Thursday, March 13, 2008

Convenience Store Survival Training

I was on the road yesterday driving to a county court to defend myself (unsuccessfully) against a speeding ticket. I reluctantly stopped into a convenience store on my way back, to see if there was anything I would eat for lunch.

I actually did find two things that were palatable and not too unhealthy: canned sardines and toasted cashews. The total was $2.50, affordable even for a grad student.

The sardines were canned in "tomato sauce", which I realized later contained soybean oil. Oops. Well I suppose when you get your food at a convenience store, you have to expect such things.

The main thing that bothered me was the trash. I posted a mugshot (above) of the can, fork and plastic bag that I either trashed or recycled as a result of the meal. The total volume of trash was probably almost as much as the total volume of food.

I think if you stick to nuts, canned fish and fresh fruit, it's possible to survive a convenience store stop. And Baby Ruths. Those are healthy, right?


Dave Clary said...

Definitely the Baby Ruths! :-)

I spent two years managing convenience stores which had to be the most nutritionally bankrupt period of my life. Feeling hungry? Grab a dog off the grill! I shudder to think how many dogs I ate in those two years.

Unknown said...

Interesting post! There's a name for neighborhoods that only have fast food and stores such as those: "food deserts"

Hope your defense in court went better than the lunch.

Debs said...

I love the term 'convenience store.' I find it very convenient not to be able to find anything edible, to find a whole lot of junk food, and to pay a premium for whatever I buy.

Baby Ruths are terrible for you, by the way, but KitKats are definitely a health food.

Dave Clary said...


When they installed lottery machines in our stores, that took the "convenience" our of convenience stores. Then they put in some "pay day loan" kiosks. I told my assistant manager that we would probably have hookers in the back room next since we were already in the numbers and loan sharking rackets. I'm glad that phase of my life is history!


P.S. Before I got nutritional religion, KitKat wrappers would fall out of my car when I opened the door! :-)

Unknown said...

Whoops. When I reread the post I saw I must have skipped over the word "unsuccessfully", so I guess lunch went relatively better:/

And Dave, I noticed how some of the smaller convenience stores (at least on the Ave.) sometimes carry porn, weapons and drug paraphernalia in addition to the other things you mentioned, so it seems they have most sinful activity covered!

Stephan Guyenet said...


You have led an interesting life. Glad you're taking better care of yourself these days!

Anonymous said...

Dave - yes, I think any store that sells lottery tickets at the same counter where they sell everything else should have their right to use the word "convenience" revoked. And I love your phrase, "nutrition religion." The other day I was telling my husband about a fellow blogger who eats mostly clean food but occasionally splurges on a treat (at least it's usually homemade). And he said, "Oh, you mean she's a Protestant?" Took me a minute to get what he meant.

Every now and again I get the idea I'd like a candy bar. Then I go to the vending machine and imagine myself actually eating the thing and decide it's not worth it. Maybe I could choke down a Special Dark, but I think my insulin spikes if I even think about a Reese's. (Then again, aren't peanuts a good source of protein?)