Sunday, December 15, 2019
Yesterday’s free samples of foods were heavy on holiday-styled meats and candies. The haste in which shoppers eagerly grabbed samples made it seem that most had never been exposed to meat and candy. Our demo person responsible for directing customers to packages of pre-prepared chateaubriand sold out quick as a heartbeat. Shoppers surrounded the candy-table madhouses without let-up. And my favorite question: “Which candy to you like best?” To which my, “I don’t eat the stuff”, set questioners aback.
Actually, it’s obvious this year that many customers have changed their eating habits. Lots of them don’t pause for meats (unless they’re trying to please a spouse), and don’t bother to stuff-up on or pocket free candy. These passerbys most often are very slim or very heavy, but at least they’re using will power that’s worthy of admiration.
Through experience, I’ve learned that meat-heavy diets lead to bad high cholesterol, and I swore off the stuff. Another item just awful for people is sugar, included in too many prepared foods. Besides being a learned taste, sugar is highly addictive. A real eye-0pener is the history of sugar-marketing behind its incredibly wide use.
Early last year I decided to avoid sugary products, and after the initial shock managed to stay away from them successfully. Later in the year and tired of plain black tea, I decided to try artificial sweeteners. I swear that after the first packet, I suddenly needed those sweeteners. Essentially, sweet is sweet–and in my example–immediately addictive.
Lately, because artificial sweeteners surely aren’t good for our bodies, I’m deciding to stop using them. It’s a struggle, “Well, maybe just this one cup of tea before I go black”, and it’s as difficult to cut artificials, as I learned earlier, real sugar itself.
One must work hard to avoid becoming sanctimonious after overcoming an addiction. Actually, leaving meats and candies is as much a victory as say, giving up alcohol or cigarettes. Those who’ve won want to preach to others, “Hey, it’s easy, just get the bad stuff out of your life.” But we’re not all alike, and as a sample-server to thousands of big-box customers, I keep quiet. But I do look closely at products in carts, the appearances of those pushing the baskets, and I make assumptions about their habits.
A large and healthy selection of prepared foods made me appreciate a recent introduction to the Whole Foods eatery. One picks up an empty plate, tours the buffet, and selects exactly the items and quantities that he/she wants. A person who doesn’t choose enough to eat may get more; or after picking up more than one can consume, there are boxes for leftovers.
Still, it deserves admiration, the high-volume store that employs me. It has successfully figured out how to make marketing a science. We demo folks introducing new products and offering free samples move lots of products. In fact yesterday as I handed out candy, the store manager, in a good mood with the store packed, and who never has so much as glanced in my direction, passed my table, winked at me, and asked how I was. I could have fallen over.
Dear Friends: This sanctimonious rant, somehow had to get out! Diana