As we continue to think about ways in which folks can begin to think about changing their eating habits, there have been many suggestions. In our class specifically, many have suggested that if people who have low-no access to healthy food would just (1) resist junk food, (2) make the effort/trip to find better options, (3) change their attitude about the way they eat, and (4) just find better options they would be better off, and maybe so many other things like soup kitchens, food pantries, food banks, etc., could see a reduction? The reality holds so many more factors that although the summer session is ending, we didn’t even crack.
At a fairly well-stocked Pathmark in Queens, in its own column, was the product display of what you see in the picture above. This was at the end of an entire aisle of chips/dry snacks with what seemed like endless options. Again, everything in moderation is more my perspective than to deplete folks of their guilty pleasure and take on a super righteous attitude and then sneak snacks when no one is looking, but this column just raised my skin in several ways.
In the image, you can see that the soda that’s on sale, is identified as “mini-cans” with a sign below that reads “Open Happiness.” (Clever). These sodas are on sale for just $4.19 (for a 6 pack) (about $0.69 ea. can) and are labeled under the store’s “Everyday Value.” To the left of the soda is the “Little Debbie” snack display (not on sale and more expensive than some of the fresh vegetables and fruits combined).
What’s the point? The point is… Pathmark takes food stamps and is situated (this particular one) in what could easily be classified as a food desert (if it didn’t exist there), and while there are TONS of other choices folks could make, how much responsibility do you put on people who just don’t understand the damage that these products can do over time (especially since they go on sale and become an ‘everyday value’ and inside they contain ‘happiness?’ If you know what this mini soda tastes like, and what little debbie cakes taste like and the need they fulfill, then how enticing is it to walk over to the fresh fruit/veg aisle and pick up the unknown? How do you get the urge to say “eh, no little debbies, no soda, I’ll get some plums for $1.99/lb?” I’ll make fresh guacamole instead of buying it in a pouch that’s labeled “wellness?”
To make my skin crawl even more, today is National Fried Chicken day. Have we nothing else to celebrate?