Sunday, November 23, 2008

Insanity at the grocery store...

My blog is called "Living WELL with Food Allergies" but maybe I should call it "Putin' on the Ritz"! Because it ain't cheep to feed a family of four, especially when you are buying all organic and hopefully, allergen-free food. We hit Whole Foods today, and yes, I know that this place does not offer any bargains. Forgetting that this was the weekend right before Thanksgiving, I was shocked to discover the madness in the parking lot. Who knew that a mostly organic market could be such a draw in LA? We extracted the kids from the minivan, grabbed a couple of shopping carts and headed off into the abyss. Suddenly I was transported to Fairway Market in NYC... a true dog eat dog, moment. Shopping carts buzzed about. People were grabbing cranberries and green beans as if there were a tornado about to thrash the building and this was their last Thanksgiving on earth. Women fought over the last farm-raised turkey. Men piled bottles of chardonnay into their carts. Even the Vegans got into the act, as they debated the ultimate question, "Is it a yam or a sweet potato?" Through it all we fought. I truly felt like a quarterback, looking for a path to run as people charged at me with their metal carts. And then I found myself in the baking aisle. On a good day, this place is a challenge. Today it was like the SAT all over again, except with two wild, grabby octopi trying their best to pull EVERYTHING off of the shelves. "Can I help you find something?" asked the kind stock boy. "Ever heard of albumen? And if so, do you happen to have it powdered?" and "Where is the defatted soy flour?" oh and, "Can you tell me where you keep the Whey Protein?" All of this so I can make a lousy wheat-free pumpkin pie for my daughter!

And if all this were not enough, I was flabbergasted at the check stand when I was told how much it would cost to buy four bags of groceries... $215.58. REALLY? I looked at my receipt and everything seemed to be accurate. And can you believe that I paid $15 for two bags of pretzels? Yes, they were of the special gluten-free, nut-free, send your kids to the moon variety. But $15? Who knew living so WELL would cost so much?

The good news is that Ella and Milo will have lots of snacks to choose from as we drive up the coast on Thursday. Should I be happy that we are the type of family that cannot simply hit the drive thru and keep on going? I guess. And in the spirit of Thanksgiving I will mention that I am thankful that my kids are healthier than ever, eating pesticide and allergen free. I am also thankful that I am currently employed, as is my husband. Otherwise we might have to join the ranks of so many of our fellow Americans this holiday season... and stay home!

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