Okay, I went to the grocery store yesterday. As many of you know, I am a vegetarian. I have been trying to eat fresh/frozen foods instead of canned. The canned veggies are full of salt and well… I don’t want to go there. I wheeled my cart to the fresh veggies. My taste buds danced at the thought of fresh fruits and veggies.
When I saw the prices, I froze. $1 for a single cucumber, $1.28 for one small bell pepper, $.54 for one orange! Those are just the basics. Lettuce is nearly $1.50 for the softball size head. Green leaf lettuce is nearly $3 a bundle.
Before I knew it..
I pulled out the soapbox right there in the middle of the produce.
“Experts tell us we are obese and we should eat fresh foods. Can the average American afford this kind of diet at these prices?”
An elderly lady said, “I know what you mean. Try living on Social Security and trying to eat fresh.”
A mother spoke up, “My kids love apples and grapes. I hate having to feed them processed foods because I can’t afford the fresh.”
Right there, surrounded by fresh foods of every color, a group of us discussed the problem. I was glad to know I wasn’t alone in my thinking. Sadly, we moved away from the fresh foods with very little in our buggies. While gasping at the frozen food prices (everything went up 10 cents just like the gas prices), I thought, “All that fresh food will go to waste because no one can afford to purchase it.” I wondered where on Earth the fresh food goes to when the shelf life expires. Soup kitchens? Food banks?? Lord, I hope so! The mere thought of it all going to the dumpster made me shudder.
By the time I got home, I had composed a letter in my head to the First Lady.
Dear Michelle, (I think I needed to be less formal.. you know girlfriend to girlfriend type of letter.Hope she has two L’s in her name… would hate to offend.)
I am one of those “obese” that all the news reports discuss. I am trying to change my eating habits to vegetarian and eating fresh. My doctor applauded me on this effort. It felt good to hear some praise instead of the normal gotta-lose-weight lecture. I have been succeeding and my tastes have slowly embraced the fresh cooking.
(Here comes the girlfriend part)
Michelle, love those arms! Love your idea of a garden! Love your campaign with Wal-Mart to make their canned food better! But Sista girlfriend, have you been in a grocery store recently? The prices are outrageous! Yes, I understand the economy is bad and the gas prices are to blame, but come on, you know the President personally and well we I need your help providing fresh veggies to my kids. Can I borrow your gardeners for a summer? Can we move in the White House with ya? Could you just call the peeps where ever they are to stop jacking up the prices?
Then all of a sudden…
The voices of those in my circle of family and friends who understand economics better than I do began to ring out as to how silly this letter idea was… But I just get frustrated. And I found out that I am not alone. At least my children are fed, right? I am thinking about gardening again. I have tried for several years and never had success. But maybe with a little luck and a whole lot of hard work, we can have fresh veggies that way.
My mind kept going back to those sweet sisters in the produce section. Maybe it is time we bond together and try to set things right. But for now, I will just put up the soapbox and pray for the best.
Enjoy your Friday! God bless…