Friday, August 22, 2008

Walmart Thought of the Day and Veggies for Kids

Max and Mitch

About a year ago a Super Walmart joined our town. It's about a mile and a half from our farm. Since it is on the way to everything we do, we go there alot. Unusual I know, to have a farm so close to such a big box store. Our town is really growing. Farmers are being slowly squeezed out of the picture. I still go to Bruno's every couple of weeks just to do my part to keep them in business. We really don't want Walmart to put the other grocery stores out of business so they can jack the prices way up.

As I was shopping at Walmart today, I noticed something odd. Only about 60% of one side of an aisle was devoted to canned vegetables. Our other local stores have at least one whole side of an aisle for these products. Walmart does have lots of fresh produce, and I know that fresh is better, but I was looking for some things for recipes (diced pimentos, quartered artichoke hearts, etc.). I was surprised to see how little they stocked in the vegetable category. It took me forever to find the canned pumpkin (it was in baking).

The updated food pyramid is loaded with fruits and vegetables at the base and topped with fats. I would say that what is available in this store is an upside down pyramid with more space devoted to selling snacks and fattier foods than fruits and veggies. Ice cream gets as much space as green canned vegetables and more space than the frozen vegetables. No wonder Americans are so chunky.

But are we as a nation obese because we are targeted by the retailers and their clever marketing? I mean, no one has ever made cabbage nearly as popular as the Keebler elves or the Pillsbury doughboy. Maybe the vegetable farmers should hire some veggie tale characters. Or is Walmart just giving the public what they want? Let's face it, ice cream tastes better to most of us than zucchini. (And if it doesn't to you, count that as a serious blessing. My youngest child adores vegetables, seeking out carrots for breakfast. Lucky child will be thin as a rail her whole life. Watch.) I'd love to hear your comments about this. What came first the fat Americans or the corporate world with their fat-making marketing and products?

Speaking of eating vegetables, Jessica Seinfeld wrote a book on how to get your kids to eat vegetables by sneaking them into their food. Has anybody read this? Any tips on getting kids to eat vegetables? I saw a recipe in a magazine that added beets and spinach to brownies. Ugh! I wondered, "Couldn't you just make them eat the brussel sprouts or lose the Nintendo?" Please let me hear your thoughts.

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