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MailTribune.com
  • Decisions, decisions: clean-up on Aisle 5

  • I hate to grocery shop. When I grew up, my parents owned a grocery store, so I had no connection to cruising the aisles to shop. I didn't realize how lucky I was. Shopping for food and household goods today has become so complicated.
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  • I hate to grocery shop. When I grew up, my parents owned a grocery store, so I had no connection to cruising the aisles to shop. I didn't realize how lucky I was. Shopping for food and household goods today has become so complicated.
    It used to be a grab-n-go activity. Go to the toothpaste row, grab the tube and move on. Not anymore. Now one has options: whitening, total, sensitive, cavity protection, smart foam. What is smart foam anyway? How smart can foam be? Fifteen minutes later, you choose, hoping you are not short-changing your teeth.
    And what about tissues? Cool touch, ultra soft, anti-viral, aloe, decorative. How must I treat my nose? Is it that important that the tissue is cool to the touch? If I am about to expel a sneeze of magnitude, I am interested in strength, not aloe or whether the coolness of the Kleenex can withstand the force I am about to spew forth.
    The other day I stood in the peanut-butter aisle, perplexed. Luckily, one of the workers came by. I asked her the difference between "natural" peanut butter and organic. She compared the labels with me, and then suddenly pointed to a shelf above us and said, "This is what many people buy who are seeking healthy alternatives."
    Perched on the shelf sat a grinder loaded with real peanuts. Just a push of the handle and out came peanut butter with no additives. She dashed to retrieve a spoon and allowed me a taste. Pure joy! It was lovely. Our forefathers probably already knew this before the factories exploded with canned and packaged goods.
    Here is another one to chew on (pun intended). Having leftover corned beef, my husband and I craved a corned beef sandwich on rye. A quick run to the store for a loaf of rye befuddled us yet again: deli rye, dill rye, Russian rye, dark rye. I aged as we tried to make that all-important decision.
    I like to pride myself on healthful breakfast choices. Anybody from a Third World country could no doubt be overwhelmed scanning the cereal choices. It used to be a box of Cheerios, a box of Wheaties, touting an image of a popular athlete, or a box of snap, crackle and pop Rice Krispies. Now one could quite possibly acquire "tennis-tournament-neck-strain" from gawking at the cereal on both sides on the aisle. Chocolate Cheerios — isn't that like eating candy? Those cereals are loaded with fructose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and other sugars, along with many ingredients composed of 15 letters or more. Health food guru pundits tell us that for a nutritious cereal choice, steel-cut oats are the best option anyway. So forget about the cereal aisle. Go to the health food section, grab the bag of steel-cut oats. The directions say take a cup of oats, add water, cook and stir occasionally. That puts the simple back into grocery shopping!
    Judy Entinger lives in Medford.
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