Shopping in the net

It was chaos at Bayside today. A bit insane. Almost as if Christmas were tomorrow, instead of next week.

It was ok though. We had found parking on the top, and it only took us 10 minutes.

We made our way through the centre levels and stores, going up and down the escalator and lifts a dozen times, trying to find those last few Christmas presents to tick off our list.

One such time as we were heading up, we happened to be on alternating escalator steps – baby girl on the highest one, me on the middle one, and Hubbie behind me on the lowest step.

As we rode up and up, Hubbie leaned in and kissed me sweetly on the shoulder a few times. Sometimes baby girl gets possessive and tells him to back off at moments like these, promptly letting him know that I am her Mama!

This time though, she smiled sweetly.

“Mama,” she started. “Tato like you.”

Awwwww. The sweetest thing EVER.

“You think so?” I asked with a broad smile. “He likes me, a bit?!”

She won the quote of the day, HANDS DOWN.

I am forever grateful for her insightful, funny, clever, entertaining, and touching quotes. She always wins the gratitude game:)

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Choice

So I decided to buy some mince pies – the ‘mincemeat’ being dried fruit of course – last weekend for the first time this year and I found that every variety of both the named brand and supermarket own-brand all contain butter.  No surprise you might say, but that wasn’t the case a year or two ago.  Morrison’s lattice-topped mince pies didn’t but now they do.  So what has changed and why?  To me it seems fairly obvious and it is something that I have noticed with other ordinary supermarket own-brand manufactured foods over the past year.  Whereas an effort was made over the previous decade to recognise that a lot of people don’t want to consume animal derivatives in manufactured foodstuffs where their presence isn’t needed, that trend has now gone into reverse.

Now, consumers who want the choice of not eating animal-derived crap need to look in the specialist ‘Free From’ section and pay a premium accordingly.  This could all be part of a broader societal backlash against veganism and other ‘specialist’ diets, with which it gets lumped in.  There may also be a ‘political’ element to this backlash, with more and more people getting justifiably fed up with the ‘intersectional’ identity politics peddled by every minority interest group in the developed world (an issue which I may well deal with in a later article).  Vegans get lumped in as a similar ‘minority interest group’ seeking privileged status.  However from the perspective of food manufacturers and retailers this goes against the grain of previous customer-oriented trends.

The answer I know of course is not to be so bloody lazy in buying convenience foods – like potato cakes, Tesco’s own-brand now containing cow’s milk which they didn’t before they were repackaged earlier in the year – and make my own.  Oh and getting back to mince pies, even the ones sold in Holland & Barrett aren’t vegan (they contain egg) whilst the Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s ‘Free From’ ones may contain egg due to manufacturing methods.  I shall give them the benefit of the doubt on the basis that I don’t have an allergy that I am aware of, but from a consumer point of view I do feel like I have been denied a choice, other than the obvious choice of not buying any.  Not to be a pessimist however is that if vegan manufactured foods are to be ghettoised into a ‘Free From’ section, why bother with supermarkets at all?  We could see a revival of independent wholefood and health food shops to increase their numbers and popularity to the level that there were back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.