The marketing of convenience

15 May 2013
I loved the interesting comments that came through yesterday. Parents sharing their experiences in an open way always has the potential to help some parents confirm their choices and it gives others the opportunity to read a wide variety of opinions they may not be exposed to in real life. So thank you for taking part in that important discussion about what kids eat.

It seems to me that parts of the food industry, and supermarkets in general, want to kneecap us. They aren't interested in our well being, they want our money and food is something we budget for on a daily or weekly basis. There is no way they will stop promoting the products they sell, so we all have to step up, refuse to take notice and just keep doing what we're doing.

My main gripe is that this form of selling promotes convenience over everything else such as quality, location, scarcity and the environmental cost of production, packaging and delivery. Convenience wins every time. And the consequence is that slowly, we lose our life skills. Why make bread when it's available fresh every day? Why put the time into making good soap when soap is so cheap? Many people take the convenient option every time and don't know that products made at home, including bread and soap, are far superior to what you buy at the supermarket. I know that many people don't have the time to make such things but those who do have the time and the inclination for it aren't encouraged or supported in their choices.

The saddest part of this whole thing is that it drains confidence. I get so many emails from young women telling me they want to do this and that but don't think they can, or they failed once and they don't have the confidence to try again. If you knew how many times I made bread and soap before I was satisfied with it you'd probably think I was mad for persisting so long. Good works take time. Anyone can walk along an aisle, pick up products and put them in a trolley. It takes time, skills, commitment, passion and, yes, confidence, to home-make what can easily be bought. But the pay off is that you retain those skills, you produce goods that are superior and you know what's in them.

I'm not going to explain why it's a good thing to remain skilled and to be self reliant, I'm sure you know why as surely as I do. But I will encourage you to learn as much as you can and to be confident in your values and the way you live. I hope you'll encourage others to do the same. Because if we don't acknowledge that the marketing of convenience is turning us into a bunch of sooky-lalas, then we'll all go down the drain. I want to yell that out loud for the world to hear, but I guess my blog is the closest I get to doing that.

I gleaned a lot of hope out of yesterday's comments. Seeing women rejecting the convenience of baby food in a jar made me realise there are a lot of us who have chosen to swim against the tide. I don't know about you but when I know my values are mirrored in others, when I know we're not the only ones who don't choose the easy option, it makes me want to keep going, keep enjoying, keep sharing and keep learning. Thank you for helping me feel that so strongly yesterday.