As I was following my grocery list this morning, I came upon the item
“ice cream.” I turned into the frozen food section, and began the block long
search of which ice cream I wanted to buy.
Forget brand names or flavors, I was mesmerized by the selection of 1/3 less
fat, 35% less fat, low fat, fat free, low carb, no sugar added, low carb and
fat free, and the odd choice, natural.
Picking up one
selection after another, I was either inundated with
names of chemicals I couldn’t pronounce in order to put
back the flavor that the no sugar or fake sugar took
out, or the names of the
chemicals that stabilized the ice cream once the fat was
removed. I actually stood there, immobilized and blankly staring, and
laughed to myself.
I quickly looked around to see if there were any other
shoppers in my aisle watching me chortling. Luckily, there weren’t. They
were stuck on another aisle trying to figure out which cereal they wanted to
I scream, you scream, we all scream for
It is getting to the point that one needs a degree in
chemistry or nutrition just to go food shopping.
No wonder stress and sleep
disorders are on the rise in the States. Who wouldn’t be on
anti-depressants?! We don’t even have the confidence to buy ice
cream. And if we finally do decide on a flavor, and the amount of sugar or fat we want, and forget about the
chemicals, then we have to put up with the peer pressure telling us that one
or another of our choices is bad for us, and they begin to list the reasons
Like I asked.
When we travel overseas life seems easier. If I go shopping, I have two
decisions to make. Do I want it? (or not), and do they have it? (or not). If
I want it, and they have it, it’s simple. I buy it. If I want it, and they
don’t have it, then I don’t buy it.
Childlike, elementary, but very
Of all the places we have lived, I still prefer the States for many reasons.
However, I do wonder if we are making life too complicated, and therefore,
less easy to decide if we are happy (or not).
Other countries are not so “fortunate” to have all these alternatives, nor
do they have all the differing opinions of well wishers “helping us out”
with their friendly health and dietary advice.
I will enjoy my ice cream as a treat later on, pushing aside any guilt or
judgment, but I will still have that nagging doubt of whether I should have
just stayed with the lone pick of “natural”, and let it go at that.
the beach, marveling at the ocean, listening to the waves, and
a vendor comes by with fresh coconut ice cream, I only have to shake my head
up and down, or sideways.