Michelle Obama Shares Her Supermarket Savvy, Or Something

Like a hovering mom telling her children to finish up those green beans, once again Michelle Obama has ratcheted up her role of national instructress a few notches by incorporating into her anti-obesity campaign an intelligence-insulting online course called "Supermarket Shopping 101."

The intent of the web-based tutorial is to urge grocery shoppers to "steer clear of the cookie, snack and soda aisle." Written by iVillage.com senior food editor Lisa Cericola, "Supermarket Shopping 101: Read This Before You Hit the Grocery Store" was "first published among the materials the first lady presented online" when she recently did a stint as an iVillage.com guest editor/educator.

As a result, clueless grocery shoppers moseying over to iVillage to read a horoscope or to catch up on Michelle Obama's opinion of "Fifty Shades of Grey" must have been thrilled to stumble upon a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get the inside scoop on how to maneuver and stock up a grocery cart.

The guidelines on the supermarket shopping cheat sheet encourage shoppers to make like Santa Claus and "always check your grocery list twice...to avoid walking in circles...[and to] steer clear of impulse buys" and, above all, to always shop on a full stomach -- full of healthy, Michelle Obama-approved food choices, of course.

To sum up the gist of the recommendations, Supermarket Shopping 101 tells shoppers to "[s]teer clear of the cookie, snack and soda aisle until after you've collected everything on your list [because] --at that point, your cart should be full, which might make you feel less tempted to buy things you don't need."  In other words, feign disinterest in Double Stuff Oreos and Fruit Loops cereal; then, if you can't control yourself, at least if you hit the produce aisle first you can always hide your edible contraband under some cantaloupes and celery.

The bad news is, for those who consider themselves checkout-line challenged, unfortunately the paper-or-plastic controversy was not addressed, nor was the precise science of bagging groceries.

The instruction guide also neglected other pressing issues, such as how and where to park your car; how to avoid getting stuck with a shopping cart that has a crazy wheel; or how returning your cart to the designated area incorporates exercise into your busy shopping day. 

Despite the guide's omission of key shopping pointers, Michelle still felt compelled to share with supermarket-shopping students her own exciting supermarket journeys.  The first lady's anecdotes included the timely tip that while out "gathering foods from afar," always "stay on the outer aisle...to avoid going in and getting the processed, packaged foods."

Incorporating the "more flexible schedule" excuse, Michelle must have felt qualified to use herself as an example because she maintains she was the "primary shopper before coming to the White House." What Mrs. Obama didn't mention was that back in Chicago, after she supposedly dragged the goodies home from Dominick's, current White House chef Sam Kass was anxiously waiting to do all the slicing, dicing and cooking. 

And so, although Mrs. Obama's attempts at helping people to eat better and to make healthier food choices seem benign on the surface, it's offensive and condescending for her to imply -- once again -- that Americans need her to tell us how to go about feeding ourselves. Supermarket Shopping 101 is just another example, even though no one asked her to, of Michelle Obama taking it upon herself to coach adults on the proper way she thinks we should live our lives.

Author's content: www.jeannie-ology.com

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