Freshly Pegged – Snoring Dog Studio

Have you ever sent a post out into the blogosphere, absolutely convinced it was going to be Freshly Pressed? And then it wasn’t?

You’re not alone.freshlypegged2

I’ve asked some fantastic bloggers to select the post that had them muttering,”THIS One Should Have Been Freshly Pressed.” A new blogger is featured each week to receive the coveted Freshly Pegged distinction. Participants will be awarded a genuine, simulated “Freshly Pegged” JPEG badge, suitable for posting in a place of honor on their blogs. Or not.

**UPDATE** I feel the need to clarify that Freshly Pegged and Freshly Pressed are not mutually exclusive awards for a blogger.  As a matter of fact, most people featured here HAVE been Freshly Pressed at one time or another.  If they haven’t been, they will be; they’re just that talented.  This award is about a specific post that hasn’t received the attention it so richly deserves.  My mission is to right that wrong.  I’m fighting injustice like…like… a superhero. Like Robin Hood.  Yeah.

Be sure to read all the great Freshly Pegged offerings to date. But before you do, let’s check out…
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Jean at Snoring Dog Studio.

Jean blogs about her Boston Terriers.  About getting used to life now that her mom has moved in with her.  About the environment, politics, work and life in general. And about aliens hanging out in volcanic bars.  (I know – who doesn’t blog about that?)  Sometimes she’s funny, sometimes she’s serious; always she’s worth the visit.

Because I like Jean so much, it really makes it tough to hate her.  But I do.  That’s because not only does she draw vivid pictures with words, she paints.  Yup.  She’s one of those people who can do it all.  She is an uber-talented, professional artist and her watercolors are to die for.   I’m insanely jealous.

Jean’s probably the only person living who could get me interested in tofu.  Read on, and soon you’ll be asking…

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Where’s The Tofu?  Hiding the Healthy Stuff Will Make Us Fat (Fatter)

Finding tofu in some grocery stores can be more difficult than learning to speak fluent Mandarin in a day.

I shopped for groceries somewhere other than my usual grocery store on Sunday because it was convenient to Home Depot. Choosing that venue helped me combine chores and keep the driving to a minimum.

My short list in hand, I figured I could be out of there in at least a half hour. And that would have held to be true had I not had to conduct a massive sweep of the entire store, including the hardware section, to find tofu. It wasn’t in the likely, or reasonable places.

Thinking semi-logically, I looked in the meat section. Tofu is a meat substitute for many of us trying to cut back or forgo entirely. But could I find tofu in the meat section? No. Almost sixteen square feet of space is given up to bacon, the candy of meats, but not a single shelf devoted to a meager 5 inch by 4 inch by 3 inch chunk of tofu.

Okay, so it’s a vegetable. Well, I checked the vegetable section and it wasn’t there, either. Mangos, ugli fruit, even leeks get real estate, but not tofu. I think the store could have at least provided a shelf for it next to the eggplant. Heck, no one likes eggplant but there it is, sitting in a nice, large, climate controlled, frequently sprinkled section all of its own.

My shopping was done. I wasn’t going to search a minute longer for the stuff. I wasn’t even going to talk about it until a staff person asked me if I found everything I’d looked for. SHE opened the door, mind you. Two other staff persons got involved. Both of them mentioned places where the tofu USED to be. One of them walked me over to the place where the won ton wrappers proudly sat, claiming legitimacy. I had already looked there.

And then the staff person in-the-know said, “It’s in the NUTRITION section.” Yes. I heard her correctly. She might as well have said, “IT’S IN BEIJING.”

The NUTRITION section. The place where food goes to die, the grocery museum. I’ve never had to swallow my pride and walk over to the Nutrition section to fetch my tofu and I wasn’t about to start now. Geez Louise! The nation is in the throes of an obesity epidemic, so grocers make it difficult to find nutritious, low calorie foods? Go ahead and put Brussels sprouts next to the feminine hygiene products, if you’re so fired up to turn us all into blubber bottoms. See if mommy’s little Reginald will be more inclined to eat the sprouts now.

I ranted about it to the staff person who was willing to escort me to the NUTRITION section. (You need an escort. Rarely do shoppers get out of that section alive, and if they do, they are changed forever. They become pasty shadows of their former selves and they whimper a lot.) I then ranted about it to the cashier who asked me if I had found everything I was looking for. She wasn’t the least bit moved. Yes, yes, perhaps it’s time to write an “I am appalled” letter to the manager of the grocery store. Later—I’m writing a blog post now.

Why would anyone need an escort to retrieve this cute thing?

Grocery stores are culpable in the plague of obesity facing our nation. Yes, yes, we CHOOSE to eat unhealthy foods. But enough of that. Ever since we crawled out of the caves and stopped wrestling our prey to the ground, we’ve naturally adapted to convenience. We’ve all gone the way of the path of least resistance—those of us who live with electricity and are surrounded by pavement.

So, we, average consumer, trying to do the right thing, walk into a grocery store, full of good intent, and there, before we even get to the spaghetti squash and whole grain bread, a display full of sodium-laden chips greets us with the enthusiasm of a cheerleader on the winning team. But we shoppers are the losers in that game. Displays of junk food we can find, we practically trip over them. Tofu—not so much.

The other day, my brother-in-law (we’ll call him, “Bud” because that’s his name), read a story from Consumer Reports to me. The photo showed a label from a Select Choice soup can, bellowing out “NEW! NEW and IMPROVED!” Turns out, the manufacturer had added back more sodium because during taste tests the OLD! OLD and ORIGINAL! version rated poorly. They added back sodium! One of the four things, besides trans fats, cigarettes, and television scientists know is very, very bad for us. Yet, as Bud said, there on the dining table sits a salt and pepper shaker, which he could use if he chose to. But we weren’t even allowed a choice, or, rather, the choice was taken from us. We’re perfectly capable of demanding and getting our right to free speech, but we’re prevented from having the choice to salt or not salt our foods. It’s all just nutty.

The availability and abundance of lousy food in a grocery store makes it almost impossible for parents to not indulge junior’s whims. I couldn’t find tofu in even one place in the store, yet candy claims at least 4 different residences if you don’t count the cousins hanging out at the check out counters. Moderation, you say? You’re tired, you’re stressed and you just want to get the shopping over. Someone throws you a lifeline made of ice cream bars, another person throws one made of oatmeal. Which one would you choose?

No, the tofu isn’t on these shelves.

I couldn’t find dried beans at this grocery store, either. Well, I fib. I found two – TWO – bags of beans looking as though they’d been pulled from the sarcophagus of King Tut. And they were in the “Hispanic” section. Dried beans might have been elsewhere in this store, but I guarantee you, if they were, the bags were huddled together on the lowest shelf where no one looks or were blocked by feet and small children’s bodies. And the children were likely busy grabbing boxes of Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese.

I guarantee you, no grocery store would go out of business if the shelves were arranged differently so that healthy foods were conveniently placed and the less-than-healthy ones were made a bit difficult to get to. For example, put a rope climb next to the ice cream case, turn the pastry section into a maze, and put all the to-be-fried foods at the end of a hurdle course.

Well, all right, maybe not. But arranged differently, more attractively, and made more accessible, healthier foods might just be a person’s first choice, or at least a larger part of their choices. Don’t make us hunt for healthy food.

Give Mrs. Obama props!

I won’t be shopping at that grocery store ever again. Thank goodness I’ve got a freezer backup of tofu.

More Food Thoughts

Foods Compared to Their Sugar Cube Content

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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64 Responses to Freshly Pegged – Snoring Dog Studio

  1. Louella says:

    Found some new reading material! Thank you *races off*

    Like

  2. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    You are so welcome! I’m glad you stopped by.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Thank YOU for being my guest, Jean.

      While I am not a big fan of tofu (it’s over by the won-ton wrappers in my store), I have been trying for several years to improve my nutrition. I really like veggie burgers and soy milk.

      I was reading over at Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride about a link between soy and increased risk of breast cancer that has me really concerned. I had read studies that it LESSENED the risk in young women, so I’ve had my girls drinking low-fat soy milk since their early teens.

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      • Peg, I’m also concerned about what Susie mentioned– both my kids drink tons of soy milk (so do I)

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      • Snoring Dog Studio says:

        I had no idea! For crying out loud, can’t we ever get the last word on what causes cancer?!

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      • I drink lots of soy milk as well, because I have watched every known documentary on Netflix and now can’t bring myself to drink cows milk, but I heard that its added estrogen can throw off hormones in teenage girls such as myself, now I’m learning it might cause cancer?! What’s next?! I mean seriously is there a thing in this world that doesn’t cause cancer?! I know too much of anything does, so I would like to know more about that, pegoleg! And this post is very informational and I appreciate everything you do for us bloggers!!:)

        Like

  3. I hate tofu, but I love healthy foods and we’re lucky to be able to afford to eat the year round. Around February, when fresh fruit is tough to find, I’d totally run an obstacle course for nectarines!

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    • pegoleg says:

      Me too. I hate to say it, Jean, but something about the texture just turns me off, big time. Can we still be friends?

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      • I was tricked into eating it. I don’t like to be tricked.

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        • pegoleg says:

          Your comment about being able to afford to eat healthy is so right on, Ms Renz. Processed food is cheap and readily available. You have to do extra work and spend a lot more money for pure and natural.

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      • Snoring Dog Studio says:

        The texture is really awful. Of course, there are several textures to choose from – silken, firm, extra firm, brick-like – not that any of the textures are palatable. Frankly, I prefer tofu firm and chewy and disguised in something that tastes so good, you can almost forget you’re eating tofu.

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  4. Go Jules Go says:

    Okay, so I’m dying to know, where do you normally shop for groceries?

    I’m so glad you made it out of the NUTRITION SECTION (section…section…section… that’s an ominmous echo) alive. I’ve gone down a similar path aisle m’self.

    It’s positively terrifying when you start looking into what’s behind the labels…

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      “Never read the labels” – that’s my motto. Oh, and “buyer beware”, and “carpe diem” and “cheaters never prosper” and “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” and “that hunky young man you drool over looks like a big, ol’ narcissist with his name tattooed in gigantic letters down the side of his own body.”

      Like

    • Snoring Dog Studio says:

      I shop at a local grocer called, Winco. It’s just a no frills kind of place that sells just food – no clothes, no furniture, no eyeglasses, no build-your-own grain silos. Just food. And a fair amount of choice in prices – all pretty darn low. It sits next to Whole Foods, which is definitely not taking business away. I bet that Whole Foods has an entire wing devoted to tofu, plus butlers that guide you there, but I’m not going in to find out.

      Like

      • pegoleg says:

        Whole Foods is a marketers dream designed to lure you in and take all your money. We have Trader Joes up in the suburbs that sells healthy food at pretty good prices. I love to go there a couple of times a year when I get to the city.

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  5. Elyse says:

    I’m with the non-lovin’ it side. But still there is a huge market for it and you’re right, SDS, it should be accessible. I find it in the produce aisle in the grocery stores I frequent. Putting it in with the meat would be very difficult on my vegan-vegetarian-bird-loving relative who gets upset at the sight of chickens. Unless they are pecking at her, that is.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I hadn’t thought of that. I guess it WOULD be traumatic to go looking for tofu and have to go right in front of that big, plate-glass window showing the butcher hard at work in the back.

      Like

    • Snoring Dog Studio says:

      Ah, yes – I never thought about that! Of course it might offend the meat-eaters! That just wouldn’t do, would it? It needs its own section, but not hidden behind the mops and brooms.

      Like

  6. winsomebella says:

    A “nutrition” section sounds like a place pregnant women or older-than-me senior citizens would hang out. Did they have different music playing in that section?

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      It’s the aisle with the port-a-potties. All that fiber…(now that every single special interest group is protected by the unwritten PC code, healthy people are the only ones left to make fun of!)

      Like

    • Snoring Dog Studio says:

      No music at all. Not a sound other than my screaming as I wiped the cobwebs from my face as I entered the dank, dark corridor. I think, I’m pretty sure, that I stumbled over a dead vegetarian on the way in there.

      Like

  7. Tar-Buns says:

    I learned to like tofu while living in Japan. Not plain, mind you, but in soups or dishes with other veggies, it’s yummy AND good for me!
    Now that hubby and I are watching more carefully what we eat, I’ve got to find the right dish to entice hubby into trying it as well. Wish me luck!

    Like

  8. omawarisan says:

    Good choice, Peg. I am a Jean fan from way back. I have the Jean action figure, still in the original box. I’m going to sell it on e-bay and buy a boat.

    Jean, I ended up in the same section looking for dried beans. This raises an important question – how does shopping 1200 miles from home add up to keeping driving to a minimum?

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Good call on the Jean action figure. Whatever you do, though, DON’T OPEN THAT BOX!!!

      Like

    • Snoring Dog Studio says:

      Yuk, yuk. Do my arms and legs bend or are they as rigid as they are in real life? Not that you’d know that. Definitely buy the boat.

      I can’t recommend driving that far to shop where I do – not on a regular basis, but next time, let me know when you’ll be here and we’ll both go scavenging for alternative protein substances.

      Like

  9. “I wasn’t even going to talk about it until a staff person asked me if I found everything I’d looked for.”
    That stopped me in my tracks right there. I live in NYC and I can honestly say I cannot remember a staff person ever asking if I’d found everything I was looking for. In fact most of the time I can’t even find a staff person. Helllooo? Helllooo? Anybody work here?

    Like

    • Snoring Dog Studio says:

      OMG! Sorry, Jackie! I forgot about you Easterners and your grocery stores. I’ve heard stories – the ones where the staff party in the beer and wine aisles and laugh at the idiots who think they’re supposed to help them find stuff. AND they hide the tofu on purpose just to watch people like me, desperate looks on our faces, pretending to be interested in that box of Double-stuffed Oreos, but longing for some tofu.

      Like

  10. If only they’d tone down the gigantic displays of nachos and beer! it is pretty ridiculous the way they set up stores to entice a person. I love to shop at my local (not a chain) grocery. It’s a small store but they actually not only sell healthy food, they display it! Whoddathunkit??

    Like

    • Oh and I really wanted to “like” this post today, but WordPress isn’t allowing me to do so. But just in case it’s not clear, I really do like this post, Jean.

      Like

      • Snoring Dog Studio says:

        Thank you, Darla! I liked it the first time, too. A store that would display healthy food??!! What are they trying to do? Go out of business? For one thing, healthy food has no aroma – or, just the aroma of a freshly laundered pillowcase – so there’s no way it’s going to entice people into the store. Smell and taste are related. Of course, that explains why you have to smear junk like BBQ sauce on Tofu or soak it in rum to make it edible.

        Like

  11. List of X says:

    On the other hand, I don’t like tofu, and I keep seeing it everywhere in the grocery stores while looking for some less healthier food.

    Like

    • Snoring Dog Studio says:

      GAWD THAT’s HILARIOUS! Kind of like when you meet a really unattractive guy, then never go back to the place you first met him, and then you keep seeing him everywhere. Oh, yeah, just like that. Exactly.

      Like

  12. Laura says:

    One supermarket that I go to sometimes has ONE aisle labelled “Natural Foods”. I worry about what they’re selling in the rest of the store.

    Like

  13. Thanks, Peg, for the introduction. I will be reading more of Sleeping Dog.
    In my neck of the woulds there is one isle that has all the things deemed healthy for us in pretty much all the stores. They call it the “Health Food” isle. That is where the tofu lives right there beside the Kefir milk.

    Like

    • Snoring Dog Studio says:

      Health Food, eh? Then that really does condemn the rest of the store to something we all ought to avoid.

      Like

  14. My wife really likes tofu…
    I don’t mind it in some things, but admittedly I’m still trying to get used to it in others… something about the texture is a maybe just a bit different than what I’m always expecting, I think…

    Like

  15. Pingback: NOT Freshly Pressed – Just a Great Re-Run | Snoring Dog Studio

  16. shoreacres says:

    It’s the prodigal grocery-shopper, here. My view of all this is quite different than the first time I read this post, for some very specific reasons. I’ll not bother you with the whole story, because I’m going to write about it and I don’t want to share the best details, but let it be said I’m now in full agreement with the point that ” arranged differently, more attractively, and made more accessible, healthier foods might just be a person’s first choice, or at least a larger part of their choices. Don’t make us hunt for healthy food.”

    Here’s the deal. I’m still not going to be eating tofu. I’m a meat eater and probably always will be. However, a story that’s been pretty much under the radar sent me on a seach for good (i.e., non-factory-farmed, organic, etc) meat, and the results were stunning. When I sat down to my breakfast of applewood-smoked bacon from a naturally-raised hog and scrambled eggs from chickens who apparently have names and pilates classes, I couldn’t believe the taste. I remembered what bacon and eggs was supposed to taste like! And I’ll never, ever go back to grocery store meat, chicken and eggs again.

    The point is – people need to experience a better option in order to be willing to take it. Now that I know what “good” tastes like, I’m not willing to go back. And the grocery stores surely could be doing more to entice people into taking that first taste.

    Like

  17. Sandy Sue says:

    I’ve been mostly vegan for almost a year now without succumbing to tofu or tempeh. I figure if I can’t get it at Aldi, I don’t need it. Well… ok… I do sneak into Whole Foods to look at their pretty greens. Gosh, it’s like visiting an art museum…
    (Hi, Jean! Gosh I love your stuff!)

    Like

    • Snoring Dog Studio says:

      You must be in and out of the grocery store in seconds! Thanks, Sandy Sue – so glad you stopped over here!

      Like

  18. Well, I’m a new follower. I like the variety of categories of Snoring Dog’s blog, and am especially in step with the political views. Great blog post here too, and should have been FP’d for sure!

    Like

  19. Snoring Dog is such a jewel! This one was hilarious even the 2nd read.

    Like

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