While shopping at Walmart and trying to be health-conscious, I took a gander down the cereal aisle. I was shopping for my typical non-GMO, high-fructose, corn-syrup-free granola bars and a bottle of maple syrup. I was looking for real, and emphasizing REAL or NATURAL, maple syrup for my homemade granola. This granola was going to be paired with my Greek yogurt and copious amounts of fruits. While looking for the maple syrup ingredient, I discovered how difficult this ordeal was going to be. The typical maple syrup, or what I thought was maple syrup, of my youth was the poison that I am striving to eliminate from my diet, High Fructose Corn Syrup. After brokenheartedly learning what I have been putting in my body and smothering my pancakes with throughout my life, I was nauseated. I was even more eager to pursue my original health-conscious interests. Thanks to marketing schemes, my eyes then went to the bottle that said No High Fructose Corn Syrup across the top. I looked deeper into the bottle’s ingredient list, and what did I find butcorn syrup. I was flabbergasted by my discovery and considerably irritated. I had to continue on in my search and looked up on the top shelf where I saw a little grey jug. This little jug reminded my of my youth when my mom brought maple syrup back home from the New England states. I picked it up and looked at the back of the jug, and once again it was not maple syrup, but to my surprise the main ingredient was rice syrup. I couldn’t believe that this simple endeavor was going to be so complicated.
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I kept thinking to myself what a simple task this should have been. Farther down the shelf I found what I was looking for, REAL (Natural) MAPLE SYRUP. To my bewilderment the bottle resembled a glass whiskey bottle, so I guess it was meant to be. The real, natural maple syrup was a little pricey, but that seems to be the trend when committing yourself to healthy living.Looking back, I began to evaluate my experience with what I now refer to as the Maple Syrup Expedition. I can’t stop thinking about the parents that buy “maple syrup” for their children. This continues to be quite troubling and weighs on my conscience. The marketing of products in the grocery store is thoroughly misleading and misinforming to the consumer. We have to watch the wording, labels, and the ingredients of all the products we consume. During this quest, the tag line was always some sort of maple- flavored constituents equaling sugar, sugar, and more sugar, marketing toward traditions, children, and the complacent consumer.
I called my mother and told her about the Maple Syrup Expedition and the dilemma I had with my findings. She asked about the syrup of my youth, and I had to tell her the said truth: High Fructose Corn Syrup.All in all, this rant was not just about maple syrup. Think about the rest of the items you buy at the local grocery store. My goal in writing this passage is to encourage people to take their time at the grocery store and inspect the ingredients that they consume. Please make a valiant effort to moderate what you put in your bodies. We need to start looking out for ourselves, our family, and our community’s health and well being. Don’t just settle for what is the most economical or what is at eye level. You deserve the best, and it is time to start treating yourself for the best quality food available. Good luck and let your own expedition begin!