Retailer Target (aka”Tar-jay” to my folks) is set to promote healthier, less processed foods. Soy milk in lieu of soft drinks. Organic granola instead of overly processed cereal. Canteloupes instead of canned goods.  The chain says it is prioritizing healthier food alternatives to appeal to younger customers.

Target reps are saying that what they are hearing from customers is that they want fresh, healthy, preservative free, and more ‘earth friendly’ foods. They also said they don’t want to alienate the customers that still want processed foods, but they want to keep up with the trend of customers who also want, hell…claim they need healthier and more sustainable options -without sacrificing convenience.

That’s the conundrum with modern American society…we want (without realizing that we need ) our food to be: healthy, organic, sustainable, Target-logo-v.-1 environmentally friendly, without preservatives, etc…but we seem to have an almost insurmountable culture of thinking that we also “need” convenience and “consistency” when it comes to our food. Food, since the beginning of humankind, has been something that we undeniably need. However, it has also been historically and almost universally known that it is something that requires work and constant effort to both produce and procure. Our modern culture has all but eliminated the natural order of things: You are required to (supposed to?) put out significant effort, energy, and time to procure food. The dramatic shift in culture, means to produce, and desire for exotic food has changed this landscape dramatically. Prepared, but inexpensive (and wildly processed) food is available almost anywhere you go these days. Problem is, those blood pressure raising, obesity influencing, good-to-you-but-not-good-FOR-you foods seem to be the most readily available for purchase by those who can barely afford to eat -or feed their families- to begin with.

And therein lies my problem with this initiative.

I’m all for promoting health, eliminating food deserts, and creating a healthier, sustainable culture of both selling and consuming food. Somehow, I am really feeling like this is less for low income/lower middle class working people, and much more for the same kinds of people that are rapidly gentrifying San Francisco at such a rapid rate. The kind of people who want the “status” of “eating organic” or “sustainable living” without having to put in any of the real effort it takes to truly live that lifestyle. As for Tar-jay, this seems like standard operating procedure for big corp. : Make more money, create way more problems.

But hey, what do I know?

Be easy, ya’ll… Wait…not too easy.


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TJ Smalls
Reformed nice guy.