Grocery shopping

A&P Grocery StoreThe first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.— Joel Salatin

My earliest memories of grocery shopping with my mother were those trips to the A&P grocery store in my hometown of Carrollton, Texas.  I’m not sure she liked taking me with her because I’m sure I begged for lots of things that I had no chance of getting her to buy.

I remember the meat market counter where a man wearing a white apron and cap would cut meat to my mother’s liking, wrap it in white butcher paper, and marked it with a pen or a stamp with purple ink, labeling it with whatever cut of beef it was.  We would take these home, store them in our deep freezer in our garage, and enjoy it on our table nightly.

I didn’t know that supermarkets had not always existed.  It made sense to me that there had always been stores like these.  Food was easy to come by, and it was taken for granted.

We had relatives however who had gardens, some who lived on farms, and for some of them, especially those in rural areas, a grocery store like ours was probably not very common.  We were suburbanites — city folks — to them, and that’s what spoiled me and made me think of food as something easy to get, always available, thus prone to overconsumption and abuse and easy to waste.

Consequently, it was the perfect setup for learning to eat highly processed foods, prepackaged and ready-to-eat, with no forethought as to the consequences to my health.

This has changed, but it is still a problem for many people.  Weaning ourselves away from “the easy way” to embrace “the mindful way” takes time, patience with our bodies that still crave the bad stuff, and greater knowledge about how to choose good foods that are also healthful and in their most natural, edible forms.

It is a journey, but in a sense, it is a “back to the future” experience that recaptures some of the best memories of childhood when things were simpler, and in a real sense, better.

Source for Joel Salatin quote above: 32 inspirational gardening quotes | MNN – Mother Nature Network


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