Am I Cheap?

After a hiking date with some good friends, we stopped by one of my favorite farmer’s markets. We needed some eggs and veggies and it was on the home, so my friends said they’d be happy to stop and check it out. After that trek in the woods and in the heat of the day, one of my friends was ready for something nice and cool. He saw an artisan flavored-ice stand, so he wandered over for a look. He returned empty handed and said, “They want $3 – for a popsicle (that’s the common brand name in my part of the world). That’s crazy! I can buy a whole box of them at the grocery store for that. Am I cheap?”

I replied quickly and out of character for me – “Yes.”  Oops! I felt bad at that knee-jerk response. Being “cheap” really depends on what you value. He lives in a beautiful home, has two upscale vehicles, takes amazing vacations, belongs to a prestigious tennis club, and wears top-quality clothes. So he’s clearly not cheap. And valuing those things is great - he can and should enjoy all the finer things that life brings.

My gut response was just frustration and sadness that he doesn’t place more value on what he puts in his body. It’s interesting, and frankly a bit scary to me that some people don’t even look at the ingredient labels on the foods they buy. 

Just for contrast, here’s a comparison from the artisan vendor and that box at the store:

  • The artisan product: fresh fruit and herbs, local and organic ingredients whenever possible and no chemical additives.
  • The supermarket product: water, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar, contains 1 percent or less of each of the following: beet juice concentrate, malic acid, citric acid, guar gum, ascorbic acid (vitamin c), grape juice concentrate, natural flavor, locust bean gum, red 3, blue 1, yellow 6

To me, these products can't even be compared - one is made with food and the other - well, you tell me. I truly believe that we are what we eat. At a simplistic level, our food is digested and provides the nutrients that become our cells. The chemicals in these manufactured “food-like” substances not only don’t nourish us – they can cause harm, everything from obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. If you want the science, I’d be happy to send you the data.

So I value the quality of the food that goes into my body, my friends’ bodies andYOURS.  And I understand that these REAL whole foods can be more expensive, but they aren't always. In fact, some of the organically-grown produce at my farmers market is less expensive than conventional produce at the supermarket. It’s all about tradeoffs and choices.

Please do value and appreciate the finer things in life, and as you do so, I ask you to start with valuing and appreciating yourself. YOU ARE WORTH IT!  
Wishing you much self-value!