Walmart recently announced that they will be reducing the sodium, cutting out added trans fats, and reducing added sugars in their store brand packaged foods while asking their suppliers of brand name foods to do the same. They’ve also vowed to sell fresh produce at reduced prices so more people will have access to healthy foods. And they’ve said the reduction in prices on produce will not be passed on to the farmers but absorbed by Walmart, resulting in lower profit margins for them.
This is good news and Walmart needs to be applauded for taking these steps to try to reverse the food trends in this country that have contributed to an astounding rate of obesity and chronic illness. Of course, Mrs. Obama, with her Let’s Move campaign, played a major role in “convincing” them to undertake these measures. She must have been very persuasive.
Some of the reasons people love to hate Walmart is that they have been known to choke their suppliers, small local shopkeepers who can’t compete on price, and their own employees. So regardless of these new initiatives, I will still refuse to enter a Walmart store. But not just for those three issues. The whole idea of Walmart in their role as the primary force behind commercialism and over-consumption in this country makes them entirely objectionable to me. There has been an insatiable appetite in the U.S. for more plastic toys and housewares, more cheap, nutritionally devoid manufactured foods, more electronic paraphernalia – more of everything. When people have more “stuff” than they need and if it was acquired cheaply, they have little respect when the stuff no longer holds any allure, or breaks. Then where does it go? It goes into the garbage. And where does the garbage go? You should know, you should care. Our environment is becoming more and more toxic and certainly a large portion of the problem is what to do with all the discarded stuff. To see a great video about over-consumption and the problems it causes go to: http://1degreetv.com/1degree/2010/12/the-story-of-stuff/
I hope the lousy economy of the last 2 years was enough to wake people up. Over-consumption, credit card debt, mortgages that people can’t afford – we have an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past. Going back there should not be an option. When a store, like Walmart, promises huge savings, one really must question what they are saving. You don’t save anything if you spend money on things you don’t need, no matter how cheap they are. You save money when you don’t buy, buy, buy but instead put that money into savings. The days of putting aside some money in the sugar bowl seem unheard of today. But my mother-in-law put a down payment on a house with her sugar bowl savings in 1953. Let’s re-gain our values. Let’s live with less stuff. An economy based on consumption is a house of cards.
Filed under: Food, Food Prices, Healthy Eating, Nutrition | Tagged: Chronic Illness, Commercialism, Economic Issues, Economy, Environment, Food Budget, Food Prices, Health Foods, Junk Food, Let's Move, Michelle Obama, Obesity, Over-Consumption, Packaged Processed Food, Shopping, Stuff, Toxicity, Walmart | Leave a Comment »