Buying groceries, a complicated process

Life is getting more complicated. The other day when I was going to town, my wife asked me to pick up a small container of X-brand of margarine.
When I got home with the product, I was informed that I had made two mistakes. One, it was a medium instead of a small and much worse she informed me that I didn’t read. The container said ‘salt free’. You should know that I don’t want salt free.
My wife informs me that buying groceries now is getting very complex in that it is necessary to read the label on everything you buy.
It is almost mind boggling the number of things you now have to be aware of when you go grocery shopping.
You will have two or three choices when you are buying anything that has been processed.  Some of the things you have to watch for are fat free, salt free, gluten free, caffeine free, sugar free, low calorie, and organic, just to name the ones that come to mind.
To make matters much worse the labeling on many of the containers is so small that you need a magnifying glass to read what it says. To further confuse you, some of these labels use different terminology to describe the ingredient.
Sugar is a good example.  One of my sons has eliminated eating almost everything that has sugar in it.
For him, it has worked because he has lost the excess weight he was concerned about. It is known the obesity problem prevalent in our society today is largely due to over consumption of sugar.
The problem with trying to reduce your sugar consumption however is that sugar is one of the first three ingredients in most food products on the shelf.
To further complicate the matter, there are at least a dozen different sources of sugar and at least 61 different names on grocery labels denoting sugar.
Some examples of sugar sources are: cane sugar, beet sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, rice malt syrup and honey.
Some of the names listed on food labels are dextrose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltodextrin and then there are other words like diglycerides and disaccharides.
These are words that no ordinary person would recognize as being associated with sugar, so much of the labeling is useless, unless you educate yourself regarding their meaning.
People that have allergies really have to be careful to make sure the product they are buying does not have an ingredient to which they will react.
I heard of a person who started having some health problems and discovered that she developed an allergy to garlic. She was surprised to realize that all except one brand of mayonnaise has garlic in it.
The regulatory bureaucrats who control what is put on labels think as long as it is on the label, that is the end of their responsibility.
These regulators haven’t the common sense to figure out that if the consumer can’t read the label due to size of printing or understanding what a word means, the label is useless.
You know this matter of shopping for groceries is just one example of how complicated our society has become.
For old dinosaurs like me, some of this stuff becomes somewhat overwhelming. Oh, for the good old days!
I can remember going to the store when sugar and flour were sold in cloth sacks, syrup and lard were in cans with removable lids and pickles were in a barrel.
Fruits and vegetables were in tin cans and what was in the can was in the can and you didn’t worry about salt free, fat free, etc.
While it is definitely nice to have choices when grocery shopping, it certainly has become a complicated process.

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