Supermarket Sleuth

16 01 2011

During my previous work as a House Doctor, I used to love snooping around other people’s homes looking for clues about the occupants.

It reminded me of the TV programme, ‘Who Lives in a House like This?’ which was very popular in the UK a few years back.

These days I enjoy taking a peek into people’s supermarket trolleys in an attempt to try and pick up clues about the person buying the goodies.

Skulking around the aisles in my quest for suitable subjects to observe, I often feel like an undercover detective for Who Lives in a Body like This?!

As a self-appointed Supermarket Sleuth I have been collecting circumstantial evidence to support my case that We Really Are What we Eat.

During a recent Supermarket Sweep, I made the following light hearted observations of my fellow shoppers …

…In the fruit and veg section I spotted the super fit looking lady fresh from her workout in the gym, clutching a basket filled with lots of healthy looking foods including green salad leaves, piles of fruit, fresh fish and packets of vitamins…plus a small can or two of gourmet cat food!

…In the breakfast section I observed the harassed looking mum dragging a couple of hyperactive kids in her wake; wheeling a trolley filled to the brim with sugar enhanced cereals, multi packs of fat laden crisps, packets of processed ham, cans of sugar laden fizzy drinks, three loaves of cheap white bread, two large tubs of margarine, a huge bag of sweets and what appeared to be most of the supermarket’s BOGOF offers of the week (which invariably are the foods most detrimental to our health).

…Loitering at the fresh fish counter was the professional looking single guy, (no wedding ring = huge assumption!)in possession of a basket containing a box of pizza, a packet of ready made salad, half a dozen oysters, a couple of bottles of beer, a bar of chocolate and a copy of GQ magazine!

…In the housewares section, young couple setting up thier first home together were lingering over the boxed sets of cutlery and pushing a trolley full of household appliances with enough ingredients to concoct a comforting Spaghetti Bolognese for their cosy supper.   

And as for my own basket…containing a packet of fresh prawns, a mango, some rocket leaves, a large bundle of asparagus, a packet of butter, a loaf of walnut bread and a large tube of toothpaste…I’ll leave you to make your own observations!

Day 16 – A Year of Celebration

Today I celebrate the abundance that surrounds us and the freedom we enjoy to make informed choices about what we put on…and in…our bodies.

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9 responses

16 01 2011
Andy the great chocolate cake robber

Oh my god,

I am a harassed Mum fused with an ex rugby league player and a musician.

Sounds like a very bad but typical trolley, I’m weak with grandchildren. Not through bearing them I hasten to add.
I am also the male no wedding ring but an earring, (a copy of GQ, a packet prawns and a single bar of chocolat, two bottles of beer etc is I fear for Fondant Fancies though. Now a case of Carlsberg special and a pack of Mars Bars, for the deep frying thereof, then you’re talking. I jest, I jest!!

Plus men cannot embark on these supermarket observations, if the subject is a woman married, single or an offduty nightworker and you stare then a label will be winging its way or possibly even the Sweeney doing 90mph up a cul de sac.

So therefore being studious, as one with the produce and good supermarket tour material is not one size fits all, personally I’m a binge buyer. I’ll have you know I’ve been seen festooned with seafood, green vegetables and rough brown rice. However I am often torn between whether I want my body to be a temple or a toilet on the day.

Sometimes being a toilet can be fun in terms of men eating badly.
Eating sugary breakfast cereal from the box on a bus, a bottle of IronBru or Vimto or Tizer with absolutely no trace of anything remotely natural. A bottle of Chemistry Laboratory my good woman and don’t spare the E’s.

In the days when I was employable, I once went for an interview having bought a toilet seat in B&Q, “what’s in the bag Sir?”, “A toilet seat and a half eaten egg & cress sandwich and ten Benson & Hedges, the toilet seat’s for dessert!”. Had I been exposed in a supermarket, perhaps I should rephrase that! Would I have been labelled as an unhealthy eater, a pantomime dame or a mother dressed up as a man just about to go over the edge and set upon her two sugared-psycho offspring with the dumbells she generally keeps in her purse!

What I want to know is what can you really determine character from the company one keeps in a supermarket basket and how do you get a good look at the contents of others without getting escorted from the premises. For example: He’s got 8 tins of baked beans, two bottles of Scotch and a cucumber what does one read into that, pray

Your worship my case rests

16 01 2011
1961 Girl

Hey CC Man!

What can I say in response to your ‘blog length’ comment…apart from thank you!

I love your humour and Iyour reference to choosing whether your body is a temple or a toilet depending upon your mood. I agree that we cannot draw draw precise conculsions about people merely by examining the contents of their shopping trolley and I was attempting to make it a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ observational piece.

And as for the guy with 8 tins of baked beans, two bottles of Scotch and a cucumber…the jury is out on that one!

16 01 2011
wishfulanthony

That is a really interesting observation you’ve made at a grocery store! Question, though: which grocery (or supermarket) did you go to? And, do you have a preference on what grocery stores you like going to?

16 01 2011
1961 Girl

Hi Anthony.

Exploring the reasons behind our choice of supermarket could set up a whole new debate…what type of person shops here etc… In this instance I was in Sainsburys as it is the supermarket closest to my home. Being a bit of a foodie, I also like shopping in Waitrose, or (funds allowing) M&S, plus the occasional farmers market.

16 01 2011
wishfulanthony

Oh nice. How do you rate Asda and Tesco, as they are the leading grocers in the United Kingdom? I mean, the big three are the dominant players in the grocery business. Growing up in the US (and from another country, the Philippines), going to a grocery can be both an enjoyable experience and a hassle at the same time, depending on where you shop and what you want to get. Plus, the experience of going to grocery stores in other countries would be really different.

I’d love having a conversation on that matter… in fact, I’d be a sleuth at my local grocery and at the farmer’s market and see what people would buy…

16 01 2011
ElizOF

WE shop at these huge membership warehouses a few times a week… I’m always amazed at the amount of stuff people pile high in their carts. I enjoy watching the checkout counter as they move one pile from the cart into another pile in another cart….. I loved the description of the moms and others in the different aisles. 🙂
Eliz

17 01 2011
1961 Girl

I also love watching people pile their stuff onto the checkout counter. It helps to make what could be just a routine chore into a fasinating experience. Thank you for all your kind comments. You are a wonderful cheerleader; not only for me, but for all the other people you support along the way. Bless you for all your encouragement, it means a lot.

17 01 2011
Piglet in Portugal

When you live in a foreign country it’s fun looking in peoples trollies to see what they have bought, as you queue at the check out. (You can’t eavesdrop on the conversations around you to pass the time)
I am fascinated as there is everything from Rabbits heads, Pigs heads, Chickens feet. stiff salted codfish etc. When we are buying wine we often look to see what the “locals” are buying, especially if they are buying by the caseful. A lot of the cheaper wines abou 1.95cureos a bottle are great, if you know what your are buying!
🙂
PiP

17 01 2011
Just a little snarky

I am pretty sure my basket would confuse you. I shop for myself in the healthy food catagory but DH and DS like their junk food.

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