A quick run through the grocery store reveals several things:
1) We are in the era of convenience. Possibly to the point of calling it the era of laziness instead.
2) Packaging has gone out of control. I thought that by now most companies would be of the tree-hugging variety and offer minimal packaging instead of boxes that take 5 hours and three different types of pliers to open.
3) The health and nutrition of children is of paramount importance to no one in particular.
I see a woman in the vitamin/drug aisle. She is filling her cart with all kinds of natural remedies. Green tea and ginseng pills and some vitamin made out of onions and garlic and split pea soup that allows you to have twice the energy of your ordinary superhero. Also in her cart are 4 boxes of high-sugar cereal, 2 oversized packages of Oreos and a case of Code Red Mountain Dew. Mixed messages in that wagon.
I stand in the cereal aisle, scanning the shelves and feeling thankful and a bit smug that my children like "healthy" cereal like Special K with strawberries and Rice Krispies. Cookie Crisp makes me gag. A bowl of cookies for breakfast? Doesn't that seem a bit absurd? Breakfast cereals made with Reeses and Nesquik and maple syrup. Mmmm delicious and nutritious! When I was young, at least they called them what they were. Sugar Pops, not Corn Pops. That's right, the word SUGAR was right there on the front of the box. Now they just pretend to be healthy. At least my parents were honest about it. Here, have some sugar, dear. Now it's, Who wants corn for breakfast?!
These kids today. Everything has to be bright and flavorful and represent their favorite television/movie icon. As an adult, I find it quite disturbing to submurge Buttercup in a bowl of milk and then munch on her. I bought the SpongeBob crackers and the SpongeBob mac and cheese, but I can't bring myself to chew Patrick's head. Don't even get me started on the Nsync gummies. They have a moist liquid center that squirts a refereshing blob of Timberlake into your mouth when you suck on them! Eww.
Sometimes I wonder, do these things appeal more to the kids or the adults. I have seen more grownups squealing over Star Wars cereal and Kellogg's Mickey Magix than kids.
I know that convenience appeals to adults. Looking in people's shopping carts I can see that it is all about pre-packaged, pre-cooked foods. Meals in a box for people on the go. Doesn't anyone cook anymore? Doesn't anyone like to linger over a simmering meal, stirring and basting and boiling? No? Is everyone in that much of a rush?
Not me. Nope, not me. You will not find any of that stuff in my house. I don't care about brand new flavors. I don't fall for movie tie-in promotions. I don't fall for tv characters sales pitches. I don't believe in convenience or too much packaging or funny colors.