With a Side of Curiosity

For reasons which amount to a long and boring story, my husband brought home a mainstream brand of clear dish washing liquid. The significance here is that I always pick up a lesser known brand of eco-friendly dish soap at a local health food store. I’m not inflexible, so his acquisition sits on the back of our sink and I use it.

This morning, while washing my hands of raw egg goo, I noticed three words, in neat white print above the brand banner: NO UNNECESSARY CHEMICALS. Is this company advertising that their other products for cleaning soiled flatware contain chemicals that are superfluous, like, you know, extra chemicals just for fun… or wait, for the color green? Or the scent of spring morning in the Smoky Mountains?

question mark


A similar question begs to be asked when I shop at almost any mainstream grocery store. Some time in the last few years, grocery masterminds realized that many of us prefer to eat organic rather than pesticide-laden foods, need gluten-free choices of typically gluten-filled items, appreciate products with non-standard, hopefully healthier ingredients like evaporated cane juice and extra-virgin coconut oil, prefer nutbutters that consist solely of well-ground nuts, like to indulge in vegetarian meats, and will only buy dairy products made with milk from cows who aren’t pumped with added hormones. Thankfully, these wise executive-type folks decided to create a special place, which is often a few low aisles beside fruits and vegetables, for these “specialty” items.

Now, every section of store needs a name. The area containing the above mentioned sorts of food items, is nearly always HEALTHY.  Are grocers advertising, by a few block letters at the entrance to this section of alternative-to-mainstream goods, that they think the food available in the rest of the store is unhealthy, as in poor sustenance? I don’t know the intentions of grocery store planners, and I haven’t watched Food, Inc, but I’m guessing even the “HEALTH” sections carry a number of questionable products.


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