The Stranger In the Store

Sometimes while shopping, I'll see or hear someone in the aisle or at the counter.  I'll wonder where they came from and why they are in the store.

I'll watch the stuff that they buy.  Have you noticed that those who appear less advantaged or those who use food stamps load up on cigarettes, beer, fast entrees and pastries.

I do not feel alone. I feel like that person's mind-set, whatever it is, has an impact on me and vice versa.

I want to stop them and demonstrate that they will come out ahead by buying fresh fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs, whole grain cereal and bread.

It will be cheaper and more healthful.  

The cheapest, most complete, and most healthful protein out there, is the white of an egg.

It is also VERY VERSATILE and adds flavor and nutrition to anything.

The poor seem to value meat as a prize and spend their small income on it.  It is often delicious, and carries good quality protein, but compared to an egg white, is a lot more expensive and carries a lot more fat.

If they used egg white a few times a week, they would have money for their baby diapers or formula.

If they stopped smoking, they could actually save approx. 4-5 hundred dollars a year.

I fear that the lower income person's mind often makes unconscious choices that perpetuate his problems.

Because of poor diet habits, they will suffer more illnesses. Because they are unable to afford health care, they are not treated UNTIL THEY HIT THE EMERGENCY ROOM.

IF THEY ATE AS I PRESCRIBED ABOVE, THEY WOULD BE HEALTHIER AND WOULD NOT NEED AS MUCH HEALTH CARE.

Major Emergency Rooms have shut down over the past 5 years.

Recent stats show this is largely due to the un insured migrants, immigrants, and American poor who get free treatment since they have no insurance. Added to this cost, are the thousands who suffer from lung diseases and cancer due to smoking and smog.  When HIV was rapidly spreading, the prediction was that the healt care system would fail due to inability to financially care for all those disabled by HIV. Now the concern has shifted to the increase in those who are disabled by Lung cancer, COPD and ASTHMA.

This affects all of us.  We have less places in which to receive care. We have to travel further to get to an E.R., and when we get to the E.R., it is over crowded, and the nurses and doctors are very tired.

Al Gore, tried to tell us something about our choices and the environment.

Nurses and Doctors need to make a film that showssomething about the individual, and his choices, that are affecting our ability to have good health care for each citizen.

Those of us who make good choices that get us into a state where we can work effectively in society, are being punished for being good.  We end up paying the high health premiums so that hospitals can at least stay in business.

It is not easy to go to school. But it can be done by most anyone. It is not easy to stay at home while completing college during your early twenties. You rather establish your INDEPENDENCE. In the late teens and twenties the biological hormonal rage only wants to procreate.  That urge does not instill a desire to build for the future. It is not easy to keep your shorts or panties on and NOT CREATE a BABY at age 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18. But if everyone kept their goal, instead of their private parts, in command, we would have less poor parents that perpetuate more poor kids.

I watch those who have a better income shop.  Few are buying cigarettes and beer.  They usually have some vegetables and fruits in the stack. Several buy those cards at the counter that help to feed the hungry.

There is an old adage: "It is better to give than to receive".  I imagine this can mean that a planned life, one that meets challenges and overcomes more often than not, is in a position to help others.

I just wonder, when I am physically alone, and can remember that my choices affect others, how many of us are happy to be free loaders.  

 

 

Radiant Radiant
56-60, F
22 Responses Mar 26, 2007

Yeah, you are right. I am intelligent, educated, and very picky about who will be my friends. My friends are picky about who their friends are. It works out. I am also one who generally cares for everyone, and when I know that I have a piece of information from which another may gain, I share it. <br />
I have no need to spy. Witness how FEW entries I make here. <br />
<br />
You have guts and lay into people who have in some way offended you. You must be from the "fighting Irish" or some such similar group accustomed to being upset and angry as a way of life. <br />
<br />
How is that working for you? <br />
<br />
Radiant

I can understand why you posted this under "I am lonely." You are so judgmental, no one would be good enough for you, or intelligent enough. You are so lonely you are spying on people in public. Very sad.

So, I am sitting here after eating a vegeburger, fresh fruit and a chocolatechip cookie. What does that mean?<br />
<br />
That I happened to have these things in my cupboard!<br />
Ha ha, <br />
<br />
R

Idispair, <br />
<br />
It seems you worked very hard to get your kids taken care of and earn your education. During that time you necessarily were in poverty. Looking back on it, you can happily say, that for the most part, you made good financial decisions in regard to spending for those<br />
things that promoted safety and good health.<br />
It was in your favor that you CHOSE not to buy junk food with your little income. <br />
<br />
You shared here that there are many things that made it difficult for you to do the right thing and that coming out of dependancy to well fare is very difficult. <br />
<br />
What you have shared is very important to our collective understanding about why certain groups (in your case a time of being in the poverty group) are seen spending in similar ways.<br />
<br />
When you think about it, there must have been a girlfriend or some other mom who was also a student.<br />
<br />
And that person had learned how to get around some of the social and economic issues. She probobly thought a lot like you and bought similar items at the same places where you shopped. When you think about it <br />
your similar financial situations led you to do similar activities and buy similar stuff. <br />
<br />
Those who gather consumer statistics soon learn to distinguish groups of consumers because buyers tend to have identifying characteristics according to their economic level.<br />
<br />
It siimply works that way, like 6 plus 4 puts you into the 10's place. <br />
<br />
So, please do not take me to task because I mention that the poor, who I observed, tended to buy more of certain items. It simply happened. <br />
<br />
You can be positive about your poverty experience because you can understand the problems of people living the experience now. <br />
<br />
You can put your experience to use by helping us in EP learn. Maybe you will find ( if not already) a community project. <br />
<br />
Good luck and thanks for your story.<br />
<br />
R

That sounds a lot better than your first one, which was jumping down the throat of the one who posted, maybe your conscience got to you, which is a good thing!!

Hi Idispair, <br />
<br />
I think this writing session is taking a life of its own with each individual reading into what I wrote according to their experience, and then taking me to task because I have not portrayed things the way that they personally have experienced their time of poverty.<br />
<br />
My entire premise is that people make choices when they shop. <br />
<br />
Who can disagree with that?<br />
<br />
The next sub premise is that there is a difference in the choices according to economic ability, AS WELL AS the person's understanding, AS WELL AS their taste, AS WELL AS their vices.<br />
<br />
In subsequent writings to EP friends it shows my intention is to respond to these problems, perhaps by dialogue and figuring out how to make interventions at the family level, state level and national level. Also in response to one EP friend, who suggested we begin with the children, I agreed. <br />
<br />
My education with the team of doctors taught me merely to observe shoppers and learn what may be causing them to buy what they buy.<br />
<br />
And to find out if certain groups of people bought simlar things. <br />
<br />
If my experience does not match up with yours, so be it. <br />
<br />
I am not here to argue or to prove a point.<br />
<br />
As an important aside:<br />
<br />
In the year 1982, I arrived in the U.S. I had 9 and 5 year old girls and only 3,000 dollars, AFTER 8 years living in Japan. <br />
<br />
I had no recent work history, no driver's license, no bank account, and had not paid taxes here.<br />
<br />
You try getting a job under these circumstances and taking care of your kids in a day care and walking to work and walking to pick up your kids.<br />
<br />
We had NO furniture, only a few pillows and blankets and dishes and pots and pans. We had a couple outfits to wear for each of us.<br />
<br />
We ate fresh fruit, brown rice, oatmeal, beans, milk and eggs and were healthy. <br />
<br />
Our electricity was never shut off but our water was.<br />
<br />
Three years after arriving, I had regular full time work.<br />
<br />
Food stamps were denied because I worked just enough, assistance with day care was denied after about three months, and I needed surgery but had no health care. <br />
<br />
10 months after having full timne work, I had the surgery. Until then, due to over bleeding vaginally, I was tired, pale, cold and in pain, but I ate the fruit and whole grains and took additional iron by pills. In this way, I managed to barely have a high enough hemaglobin to live until the surgery. <br />
<br />
I was lucky, NOT BECAUSE I "HAVE NEVER BEEN IN THAT SITUATION." I was lucky because I was smart and knew what to do, and I was lucky because I did not sit around being sorry for myself. I was lucky because I did not wait for a hand out. I was lucky because I had kids to love and keep me motivated to push myself. I was lucky because I did not consider kids a burden but only a blessing. I was lucky because good people saw my condition and offered to help in little ways now and then and just in time. I was lucky because during all of this, I was happy to be free, and in a land where I could work it out. I more than survived, I thrived and developed during my poverty.<br />
<br />
Now that I am not in poverty, I APPRECIATE EVERYTHING that I have, and everything that I went through.

I think your making too many uninformed judgements....<br />
I was on welfare for a very long time as I was a single parent.............I worked went to university and tried my best to raise my children with good values. I lived in public housing in a low socio economic area...I hated it!<br />
I was a victim of circumstances....my childrens father did everything he could to keep me poor and destitute...forunatly for me a met a lovely man who helped me get out of that situation......I am no longer on welfare and I am out of that hell hole....<br />
The poor and vulnerable are marganilised by society..you will find that they are over represented in regards to mental health............<br />
At times I did not have any money to buy food, pay bills and many times I had my phone cut off as well as electricity and gas...............I smoke to releviate my stress and anxiety..............<br />
Its very hard to break welfare dependancy.......especially if you live in a high dependency welfare area.........high crime, social dysfunction etc...............<br />
I never had money to purchase junk food alcohol etc....we lived off stir fries, rice, cheap cuts of meat, oats........<br />
Arnt youlucky that you have never been in that situation.

It is so true that not all poor get envolved with the vices that undue thier health balance, and that many echelons of people pick their peculiar set of stress coping devices. <br />
<br />
More money may buy more cigarettes, less money may buy less cigarettes. However, this may not be comletely true because poor can certanly adjust enough to buy as many cigarettes as they want or can get.<br />
<br />
Since we can agree that parents tend, in most cases, to set examples, and therefore often solidify patterns or habits for their children, it logically follows that those who have chosen peculiar coping devices must have a greater chance of sending those coping devices through their children down to the next generaion and so on. <br />
<br />
The type of food that is prepared for children more often then not becomes imprinted on the taste of the children.<br />
<br />
Then there are feeling attached to the food. Feelings of revulsion, feelings of comfort, feelings of good times and celebration, feelings of being loved, feeling of being forced, feelings of manipulation. Food can become a form of willful battleground and etc. <br />
<br />
A child may have a personality that rejects some things provide by parents, but they ALWAYS take up a few things, wether good or not so good. <br />
<br />
You have hit the nail on the head by showing that it is not JUST the POOR who make "poor" decisions. And the suggestion that we can do our best effort by getting envolved with the dietary problems of youth is very insightful.<br />
<br />
We need to have dialogue like this with parents as well. <br />
<br />
They need reliable facts and emotional support as well as direction on ways to fulfill better goals. <br />
<br />
What I envision is somethng like a whole family, whole community, and whole national, intervention in the area of balanced eating. <br />
<br />
R

Nobody liked Michelle Obama's way of trying to make children adjust to her way of thinking about the food they eat.So, bypass that way please?

I think your best bet is to get involved with the youth of the world and offer them plenty of healthy food choices.

Along with several years of teaching on the same subject.

It is true that if people ate healthier the health care costs would dramatically decrease--I agree with you on that. However, it is not fair to assume that most of the poor buy cigarettes and alcohol. First, persons with highly stressful jobs tend to develop addictions to cope with it. I am personally addicted to coffee. There are several people that I have met studying for the MCAT who are smokers. Several other people that work for trauma units are also smokers and drink alcohol. My friend is a Chemist and his thesis involves some cigarette chemical and it's effect on the liver...and I always find him smoking outside the chemistry building at the same time. Unfortunately, the good tasting food is cheap and the healthier food tends to be more expensive. Obesity is a problem in America at all levels but it is a bit worse for the poor. If your parents raise you to eat a certain way you tend to develop a preference for certain foods. My parents are carnivores and for some reason they were never able to get me into eating beef or pork. I love things that they just hate....like sushi. So I do understand that it's not just a nurture argument, but there is something about ones nature---some of us are just born with it. I believe that healthier food should be made cheaper, and that greasy heart stopping foods should be made expensive....

I am not sure that is an answer, I think teaching the younger children about healthy eating is the key!!

Maybe they will throw in a Ben and Gerry's Peach Pie Icecream or two!!!<br />
<br />
R

Beware there is a angry mob of junkfood junkies headed youre way. They have a rope. Flee... Run wile you can.... This is not a popular topic Lol <br />
Ru Radiant run...Flee for your life! Lol You wil be attacked with hohos and hostess cream filled cupcakes.

Well, I wonder which sentence of mine said anything about body type, Image or the need to be either thin or fat.<br />
<br />
My entire writing was only about finding balance in eating food so that you can find better health.<br />
<br />
HEALTH does not carry the connotation of image or of size, or of thin or fat.<br />
<br />
Queen latiffa, Opra, Cindy Crawford (to name a few) are the ones who have gone to Nutrasystem to learn how to make balanced choices. They lost weight due to balance, and not due to starvation, and not due to feelings of inferiority. ALL of them have stated for the record that they ate better to become HEATHY.<br />
<br />
Queen Latifa makes a point of it in her latest commercial, when she says, "... you can become ...size healthy..."<br />
<br />
Health in merely full capacity to do one's daily activity, without the ramifications of disease. <br />
<br />
And that, my friend, has nothing to do with image.<br />
<br />
R

And all three of them are adults, with plenty of income to do as they please, and celebreties, to whom size is everything.

OK...Maybe that truly works for you. But personally I think you have been watcing too much TV, and reading too many fashion magazines. My grandfather is 85yrs old and is still very physically able and sharp as a tack. He has always eaten what he wanted and never formally exercised. He simply does his work that needs to be done, and thats that. You simply are what you are, no more, no less. Just by saying things like that you give people image problems, and insecurities. If it is such a big part of life why didn't they teach me that in school, where they serve pizza, chocolate milk and chocolate chip cookies. Why did noone I ever saw growing up worry about this. I never even heard of this crap till I was 21 years old, from TV comercials of course. I think it should be banned. I wish I had have known all of this when I was a street kid, a smoker, a drug addict, and a gang member getting covered in tattoos. Where were all those people concerned about my health then. If all of that is true, I hope I die tonight in my sleep so I can rid myself of this abomination. What a way to live right, count those calories, watch your fat intake, by the way do you eat enough fiber, get outta here. Its funny when I eat something that is so-called loaded with fat, I dont get fat from it. lol. Did you know that if you curl your toes for 3 incraments of 12 twice daily, five days a week for three months you can gain up two 3 shoe sizes. PLEASE. Im not gonna post any more on this topic. I have my opinion and you have yours, but I am living proof, that you are wrong.

High amounts of exercise is the ONE thing that can off set a miserable diet considerably.<br />
<br />
However, over approximately 20 years of miseraboe diet EVEN WITH high amounts of exercise will still make in roads to bring down your health.<br />
<br />
Fatty deposits from high fat in the foods, can make for high blood pressure, peripheral vascular disease and heart bloodvessel disease that leads to heart attack or Congestive Heart Failure.<br />
<br />
High salt content causes deterioration of the lining within the blood vessesl which leads to more peripheral vascular disease and higher bloodpressure and some kidney breakdown.<br />
<br />
BALANCE is the answer.<br />
<br />
Eat salty stuff now and then but the rest of the time keep the salt normal.<br />
<br />
Eat fatty stuff now and then but the rst of the tinme keep fat content normal. <br />
<br />
The PROBLEM with a lot of people is that THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN TAUGHT WHAT NORMAL IS. <br />
<br />
THEY JUST EAT.<br />
<br />
Like you do. <br />
<br />
It kicks them all in the butt later.<br />
<br />
R

I had to get in on this just to talk about your dietary flim flam. Its all a bunch of BS and you all have to be the most miserable people on earth. I trained in Martial Arts my whole life, until a couple of years ago. I was always Top Student, and am a certified Muay Thai instructor. I do and have always eaten whatever I wanted. I have done absolutely no exercise in 2 years, In fact I really dont do anything at all, except sit around eating ho ho's. The way my body looks never changes, and Im still as dangerous as I ever was while training. Im sorry, you are delusional, and are wasting your time. And you can take that one to the bank.

We can always choose which vice to use for an early death.<br />
<br />
I just wish that I could be divorced from the ramifications of the choices that others make. <br />
<br />
R

lol Puck!!!

Little Debbies...those are good in a pinch, or when you can't afford the supreme diabetes...you are right, though. We do need to live, and sometimes to do that, we need sugar.

Yikes! I gather you're not a liberal democrat. Come on, live a little. Have you some "Little Debbies" and RC!!!

My personal observation and theory is: Cigarettes and alcohol are "rewards" for virtual slavery - they keep many people going to work because they get enslaved to these items. Some get so into alcohol they can no longer work - but cigarettes aren't as apparent as to the damage they do to us until later in life. <br />
<br />
I agree with Radiant. Our medical system is statistically known to be way behind other industrialized nations. Our doctors are not taught nutrition in medical school. They are taught "bandaid" medicine. Match a pill to a symptom - it doesn't effect a cure though. That makes for better practices and more money. If you put regular gas in a car that requires premium gas - the car doesn't run as well and the engine goes kapoot sooner. When we put foods into our bodies that do not have much food value - it's like regular gas. Our bodies go kapoot sooner and require pharmaceutical bandaids. Our pharmaceutical industry is probably the most powerful industry in America right now. If it isn't - it sure does govern a big portion of many lives. Nutrition classes need to be started in grade school to give children a better picture of being able to lead a better life. Yesterday I saw an instance of "learning at a young age". The mother of a 4 year old who has ADHD bought the child a snack from a vending machine. She didn't buy candy but did get the child "fruit snacks" which is candy in disguise as far as I'm concerned. If she had read the label, she would have found a lot of sugar in these fruit snacks. She was working with the knowledge she had though.

Hi, thank you for the comment. You are right about one thing, it seems absurd that a person can come up with all this just by "looking" at one person or even several persons. <br />
<br />
My intent was only to describe how I felt at times when I go shopping. I highight the word "I".<br />
<br />
I am a little unique in that I do know some of the ear marks of poverty and can do a fair job of noticing the poor but it is due to years of training and interviewing people as they shop. <br />
<br />
Actually, I did make the personal observations over approximately 40 years of shopoping. In fact, several of the items that are most often bought by the poor, have changed names, and some are no longer in existance. <br />
<br />
There are several books about the very facts that I have displayed here, such as, the kind of diet that would make people more healthy, the expense of eating what Americans "prize", problems in the ability to deliver good health care due to people smoking and eating poorly, and about the choices that people make and why they make them. People with degrees in sociology, psychology, nutrition and doctors of medicine have ALSO been my mentors. <br />
<br />
I was trained to be part of a group of <br />
medical professionals that TAUGHT people how to overcome the very choices that I described above. <br />
<br />
I worked with THREE doctors who gave the lectures, a nurtritionist who <br />
taught about choices and how and why to choose better foods, an economist who could talk about the far reaching effects on society if America continued to eat without making better choices, and who taught about the Meat, and Dairy industries and the politics that sustains them. I was the lowly Registered Nurse that talked about the nitty-gritty of coming up with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, respiratory diseases and and their signs and symptoms. I took the medical history from each client and instructed them on their disease processes and their medications and the progressive signs and symptoms that will be comig their way. <br />
<br />
When I wrote the above item, it was from my personal thoughts which are connected to all my experience and training. <br />
<br />
Think about what you buy and why.<br />
I do. I am by no means rich, I am lower middle class as far as income goes. I must make very good choices, if I want to live a healthy life, especialy since the Medicare Retirement Health system and the Social Security Retirement System is projected to be nearly out of money by the time I become 65.<br />
<br />
I HAVE PAID INTO THESE SYSTEMS all my life, as have millions of Americans, BUT WE WILL NOT BENEFIT FROM IT because the funds have been used up by the increase in diseases such as Cardio Pulmonary Disease, Heart Disease, and High Blood Pressure that are linked PRIMARILY TO smoking and high fatty food intake and poor exercise. Also these funds have been used up to cover the medical care and housing of the poor, and aliens...THESE ARE GOVERMENT FACTS.<br />
<br />
What I have written is not meant to up set you or anyone. It comes from my thoughts while shopping and is meant to awaken an interest and cause peole to search and find out how they feel and how their actions apply to the situation. <br />
<br />
Best of life to you, <br />
<br />
R

i cant believe you jst said all this,,<br />
i dont think you can just come up with "fact" about the less fortunate because you went to the store and saw some body who "looked poor" and observed them! wow!!