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Tuesday, August 16, 2011



Everyone has to go grocery shopping and everyone normally has a list of knows what he or she will purchase. Sometimes I take a list [which I can never find upon entering the store] and sometimes I remember what I needed to buy. But in the last ten years or so it is getting really hard to find what I need; an example would be finding a can of baked beans. Oh I can find them all right but when I do there are a thousand varieties of them: There are baked beans with onions, homestyle, original, spicy, grillin’ kind and on and on and on.

When I was little and sent to the store to get a can of baked beans there weren’t any. All there was available was “pork and beans” in a can. That’s all. As I got older, that was still all that was available and if you wanted baked beans you had to use pork and beans in a can, add ketchup, mustard, onions and brown sugar and then put it in a baking pan and bake the concoction. Some people used white beans and used the same ingredients I mentioned above to get baked beans. Well not now in today’s world!

Whether it’s beans of any kind or tomatoes, you will find a thousand variations in cans and rest assured you will always come home with the wrong can—always unless you are very careful to look at the label.

Canned tomatoes come in forms of whole, chopped, diced or in a sauce or paste form. But now to add to our confusion [or lack of] you will find tomatoes with onions, spiced, Mexican style, with cheese added, stewed, spicy stewed and tons more variations on the same theme—tomatoes.

The producers of these products just keep adding more and more choices and it gets really confusing while shopping. Maybe that is their intent: To confuse us all and make us buy what we didn’t intend to in the first place. I’m not sure I like it at all for I never fail to come home with the wrong canned version of either beans or tomatoes. And of course during the unpacking of these canned items and other foods, I have lost my receipt leaving me stuck with something I don’t like and won’t eat. Glad I have a dog who loves any kind of beans or tomatoes for she will eat what I won’t.

Don’t you just love a thousand variations of the same products? It’s not really good for us [it is in that I don’t want to fix baked beans the old-fashioned way anymore] because I see more variations in the future and more confusion on our parts. Can you just imagine that? Heaven help us all!   

*Not going into the tons of varieties of green beans--there are just too many.

Sherry Hill


  1. What I do and recommend that others do is to cook from scratch whenever possible, including those legumes that cook up a bit faster like small black beans and lentils. For the times I don't have time to cook from scratch, I look for the simple product and preferably the generic or store brand - pinto beans, green beans, etc. All this assortment of varieties is a part of consumerism that confuses people and serves as a "reason" to charge more and increase food industry profits. If I can't find the simple can I'm looking for, I don't buy there. Look around for a store that mostly has the basic products you want, preferably a locally owned and operated store. By buying at local businesses, we help save jobs in our communities.

  2. Such a good point and oh so true! Of course it is consumerism to get us to buy more and confuse us; big companies know we will wind up with something. Like you, I prefer regular.
    Thanks Su!