Suburban Grocery Stores: Are They Sabotaging Our Health?
4 mins read

Suburban Grocery Stores: Are They Sabotaging Our Health?

Ok, so I’m talking to a friend of mine tonight.  She has a son who has been labeled way too many things, but the latest is that he suffers from neurosis.  He does not have Asperger’s but at different times, different people have thought so. 

He does, however, get very worried and nervous that, for instance, someone will come in though the garage and hurt the family during the night, and so he will stay awake to make sure no one comes in the house.  I have not mentioned that the kid is also hilarious and awesome and he and I share a special bond. 

Anyway, I was telling my friend today about studies which have shown that kids who have a disability such as Asperger’s and autism – when they change their diet, cutting out all corn syrup type sugar, eat mostly veggies and clean, cage free, grass fed meats and eat everything strictly organic – the symptoms are greatly reduced.  Now, of course she wants the very best for her kid, let me first and foremost say that.  But her response to me was this: “There is absolutely no way I could keep my kid off processed food and/or sugar.  Try having a 10-year-old in school in the Midwest, you can’t control what they eat!!”

Apparently living in Southern California has jaded me (but in a good way, I’m thinking).  It doesn’t even enter into my realm of thinking that my kid couldn’t eat this way if need be. 

In fact, we started LJ Gourmet so that kids beginning a lifetime of eating would at least have a good running start.  Our Mac and Cheese is still the good ‘ol American stuff, all we did was add carrots and sweet potato to the cheddar sauce and use whole wheat pasta shells instead of the processed white stuff.  We have a cheeseburger rice dish that is tastier than any burger and fries you will ever have yet it’s made with grass fed beef and brown rice – our almost 13-month-old and his friends love it! 

Anyway, back to my friend.  I have been to her house.  And I have grocery shopped by her house, way out in the suburbs.  There isn’t a Whole Foods for probably 40 miles or so.  There are no farmer’s markets anywhere within biking distance.  There is not a grocery store for miles that sells anything but maybe a bag of spinach that’s organic, so what is she supposed to do?  Well, it happens that another 15 minutes away is a grocery store that at least has a bit more of a selection of organics as well as cage-free chicken and grass fed beef but the extra gas isn’t so great for her 8-mile-per-gallon Denali. 

Something I’ve noticed about the difference in cultures between the Midwest and where we live here in Southern California (not to mention Europe or the rest of the world) is that people in the Midwest (at least in the suburbs) don’t like to spend money on food.  They like big discount stores like Rainbow foods, Walmart or Costco so even if there were more choices for organics and cage free and grass fed, people (even those with lots more money than I have) wouldn’t spend it.  Instead they buy Kraft Mac and Cheese, Fruit Roll-Ups and Oreos.  Then they walk out of their 5,000 square foot home, drive to their cabin on the lake where they relax on their big ‘ol boat or scoot around on their snowmobiles.  But don’t get me started….I actually love snowmobiling!

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