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Posts Tagged ‘moms’

We’ve all witnessed that scene. A mom, obviously not rich, waiting in line with her brood, at the checkout counter, her shopping cart overflowing with bottled water and sodas. Inspired by that image, I decided to take a look at some hard Nielsen data on U.S grocery sales, and came across some rather stunning numbers:

Mom Does Not Always Know Best
La Marguerite Blog Compilation

Add it all up, and you’ve got the majority of households spending between a fourth and a third of their grocery budget on junk, and empty calories. That’s a lot of money, that could be used on other more nutritious groceries such as milk, fruit, vegetable, meat, and other non processed food. It’s also wasted precious dollars in increasingly dire economic times.

There are plenty of reasons why women – the primary grocery shoppers – persist with such deplorable spending habits. Ten, according to a recent report from US News & World Report, ‘10 Things the Food Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know’:

  1. Junk food makers spend billions advertising unhealthy foods to kids
  2. The studies that food producers support tend to minimize health concerns associated with their products
  3. Junk food makers donate large sums of money to professional nutrition associations
  4. More processing means more profits, but typically makes the food less healthy
  5. Less-processed foods are generally more satiating than their highly processed counterparts
  6. Many supposedly healthy replacement foods are hardly healthier than the foods they replace
  7. A health claim on the label doesn’t necessarily make a food healthy
  8. Food industry pressure has made nutritional guidelines confusing
  9. The food industry funds front groups that fight antiobesity public health initiatives
  10. The food industry works aggressively to discredit its critics

Will the stores take the relay and act as advocates for the shoppers? According to another study, this one from Bishop Consulting, ‘In-Store Nutritionists Will Be as Commonplace as Pharmacists within Ten Years‘, some encouraging trends are taking place in grocery retail, along with initiatives from some manufacturers.

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Every month I participate in a Green Moms Blogging Carnival. This time, we are to blog about the commercialization of holidays. At first, I thought of recycling the Halloween post I wrote for Groovy Green last year. That would have been too easy, and also I have a subversive idea I want to put out to all green mommy bloggers during this holiday season.

I have played before with the “Green Drop” idea, a green twist on artist Ryan Watkins-Hughes‘ original shopdrop concept:

shopdrop: to covertly place merchandise on display in a store; a form of “culture jamming”, reverse shoplift.

For the “Mommy Green Drop” Initiative we will only shopdrop green things. Imagine for instance, going to a Target store before Halloween, and taping subversive flyers on the back of items in the costume section. These would be flyers you would have prepared ahead of time and brought with you into the store. Or you could create almost identical replica of costumes sold in the store, with your own ¬†green twist of course! Part of the fun, is performing the shopdropping unnoticed, while documenting with your camera – video or still -, and then reporting in your blog. There are no limits to what you can do, really.

To keep track of your participation in the project, I have created a “greendrop” Twitter account, where you can input your “greendrop” performances, with links to documenting posts in your blog. All you need is to email me for the password. If you do not have a blog, you can upload your videos on YouTube, or your photos on Flickr, again using the Twitter account as a central log.

I am feeling excited just writing about this project. If enough of us get involved, we can create a big green ripple in the holiday shopping frenzy.

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