During my college years, shopping for new clothes used to make me feel so good. Being able to go out in a new outfit was a thrill. I put a lot more effort into that than shopping for and preparing food, for sure!
In some ways, I felt like Isla Fisher in the movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic, but I didn’t know it yet, because the movie didn’t come out until many years later – in 2009. But looking back, my shopping habits weren’t nearly that excessive, since I was a college student with limited funds – and an accounting major! So luckily, I didn’t have debt.
Flash forward to 2018, and I get a lot more excited about finding really great food than I do about clothes shopping.
Why? Well, because becoming a parent made me want to feed my children well, and when I started to read food labels, I realized that the pretty packaging didn’t cover up for the fact that the contents were pretty ugly. And now, even the American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledges that nasty food additives can make children sick, but many still don’t realize just how compromised our food supply is yet.
But here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter whether you’re buying food, clothes, or anything else, actually. Because these days, most companies focus on saving money, rather than producing quality products. All you have to do is watch an episode of Shark Tank to know that cost is always a primary factor in determining whether a product is worth being produced. And you know what that means – quantity over quality. Great for the corporate money machine, but not so great for our people and planet.
And that’s where the movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and the green scarf metaphor that Isla Fisher writes about and becomes known for, come in.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, Isla Fisher is a journalist for a finance-related magazine, and yet she knows nothing about the topic and is actually in major debt in her personal life. As she struggles to maintain a fake persona in her work life, she one day comes up with a way to relate her own, real-life love for clothes shopping that readers can really relate to.
And it involves a green scarf that she loves, and had maxed out her credit cards, and even borrowed money, to get her hands on. But then she realizes that it’s not what it seems. Even though the expensive scarf comes with a high price tag, it’s not made of a pure fabric. It’s some synthetic fabric, like polyester.
She realizes she should have read the fine print! Yes, even clothes come with ingredient labels. Read them, and you can’t help but notice that even the most respected brands have switched to synthetic fabrics in recent years. Sad, but true.
That’s actually a really important life lesson, for a movie that many would say is silly and lacking in substance. It’s one that one many miss!
Think about it – when are we ever taught to think before we buy? To make informed choices, and to consider quality over quantity? When are we encouraged to read food and product labels, and use our consumer power to support only those who make our people and planet a kinder, gentler place, rather than a more toxic, chemical filled, synthetic one?
And more specifically…
When are we taught that processed food can harm our bodies, and how to choose real food that’s going to fuel our healthiest, happiest selves?
Consumer power is real, folks! With every dollar you spend and every bite you eat, you contribute to a healthier self, family and planet, or a sicker one. Your choice is your voice, and a vote for who deserves your money and support.
And so, the next time you pick up a pretty food package – with bold colors and maybe even lots of health claims, turn it over and take a close look at the ingredient label. It may not be a one time purchase, like a pricey green scarf, but it IS an investment in your self and your health! Choose wisely.
Ready to become an informed food consumer, and receive the support, education, and encouragement you need to prevent and/or recover from a chronic illness? It’s not easy to figure it all out on your own. Save yourself months, if not years, of wasted time, by contacting Dawn for help – today.
Have a tween or teen and wondering if you should watch Confessions of a Shopaholic together? Here’s one of my old Moms Inspire Learning blog posts, which might help you decide.