food, and eat that food, your body is happy and satiated and doesn’t crave junk food. Buy fewer nacho chips and soda and more fruits and vegetables and you will save money.

I have a good friend who struggles to pay her rent every month. But she shops at the farmer’s market or the local co-op and is one of the healthiest eaters I know.

I also know someone who once admitted to me that her family probably eats 95% processed food. This horrifies me. I love this family and it breaks my heart that real clean food plays such an unimportant role in their life.

On a positive note, I did find the organic wild blueberries I was searching for! Amidst hundreds of frozen packaged foods, there was a small organic section and lo and behold, there were my blueberries. It was my reward for entering the supermarket zone.

And when I got home, look what was waiting for me? My first order from Door to Door Organics! While I wait for my farmer’s market to reopen, I’m trying this service. The produce is super-fresh, all organic, from a great company who even takes back the boxes and packing materials to reuse and recycle!

I Ventured Into a Supermarket and Didn''t Know Whether to Laugh or Cry, Barbara Sinclair Holistic Health

You’ve gotta love these little winks from the Universe.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Much love,


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