Recently I seem to have developed a habit of looking at other peoples' shopping baskets at the checkout. This morning the guy next to me had a bunch of bananas, sliced ham, spinach, a packet of mixed nuts and box of blueberries. I was tempted to ask "Paleo?" but thought it would be rather awkward if he wasn't.
I mean either I would have got an "Excuse me!?" and then I would have had to fumble some kind of explanation primal or other. That or I would have just inadvertently outed myself with a pick-up line for some gay caveman subculture; I mean this is London of course.
I am thinking maybe we should have a sign like the Freemasons. A primal signature wink and nod, perhaps a subtle raised arm grabbing an air-spear. That way if there is no response you can just pretend you were yawning or better look like you were 16 in 1985 and merely doing an air-punch, which would actually match the bandanna tied around your ankle.
Anyway does anyone else find themselves doing the same, or perhaps even picked-up after successfully swapping coconut recipes at the checkout?
Personally speaking if I was ever to have a beautiful girl point at my bacon and ask "covering with chocolate?" I may just ask her to marry me right there. But knowing my luck she would probably ask me for my non-existent Fran time and then walk away shaking her head in dismay.
I do, of course, it's like fun spying. Sometimes I go "OO where did you get that?!?" because they have something special in their cart that I might be interested in, most of the time I just feel sad because it's full of junk. So much packaged stuff.
EDIT: I want to make it clear that I do not judge anyone and what is in their cart. I don't know what their life is, what their budget is, are they buying for a party, etc. Of course I feel bad when I see a ton of packaged stuff but its more that I wonder what they may be up against. I don't like to think of people as being lazy but that something else is going on. Anyway..
When I go in it's usually early and quiet in the store and I'll wander and pick up new products and read them just to see. At times I'm asked by other customers what I'm doing and I'll explain I'm looking for ____. Many of them do not realize the secret stealth of ingredient language and will often put something back after I show them that, oh, there are 37 listings of sugar on the label. Yesterday it was the merits of B grade maple syrup over A. Two women had no idea and put back their A and bought the B.
I alwaysalwaysalways make a point of being friendly and nice so if someone asks what a certain something is in my cart I'll tell them what I'm using it for, will offer the recipe if they're interested, etc. If you can help expand one person's knowledge - maybe it'll spread to others. You can only hope.
Sometimes, I look. Sometimes, they look at me.
I purchased an entire beef heart last week, at our local coop. It was 8 lbs. and as I waited in line, the woman in front of me craned her neck back and forth while trying to get a better look at the huge frozen purple-red heart with its collar of hard white fat. Finally, her curiousity won and she tapped me lightly, "What IS that thing, may I ask?" I nodded, "It's a COW's heart". Possibly, everyone including cashiers who heard me, stopped and stared. The woman gasped, "Oh really! and what do you DO with a cow's heart?" At that point, I so badly wanted to say, "Well at midnight I'll dance with it, near the forest edge!" But no, sorry to say I skipped the midnight dance and just told her we actually Eat it, and it's good. She left saying, "wow, no kidding, I can't imagine eating a heart" etc.
I'm fairly certain I exchanged judgy glances with a preggo vegetarian at Whole Foods a few weeks ago; her cart full of tofu, soy milk, etc., mine full of pork belly, chicken, & butter.
I always notice what people are buying, but never comment. But this last week at the butchers where I buy grass-fed beef, I noticed some lady about my age was buying the same thing. We started to chat when we noticed we'd placed identical orders.
She: I only eat grass-fed beef now.
Me: Me too!
She: I'm just learning about meat, really. I was a vegetarian for 20 years.
Me: Me too!
She: But now I eat lots of meat, and veggies.
Me: Me too!
She: Also, I gave up on grains.
Me: Me too!
And then I was more articulate after that, though just as surprised.
It was surreal. Turns out that she went to see a Traditional Chinese Medical person for help with her fatigue. She was told that being a vegetarian is a good way to have no energy and get sick, and was directed to eat lots of grass-fed meat, eggs, etc. And veggies.
Meanwhile, the staff in my local grocery store think I'm clogging my arteries with fat, and will die from a bacon overdose. And they've been kind enough to tell me that. It's hard not to laugh when "health" advice comes from somebody with three chins and about 70 pounds of extra body fat.
I'm completely judgmental - yet you wouldn't necessarily know how I eat by looking at the contents of my own grocery cart (hypocritical much?)
See, I'm a paleo single mother with two stubborn teenage kids who've decided that eating like MoooooooMmmmm does (even though Mom has lost 40 lbs in the last few months and may no longer need that nursing home they'd both have to pony up for one day) is ridonkulous and/or worthy of ridicule.
So I cook for myself first - then add to the meal to meet their needs, if possible. If they choose not to eat what I have made? (A lovely no-bean kickass chili I made recently comes to mind...) Well, then - it must be a YOYO (you're on your own) night for you, hmmm? Feel free to help yourselves to the frozen food, or open a can of that soup you love so much.
This means my cart starts out looking mahvelous (produce, meat, eggs, nuts) when I shop the outer edges of the store. Later on, though? Not so great, what with the ramen & other crap that covers up all the good stuff in the cart.
(I often feel like I want to have a disclaimer sign on my cart - warning: buying for others as well!)
And yet - even knowing this phenomenon exists for others, well - I still judge.
I can't stop myself from mentally judging people at the grocery store; it's a horrible habit. I manage to keep it to myself, though, because I wouldn't want to hear what other people think about my shopping cart....I'm a petite female buying 7 pounds of grass fed ground beef, 10-20 pounds of various potatoes, and a pound of kerrygold. I have not yet gathered the courage to start bringing my own burlap sack to carry tubers - the plastic produce bags break too easily.
Yes, absolutely! When I see an obese person with their cart full of grains, sugar and stuff I can't help thinking: you did this to yourself. But then again; they don't know. I'm from the Netherlands and our government tells people to eat lots of grains, bad oils and little good fat and meat. They state that red meat gives you cancer. Since I'm paleo I spend much more on food, but hey: we all spend lots of money on houses and cars and then save on food. I truly don't understand that. After all: your body is your first and most important 'house'.
I love to talk to strangers. Grocery store is perfect for that. I usually say to the handsome single men in front of me at dinner time, in the 15 items or less line, 'that looks yummy.' Sometimes, if they have liquor, I'll say, 'looks like the party's at your house, I'll just follow you home'
But yah, I do the 'really, you're buying that' thing in my head, too.
i live in Muskogee,Oklahoma and other than my own i have never found another paleo food hunter, and yes i do look at the carts. im sure if i do see another shopping cart with strict paleo food that the two of us will spontaneously mate and produce offspring. i just feel bad for the other shoppers that will be forced to watch.