Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Truth vs. Price

Yesterday Jonathan and I dropped off Atticus and Sherman with some family members for a few days. We stopped at the grocery store on our way home. It was the easiest shopping trip we'd made in a very long time. We decided that since the two older kids got to stay with cousins, which is a super special treat for them, that we would indulge our third son, who felt a bit left out. He saw Mater on the back of a cereal box and really wanted to buy it. It was Apple Jacks. We've actually never bought Apple Jacks before. Well, actually I bought one box once for a friend who absolutely loves them. So, Cinci was extatic! Really eager to have some special cereal to himself the next morning.

So this morning while I'm eating my Raisin Bran and he's enjoying his Apple Jacks I'm looking at this special Cars 2 offer. You get prizes for collecting codes from participating Kellog's products. Of course they don't tell which are the participating products. I decide to check the internet site they list on the box.

Here is a list of some of their participating products: Frosted Flakes, Frosted Mini Wheats, Cocoa Crispies, Pops, Eggo, Nutri-Grain Bars, Town House Crackers, Graham Crackers, Crispix, and a few more.

As I look at this list of products sliding across the screen, here, I answer the question that a lot of foreigners have asked me. Foreigners that have never spent "real" life here. Life where they have to go grocery shopping every week and manage a budget here.

The question is, "Why are Americans so fat?"

I know why they, I mean, we are so fat. Because of these flashy offers that announce themselves so attractively at every corner. This is a country where it is cheaper to be fat than thin. This is a country where most of the population thinks that a Nutri-Grain Bar is a healthy breakfast option. It must be, right? It includes two key words. Nutri which must mean it's nutritious. And Grain, which must mean it actually came from something that grew out of the ground at one time.

As I slowly adjust to life in the States once more, I try to remind myself not to buy into the tricky sales they have here. Buy five cereal boxes for 10 dollars. What a deal! Well, it is a deal, I agree. We used to pay 28 riyal, which is about 7 dollars, in Qatar to get a box of Cheerios. What kind of deal is it really? It's a deal of endoctrination. If I feed my kids cereal every day for breakfast, they grow up thinking that it is healthy and "the" way to live.

So, off to the store I go, wary of those tricky sales. Will I be the one to teach my kids what's healthy, or will the prices do the teaching?

*This post is coming from a woman who enjoys a bowl of Lucky Charms with her husband almost every night after the kids go to bed. Please do not be offended.

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