1. My neighborhood CVS, where we buy shampoo, toothpaste, first aid items, and most of our prescriptions, seems to be turning into a mini grocery store. The floor plan of the store has been completely rearranged to emphasize food: A customer walks in the door and sees, before anything else, refrigerated drinks, grab-and-go sandwiches, the candy aisle.
2. On the same day I bought three pounds of extra lean beef stew meat at my local grocery store for about $5 a pound, I passed this McDonald’s sign, which advertises a weekly “Family Night” and hamburgers and cheeseburgers at 39¢ and 49¢ each. For a minute, this gets my attention. I am almost tempted: All five of us could eat a whole meal for less than what I paid for my three pounds of stew meat. I have enough money in my food budget, thankfully, to resist this temptation. If my family’s budget were more stretched, as many families’ budgets are in these times, I could rely on McDonald’s to help me feed my family. No doubt other families do this, out of necessity.
3. We get emails, my husband and I, from our school’s PTO, announcing that “Weekly Friday Ice Cream” is back. The PTO sells ice cream pops for $2 each at the playground on Friday afternoons in the spring. Does our school really need the money this much that we are willing to exploit the health of our kids? (Note: Yes, we have protested.) Our kids are active on the playground, so we give them… fat and sugar calories.
4. At the local grocery store, there is an old product in a new package that perplexes me: facial tissues in boxes decorated to look like cartoon slices of a waffle sundae. Right, whenever I want to blow my nose, I think, “Dessert, yum.”
All of these are ways to get us all, in one way or another, to get us to eat more without thinking.