I’m old enough to remember health food stores in the 1960’s. There was very little processed food in those little stores and the bins were filled with things like beans, nuts and whole grains.
Now, in the middle of the 20-teens, my local health food store still has a row of bins but a third of them (I counted and did the math) contain candy. But that’s not all. There’s a half an aisle in the store with nothing but candy, plus the other half of that aisle is stocked with cookies. This is in a store with only four aisles. So far, that’s a third of the bins and a quarter of the aisles dedicated to candy or sweet pastries.
But let’s not forget the cereal aisle. Since I routinely read all the labels looking for cereal free of sugar I can attest that all the cold cereals, except one, contain evaporated cane juice (sugar by another name) or sugar as sugar.
But that’s not all. Just in case you missed your opportunity to get your sugar fix, there are also candies available at the check out stand.
So the only “health food” store in my town uses about a third (rough estimate) of their rather small space to sell sugar. The other two-thirds is not all food either, as they carry pet items and cleaning products. But I can’t really fault them. They wouldn’t carry candy etc. if it didn’t sell. But clearly it does as this store has been in business for years now with this same ratio of products.
What are we thinking; that candy is the latest health food? People are eating organic produce, grass-fed meat or are following a vegetarian or raw foods or vegan diet and consuming enough sugar to support a health food store stocking sugar as a third of its inventory.
And just in case you want to blame it on the people who don’t care about organic. They can get their candy along with standard American processed foods at the large chain grocery store here in town. They’re not buying the health food store candy. It’s too expensive. (The main reason I hear for not eating organic.) So I’m figuring it’s the health conscious who are eating all that sugar.
Now having a sweet as a wee treat now and then is fine as far as I’m concerned. But honestly, a third of the total products in a health food store are candy and other sugar containing items? No wonder the USA continues to experience an ongoing epidemic of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
How much candy is in your local health food store? Check it out. Bring your calculator.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to be a substitute for personal, professional, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.