Sunday, September 27, 2009

Life Is Complicated

Life is complicated. Nothing is as easy as it seem these days. Even things that have evolved to improve life will have you pulling your hair out. For an example…where do I start?

I remember standing in front of the menu in Starbucks some years back trying to find something I recognized as coffee. I mean, Mocha…Latté…Frappe…what? Trying not to look like the village idiot I asked, “Do you have Folger’s?” I thought they were going to throw me out. Normally I wouldn’t care, but if you want anything to drink at Barnes and Noble you have to make peace with them. I ended up taking a page out of Captain Picard’s book – Earl Gray. You don’t have to tell them hot.

Things don’t get any easier at the grocery store. My lovely wife tells me we should eat wheat bread. Then I’m told I got the wrong wheat bread. It has to be Whole Wheat bread. So I started reading the labels.

They had Honey Wheat bread. Another brand had Split Top Honey Wheat bread. Then there was Wheat’N Fiber, and Double Fiber Wheat. But none of that would do. Even Wheat Enriched was unacceptable. Nothing but Whole Wheat, and you will hunt some to find it.

Others were just confusing. Whole Grain Wheat? Dose this mean the other breads leave out part of the grain, or is this bread made with the wheat grain, chaff, stem and all? Natural Whole Grain bread? I have images of 50’s black and white Si-Fi movies. “We must battle the wheat monsters General, with Natural Whole Grain bread.’

Things get no better in the dairy aisle. I go looking for milk dreading what is waiting for me. Goat milk and butter milk are old enemies I have dealt with before. But the labels are a study in confusion.

Aside from the different brands there is 1% and 2% Reduced Fat Milk. Skin Milk I assume is also reduced fat, but then we have Fat Free Skin Milk. Grade A Vitamin D Milk makes no claim about fat content, I guess this is the full strength stuff.

Then we have Soy Milk? Soy Milk is available in Natural and 100% Lactose Free varieties. Then there is 100% Lactose Free, Fat Free Soy Milk. There is also Soy Milk that claims to be Brain and Bone Health, Brain and Bone Health Reduced Cholesterol 7% and Brain and Bone Health Calcium Enriched. I also found Brain and Bone Health Calcium Enriched Chocolate Milk. Last but not least was Soy Milk Fortified For Kids.

Another brand had reduced fat chocolate milk. What’s the point of reduced fat chocolate milk? Chocolate Milk is a treat, not something a kid, even a 50 year old kid, drinks every day.

I have nothing against selection. It’s just that I don’t know what it all means, and no one in the store I can find seems to either.
Helene solved the milk problem for me. She picked up a carton and said we drink this. That’s what I always get.


  1. So this is why I have to make such detailed shopping lists?

    The wide selection of food products is a conspiracy by the food companies. If you put a fancy name on it...they(we) will buy!

    Hey, pick up a loaf of 7 grain bread the next time you go to the store? The kind with nuts in it and oatmeal sprinkled on the crust?

  2. The food companies just want you to think one type is better(healthy) than another. I started to read labels when Hangman was diagnosed diabetic. You'd be suprised about the content of the supposed "healthy" stuff.

    Mrs. Hang