This is really a problem in thinking, not an error in shopping! It’s a problem in our modern world that just seems to be getting worse all the time.
People all seem to want so much ‘stuff’ these days. The more ‘stuff’ companies make, and the more advertising and clever marketing they come up with to try to convince us all we need it, the more we believe them, and suddenly we feel like we need all this stuff!
The problem thinking in the past and today
Let me give you an example. 30 years ago you would buy ‘cleaner’ for your house – it was the same product to clean the hob, the sink, the tiles, the floor, the cupboards, the basin, the bath tub, the shower screen, the taps, pretty much every thing. Now, they sell toilet cleaner, tap cleaner, shower screen cleaner, sink cleaner, tile cleaner, grout cleaner, oven cleaner…and it goes on and on! Now we have 25 different bottles of cleaning products where we used to have 1!
The advertisers use the same thing with food
These companies, and their advertisers, have done the same thing with food (think 200 types of breakfast cereal! 75 types of fruit juice drink!) using ingredients and colours and additives. They have done it with clothes and shoes, make-up, shape enhancing underwear, carpets and curtains, cars and holidays – we are drowning in details, in extra’s, in additional expenses!
And suddenly people (all of us, I understand it because I fight to resist all this stuff myself) think we need and must have all this stuff. When I was a kid, we had 1 TV in the house, it was a 24” box with 4 big push buttons (you pushed one in, and the others popped out!) – there were 3 channels and none of them broadcast all night.
About 20% or 30% of what was broadcast was still in black and white (the TV listings in the newspaper used to have a little ‘BW’ logo beside the black and white shows. Remember?) And I thought it was brilliant!
But now, if you don’t have a TV bigger than at least 36” and if you don’t have a flat screen and if you don’t have at least 2 TV’s in your house, that can view at least 300 channels…you are left feeling like you are missing out!
It’s the same all over – now there are 50 times more types of drugs, 50 times more types of shampoo, 50 times more gadgets and accessories for your car, 50 times more types of make-up, 50 times more kids’ toys, consumer electronics, types of restaurant to eat in, and so on and on and on.
The income relation with selling
The point is this – the amount of stuff ‘they’ are trying to sell us, has gone up a lot faster than most people’s income!!
And they try much harder to sell you plasma TV’s and holidays in the sun and new clothes than they do to sell you broccoli and apples. They market new cars and fancy breakfast cereals much harder than they market free range chicken and organic pork.
And sadly, all too often, when people are done buying all the ‘stuff’ they have been pressured into believing they need, the amount left for food is under serious pressure. And so to my point: all too often, that’s why people are raising their children in homes where they have 3 TVs,
they dress in designer clothes, they have a fancy new car on the drive and they enjoy a luxury foreign holiday every year, but they say they “can’t afford to buy organic” fruit and vegetables, they can’t afford pole-and line caught fish, and grass-fed meat is considered an “elitist luxury”. Folks are all good with 400 channels of TV, then they are feeding their kids on “pound shop” quality food.
Maybe a “pound shop” attitude to your food shopping, might lead to “pound shop health” – it’s no secret that poor nutrition and obesity are social ills that affect lower income families far worse than the wealthy.
What is your choice quantity or quality?
Too many people are choosing ‘stuff’ over good health. People are choosing quantity over quality. And in the long term, their health is paying a price. People are buried in consumer debt, stressed over credit card payments. It’s causing marriage friction and work pressure, and everyone says they can’t afford grass-fed meat. They can’t stretch to organic veggies and they won’t shell out to buy Fairtrade organic- cotton clothing, or Fairtrade organic coffee.
It’s all about priorities. Everyone says they want to be healthy, they love their kids and would do ‘anything’ to give them the best,
they care about animal welfare, they all say they want to save the environment and save the planet – yet the reality is,
that far more homes have two or three widescreen TVs than shop for free-range chicken and organic veggies every week.
People are ‘sucked in’ to all this consumerism. It’s not their fault, it’s hardly surprising, because companies spend billions bombarding us with adverts, thousands of them, every day.
The answer is to opt for quality over quantity in all areas of your life:
1: Eat top quality food, opt for organic, opt for pastured meat,
only buy sustainably caught fish, as much as your budget will allow. This is better for you and better for the animals we share this beautiful planet with,
and better for the planet itself.
2: If it means having less ‘variety’ in your kitchen cupboards,
that might be a good thing, it will help discourage over-eating. There are many studies showing longevity benefits among people. They who practice some form of ‘caloric restriction’. Indeed, this is the basis of the presently-popular intermittent fasting (IF) diets.
So, cut back a little, opt for quality over quantity, go hungry from time to time and you’ll get the benefits of while supporting better animal welfare/husbandry. You’ll get leaner and live longer. I never met anyone who over ate kale habitually. However,
Confectionery is a different story.
3: Chemicals – cut most of the chemicals out of your life. Less make-up, fewer of the endless varieties of household cleaning products,
less bottles of cosmetic products – spend your money on organic vegetables instead.
4: Cut back on expensive alcohol, and spend your hard-earned cash on grass fed meat instead.
5: Try your best to resist rampant consumerism,
it will only get worse and worse decade after decade. Cut the ‘stuff’ and spend on your health, invest in yourself and your future.
Invest in your health, and that of those you love. Think about what is best for your children.