Sunday, May 19, 2019
Yesterday while working at Costco, I spent a couple of hours in the pharmacy section handing out samples of a protein drink. I was surrounded by many high protein choices, in powders and liquids, and nearby were shelves with boxes of protein bars. All products promised to supply about 20 grams of protein per drink or bar. Shoppers stopped at my demo table to sample powdered drinks, and many who simply passed pushed carts containing products that promised high protein consumption. I wondered what drives an increasingly high interest in consuming lots of protein.
I ask customers about this and a common response, especially from those who routinely exercise, is that protein builds muscle. Certainly, there are muscular types browsing through the protein section and selecting items. So do others, out of shape and often overweight. Other curious products are protein supplements directed at children. Many passing parents encourage their kids to sample protein drinks. I wonder why its good or necessary to supplement kids with high protein.
In the pharmacy, passers-by routinely swallow all kinds of high-interest samples, and often hand them to their children. The tables often offer samples of multi-vitamins, flu-preventions, digestive helpers, testesterone support, artery health, and just about anything thought to enhance bodily welfare, reinforced by package claims.
I asked a fellow worker, a slim, physically fit fellow who’s also a part-time food coach, why supplements and extra protein seem necessary. He said, they’re not, and that folks who eat routinely from the main food groups, avoiding most sugars and fats, don’t need “the extras”. His easy recipe for healthy eating is having a good salad daily, tossed with an appropriate variety of high-value foods. He says that such salads provide adequate nutrients for optimal health.
He explains that the high interest of shoppers in protein is because of money pumped into advertising by the meat industry. I understood, realizing that we’re impacted by advertising almost without noticing. We’re vulnerable to ads that pop-up on our social media for products we’ve explored, even with very casual interest. After time, numerous reminders can “get to us”.
I’m a victim, too, inundated by advertisers. And I’ll not take it any more! I’ll toss my aging stash of protein bars and powders, which anyway aren’t tasty, and resume eating from the basic food groups. I liked my co-worker’s description of fulfilling salads, that provide adequate nutrition.
Dear Friends, shopping in big box sores makes sticking to the basics difficult. Diana