Guest post by Jaimie of JaimieRamsey.com
My grocery cart: a source of pride
We real-foodies (no matter where we are on the “real-food spectrum”) can get pretty passionate about what we put in our grocery carts.
At least, I definitely can. I love the satisfaction of arriving in the checkout lane and surveying my cart… lots of produce. Fresh meat, no processed lunch meat. No chips. No boxed cereal. Almost no processed items, unless you count the canned tomatoes.
Then I look at the person in front of me in line. Hot dogs. Bologna. Skim milk. Margarine. Soda and juice. Frozen pizzas. Pop-tarts. Candy.
And then come the judgmental thoughts. “Her poor children, they must be so unhealthy. She’s obviously not at a healthy weight; why is she buying all this junk food? Does she know how expensive it is and how much money she could save if she made things from scratch?”
Image from Pixabay.com
Why I can’t judge
My husband is quick to gently remind me, if I ever quietly voice these thoughts to him, that I don’t know the circumstances of the person in front of me.
Maybe she doesn’t know how to cook from scratch because no one ever taught her.
Maybe she doesn’t have time because she has to work outside the home to help support her family.
Maybe she just doesn’t know enough about nutrition to know there’s a better way to eat.
Other days, the contents of my own grocery cart are a source of humility. Maybe I have a busy week ahead so I bought boxed cereal for quick breakfasts. I bought boxed mac-and-cheese because it’s a cheap, easy lunch. I have some of the same things that “the person in front of me” had.
Who am I to be judgmental? There are people with more “real food” in their refrigerators and freezers than I have. I don’t buy raw milk or pastured eggs. I don’t grind my own grain or grow all my own produce (living in an apartment, I don’t have a yard in which to have a garden). I buy the ten-pound chub of ground beef (not grass-fed) when it’s on sale. I can’t afford to buy most of my produce organic.
Image from Pixabay.com
Food is not a moral issue
I have been shown the ultimate grace in Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for you and for me. He loves us all, and forgives us all, equally–he doesn’t look at what we eat or don’t eat! Our salvation is not dependent on the contents of our refrigerator.
Our eternal destiny is not affected by what we put in our grocery cart. We are saved because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross in our place, and his resurrection from the grave. What we eat has nothing to do with that. So there’s no need to make food into a moral issue: no need for me to either be judgmental or feel judged.
As I have been shown grace, so can I show grace. As I have been loved, so I can show love.
If you’ve ever been in my position, or in that of “the person in front of me,” please don’t ever feel bad for what you eat (or don’t). Do what you can for your family–the best you can, but do it with the resources you have. Listen to the Lord who loves you, not criticism from those who think you should change the way you eat.
Have you ever had a humbling experience at the grocery store?
Jaimie Ramsey is an author, blogger, and graduate student. Her greatest passions are Jesus, marriage (especially her own!), real-food cooking and healthy living, and these passions shape her writing. She is co-author of Real Food for the Real Homemaker and blogs at JaimieRamsey.com. Connect with her on Facebook and Pinterest!