Selection

Selection – a good thing you would think until you enter a typical American supermarket, like out local Safeway around a couple of corners.

If, after walking in, you keep to your right you’ll end up in the fruit and veggie department.  That is the beginner class for selection.  I mean that one department is roughly as big as a our local supermarket in my German hometown, maybe not including the beer section – which is quite extensive there – but with five varieties of apples we are barely scratching the surface of selection yet.

Nobody ever said live was easy, pic: irememberjfk.com

There a several good departments to full immersion classes in selection so let me point out a couple: cereals.  The other day my son and I went to buy cereals and spend a solid half hour walking the aisle, all 20 meters with five shelves so lets call it 80 to 100 meters full with cereals: flakes,  crispies, cheerios, granola, muesli, honey-combs, loops, bran, oats with honey, raisins, strawberries, bananas, nuts, yogurt, chocolate, extra protein, more fiber, low-fat, vanilla,  frosted, and that is before you look at healthy section with whole grain.

In the end, overwhelmed by indecision we bought the old-fashioned corn flakes.  That way we are free to throw in bananas one day, raisins the next and on a particularly daring day add a dash of vanilla.

Another good aisle to study selection are the chips.  I grew up with potato chips. Period. That was it.  Now we have: potato chips, Russett potato chips, soy crisps, taro chips, sweet potato chips, rice chips, blue corn chips and regular corn chips, pita chips and Kettle chips with salt and sea salt, vinegar, jalapeno, sour cream, onions, less fat, no fat, variety packs, portion packs, 100-calorie packs, whole grain, good health, good fiber, no-transfat, no salt, lightly salted, regular salt, extra salt, kosher salt, extra kosher salt, with cheese, cheddar cheese, extra cheese, Mexican spices, Japanese flavors, regular flavor.  If you aren’t dizzy by now, I am and so I stopping.  You get the idea.

Selection is good, we all appreciate it.  But sometimes I long for the day were we could just go to the supermarket and buy a bag of chips, take it home and eat it without having to explain why today we got the low-fat blue corn chips with extra Mexican spice and a dash of lime instead of our usual high-fiber, low-fat, guilt-free pita chips with kosher sea salt and malt vinegar.

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