I just got back from our local health-food store, where organic, non-GMO, free-range, locally grown, soybean-free products fly off the shelf — and at a premium price. But apparently, someone is missing the point. The parking lot is full of the health-food store’s shopping carts. That’s because many customers didn’t return the carts to the store (35 to 40 yards away) when they were done bringing groceries to their hybrid-powered transportation.
My spousal unit and I walk through the parking lot and corral all the abandon shopping carts and return them to the store on our way in. My wife does it because she’s a nice person. I do it so the abandoned carts won’t ding our diesel-sipping, eco-proper, mini SUV (not locally produced). I am thinking about putting a sign on the carts, “Locally rescued from parking lot using 100% muscle power. Pay it forward!”
The truth be known, I feel a little out of place in health-food stores. But I like the atmosphere, all the good intentions, the old hippies, granola people, reading the T-shirts, and talking to the local farmers busy stocking the shelves. And I do think the food tastes a little better than that from the normal grocery store (most of the time). But other than that, some days I think we’re all organic, neurotic nuts walking around in there.
Pushing the Shopping Cart More Important Than What’s In It?
I had this radical idea that if I could get everyone to push shopping carts long distances, and worry less about the food they put in them, it would be better for them. Maybe we could start a national shopping-cart race trend. In fact, I’ve just learned that shopping cart races are all the buzz. Take a look at some of these fantastic images of what you can do once you’re fit enough to push a shopping cart.
And think about this: Who do you really want on your cart team — the worried-well, food nerd or a Wonder-Bread-and-bologna-sandwich-eating, Walmart shopper who turns into a 10-horse Briggs & Stratton powerhouse engine when hooked up to the cart? When my siblings and I were teenagers, my dad used to say, “Feed them anything; they burn it up faster than they can shovel it down.” He wasn’t a registered dietitian, by the way.
Give me the cart-pushing lovers versus those who abandon them like a parking lot one way stand. All shopping carts deserve a return trip. Will humanity be healthier because we obsess about what we eat, while not being polite, civil, or energetic enough to walk an additional 35 yards and return a shopping cart? All hail kale, but come on man, return the cart. And keep an eye on the person eating the bologna sandwich, he may be the healthiest person you know.
Shawn is the President and Founder of Hope Health. For over 30 years, his work has focused on bringing clear, easy-to-read and watch health messages to the public via workplaces. He bills himself as the “Best C+ Student in the Wellness Biz” because, as he says, “I like to challenge the notion that there is no such thing as a stupid question.” Shawn is on a mission to tie workplaces into their surrounding communities to share resources and ideas in an effort to improve the health of all Americans.
You may reach Shawn at sconnors@HopeHealth.com or 800-334-4094.