What does your grocery list say about you?

I haven’t written much in a while. It’s time to get back into it as I continue to learn. It’s amazing how your perception changes as you learn and you start to pick up on subtleties that were previously overlooked.

I’ve heard that you can learn a lot about someone by sifting through their trash. Police officers and lawyers looking for evidence do it. Once something is in the trash it’s fair game. I suppose it’s true. You can see what someone once possessed and what they decided to throw away. How much did they use and how much did they waste? How expensive was this stuff? That’s all well and good, but I’ll pass. Food alone tells enough of a story before it becomes garbage.

While waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store I found it striking that people are equally exposed and perhaps even more so when buying their groceries. All of your consumables are laid out on a conveyor belt for the world to see. Mother’s expose snack foods and cereals for their children, the health conscious display a variety of healthy food items, and those secretly looking to diet are openly displaying their intent for anyone who cares to notice. We vote with our wallets choosing items that are organic and those that are safer for the environment or sometimes we just choose what is least expensive. Some buy fresh food to cook while others buy processed food nearly ready to eat out of the package.

The checkout line is a combination of a display of promise and dreams mixed with practicality. Our needs and values are laid out and neatly packed away in bags ready to take home with us. One does not have to sift through trash to gain an understanding of those next to them. We can infer income level, culture, dietary needs, cooking talent and much more. The story is much more than we ever realize when looking at a plate on the table.

My story has evolved over the past year and week by week has unfolded in front of complete strangers standing in line as we shop. Do they notice? Do they care? Probably not and yet I can see a difference comparing who I was to who I am.

Each time I’m in the checkout line I’ll keep telling my story just as I always have.

Buen provecho.

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  1. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who notices these things. I’m often astonished to see just how popular so many processed foods are and who buys what!

  2. Funny — I always check out what people are buying at the grocery store. What’s even funnier is if I feel embarrassed thinking people have noticed if I’ve splurged on “junk food”

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