I’m not sure where most of you live, but if you live in a medium to large city, have you ever stopped to consider how lucky we are?  This will relate to weight loss in a minute, stick with me.

I’m sitting here eating the sweetest navel orange I have ever layed lips on.  And it got me to thinking about choice and variety.  I spent the first 10 years of my life growing up in a really small town.  There were two supermarkets.  Neither large enough to be considered a grocery store like we know them today.  (This same town today has only one left)  My dad still lives there and I have been forced to ‘shop’ in this store about once a year.  When I go shopping where I live now, the variety can be almost overwhelming.  The oranges, for instance.  I had the choice between navel, mandarine, blood and tangerine.  In this little town with its little supermarket, when you have ‘oranges’ on your list, you get whatever they have, good, bad or otherwise.  The town is 2 hours outside of the next major city, which itself has less than 80,000 people, so you get whatever they got.  The produce isn’t fresh and there isn’t enough of a market for specialty items.  

And so my sweet orange got me to thinking about how hard it would be to follow a healthier eating plan in a small, restricted community like that.  I found that the small town store catered to the lowest common denominator, having all the popular chips and candy and ‘fast food’ you can eat.  But the things like the Urban Wafers (see Penguin Reviews) or the beautiful, juicy kiwis, or the vast variety of yogurt (sorry Tarable), or the 1-point chocolate puddings just aren’t there.  Meat prices are exorbitant (if you can even get past the appearance), produce is sad and choice isn’t really an option.  And it is all overpriced.

So the next time you go to the grocery store and pick up your marinated chicken filets and specialty soy beverage, or you zip over to the farm market and get some fresh green beans and the week’s worth of fruit for a very small sum, consider how much easier this all is with the huge amount of choice you have.  Consider for a moment that there are folks who don’t have a giant grocery store and various ethnic markets every 15 blocks.  And then make the choices that you couldn’t make in a small town. 

(new recipe added on the left)


  1. Tarable said,

    October 11, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Coming from a very small town (pop.4000 – which coincidentally happens to be about 45 minutes from the one you grew up in) I am thankful every single time I walk into one of our grocery stores and see the vast variety. It really is unbelievable what is passed off as “fresh produce” in those small towns (not even talking about prices).

    In fact I often purchase things that I don’t need or way more than I need. I think the thought of not knowing where my next fresh green bean is going to come from is so ingrained in my head that I sometimes over do it when shopping. Like, I may never get these fresh green beans EVER again so I need to buy 18 pounds of them.

    In fact, I think that you and I may have talked about this once before and we agreed that the produce that is for sale in these small town stores looks like it was picked in Chile and then DRAGGED behind the produce truck for the 3 months that it takes to drive the stuff to the stores in the small town.

  2. Lady Shanny said,

    October 11, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    OMG! I just about peed myself laughing! It’s so true though. Not to mention that the store in my tiny town always smelled like a mixture of rancid meat, rotten brocoli and freezer burn. Nice! Let’s go shopping!

  3. lost said,

    October 12, 2007 at 1:09 am

    SO true. i grew up in a fairly big town in germany and never really had to think about the variety offered. the thing i had to watch was the money though. which sadly also makes it more difficult to eat healthy – let alone follow ww – because the cheaper stores often don’t offer the low-fat variety of food… luckily a) i’m not as tight financially as i used to be while going to school and more and b) more and more cheap stores [like ALDI for example] add low-fat foods to their shelves 😉

  4. willamina said,

    October 12, 2007 at 8:09 am

    Where I live (Austin, TX) there are a bunch of hippies and hipsters who like their organic and exotic food, which amounts to good (if not particularly cheap) access to obscure supermarket items.

  5. October 13, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, nearest grocery story was 20 minutes away. A HUGE treat would be the case of navel oranges Dad would order every year, ripe and fresh from Florida in January. Of course in the summer we had a garden with a lot of variety and would trade with neighbors. I hated spinach and peas because I had only tried the canned variety. Now I live in Florida and while everything is abundant, its only in the past few years that organic produce has been available in my local grocery store. I really got spoiled by the freshness and abundance of organic choices while living in the UK, it was a shock for my husband when we first moved here to adjust and adapt. Produce was also a lot less expensive in the UK compared to Florida. Of course nothing is as sweet as walking into my back yard and plucking a fresh oranges and lemons from the tree. If only they grew year round.

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