I don’t usually shop at Wal-Mart on principle. Years ago, I got the idea in my head that the huge discount omni-storeswere prey on low income people with super come-on sales and then charge standard or higher prices on many other things. I don’t necessarily feel that way today…I have another principle that keeps me away. When I go to Wal-Mart…once every few years…I get the feeling I’ve entered some kind of fat people’s parallel universe. As I was leaving, I thought, “All the food that it took to make all these people overweight would feed the people of Darfur for many years.”
Lest I sound like some kind of snob, let me say I consider myself a life member of the “Fat Americans Society,” who has spent most of his life eating too much of a bad thing. Other posts here talk about what I’m trying to do about that.
I’m pretty sure you’d agree that some places in your town seem like gathering places for fat people. And at other places, they’re hard to find. And that this has something to do with economic status and education. So be it. The depressing thing is that for all the great thinking and motivating being done by certain writers and do’ers, the fat people – the ones who need the motivating the most – are the least likely to hear the good news or do anything about it.
Dad, by nature, is a passivist, not an activist. I’m a lover, not a fighter. I get discouraged easily by the prospect of climbing any mountain. Like most fat people.
Well, I’m trying to get over that and climb the mountain called “eat food, mostly plants, not too much.” (Thanks, Michael Pollan!) Mountain climbers need manifestos. I’m truly grateful for the writers who are taking on America’s food addiction. And I really am hopeful that a generation from now, when our kids’ kids are growing up, that their parents won’t think of shopping where processed, carbed-up food is king any more than they would think of voting for a racist.
And I’m hopeful that Wal-Mart will find a way to maintain shareholder value without reinforcing an unhealthy America.
Here is Dad’s manifesto, ably written and delivered by Mark Bittman. Please watch…