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You Had Me At Raspberries

Polly Pitchford - Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Anybody who knows me knows that I don't get my feathers ruffled too easily.  I have a bit of a curse in that regard.  I try to see the perspective from the other person's point of view before I get mad.  So often, it leaves me on the fence.  Not agreeing, but not irate either.  But not this time.  I am pissed.  I'm pissed at the deep pockets of the food industry for keeping us from getting back to eating healthy.  Here's what incited my inner riot: 

 A rare Sunday off from work inspired me to purchase the Sunday edition of our local newspaper, the biggest circulation day, I think.  Tropical storm Debby was dumping buckets of much needed raindrops all around in my hometown of Sarasota, FL, the coffee was almost done brewing, kittens fed and I made the short journey to my corner store to  pick up the Sunday edition.  Ah, life is good.  

It seemed to be getting better!  Adhered to the top margin of the front page was peel-off coupon that read:  "At Season's Peak: Berries are here!"  As I peeled it off I got more excited as I read: "Berries are at their plump and juicy best for a limited time.  Hurry in today!"  Well, I know this to be true because I've heralded buying fruit in it's peak season for decades.  "$1.00 off the purchase of 1 package of Blueberries, Blackberries, or Raspberries."  Oh hallelujah! Oh heaven!  I can't believe this big box grocery store is offering such a great incentive to buy antioxidant-rich berries in peak season!!!  But there's more...This fold- out coupon described each berry and its unique benefits to our health like: "good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C, an antioxidant.  Further explaining that they contain folic acid, ellagic acid, and bacterial inhibitors. Oh, and they're delicious."  Whaaat??  Have I just stepped into another dimension???

OK, so with all of this cheerleading of each berry I was beginning to think that this advertising to the general public was too good to be true.  Had we really turned a corner and were promoting healthy foods????

And then I read the small print: "Coupon good with each purchase of One (1) Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme, 7 oz. jar"

There it is.  That's where my happy bubble burst and my anger seeped in.  5 fold out sections of a coupon dedicated to the antioxidant and folic acid content of these natural beauties but you can only use the coupon if you purchase a jar of sugar and chemicals???  The likes of which will far out-damage the positive effects that any of the berries' antioxidants could heal???

So of course I didn't use the coupon to get a carton of delicious in-season berries because even if I DID purchase the jar of Marshmallow sugar and chemicals A) I wouldn't use it, B) I wouldn't give it to anybody to poison their bodies and C) I wouldn't just throw it away to add to the toxic amount of plastic wast on our suffocating planet!  Aaarrrgggghhhh!!!  

I get so discouraged for our children in times like these.  And then I remember that grass root efforts are the foundation for major change and so I blog about it, and I tell my children about it and keep bringing it up to anyone who seems interested.

Eat fresh berries in season (and that goes for all fruits).  Don't eat marshmallow fluff.  Amen.


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