When it comes to eating, there are animals who carefully wait and stalk their prey — like the big cats in the wild. Then there are those domesticated pets who rely on their owners to eat what is put in their bowls and they eat with abandon.
When it comes to food shopping in order to eat, I am convinced that my husband and I emulate these distinctions in the animal kingdom too.
Like many traditionalists, we shop weekly starting our cycle with the circulars that arrive with Thursday's morning newspaper. My husband is a dedicated, knowledgeable food shopper, comparing the stores' sales, the coupons he's collected, as well as the inventory on our shelves and refrigerator. He devotes time to this methodical, deliberate process and has been called out by his coworkers when they catch him in the break room working his magic. He is careful, thoughtful, and lies in wait to determine just the right amount of food necessary to satisfy four adults through 84 meals every seven days.
He is the guy you sign up to be the contestant at the "Guess which food prices are higher/lower" contest in the middle of the sixth inning of a Long Island Ducks game and he walks away with four right answers and a local supermarket gift card.
In grocery shopping arenas he is a lion and no gazelles are safe.
I, on the other hand, have had a history of moving through the aisles at lightning speed, tossing food into the cart with an athletic form only seen on the game show, "Supermarket Sweep." Most of the time I have little time or interest for this repetitive chore, though the coolest, newest packaged goods can divert my attention. However, I have spent the last year reprogramming my process to abide by a list and its associated coupons along with specific directions to make good food judgments as encouraged by my spouse.
Without his guidance there would be food chaos — driven by a three-question test for all that is put in my cart: Is it fresh? Would I eat it? Am I hungry? Sold.
So in a world in which 80 percent of new grocery products fail, where food is becoming more locally-sourced, more organic, more kale and kelp, a land in which "healthy" desserts, oat milk, and diet-based eating may actually become part of the norm — I will work harder to slow down the practice and benefit from better, considered decisions. But I'm not giving up chocolate or potato chips. No way.
A contributing writer to the Herald since 2012, Lauren Lev is an East Meadow resident and a direct marketing/advertising executive who teaches advertising and marketing communications courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY, LIU Post and SUNY Old Westbury.