The usually rubbery-looking grocery check out belt appears to be alive and growing. Only a few spots of orange, red, and yellow peek through an otherwise green, leafy jungle.
“Any coupons … bottle return receipts?” A mumbling male cashier with multiple facial piercings - and a huge neck tattoo of an eagle with outstretched wings - intentionally avoids eye contact.
“Wish I did, but nope – none today.”
Bleep-bleep, romaine lettuce and kale slide across the scanner.
Bleep-bleep-bleep-bleep-bleep-bleep, there go the parsley, celery, carrots, peppers, collard greens, and baby lettuces.
Bleep-bleep – cilantro and watercress bring up the rear.
“Got rabbits?” The cashier still refuses to look me in the eye.
“Rabbits? Well, no – why do you ask?”
It simply doesn’t dawn on me that this young man might be totally oblivious to the world of fresh vegetable juicing.
“So much green stuff in one order - it must be some sort of record, I think.”
I realize my soapbox opportunity, but have to be quick.
“Did you know there’s more readily-absorbable calcium in that kale than in dairy products? And fresh produce in general alkalizes the human body while many cooked foods makes it acidic and therefore prone to degenerative disease? When you put vegetables through a special machine called a juicer - presto, you get concentrated nutrition in a glass ready to absorb directly into your bloodstream. Some really disciplined juicers have been dramatically healed of cancer, diabetes, fibrymyalgia, chrone’s disease…all kinds of things. It’s pretty amazing.”
“You don’t say.” He appears brain-dead, but obviously hears me.
Another voice, a squeaky female chirp, punctuates the moment.
“Your spinach dropped through.”
I turn to face the woman in line behind me whose cart is overflowing with sandwich cookies, chips, hot dogs, ice cream, sugared cereal, quick-fix boxed foods, and donuts.
“I said your spinach dropped through. You had it on the bottom of the cart and it’s right there on the linoleum.”
“Oh, sorry, thank you!”
I reach for the isolated bunch of spinach laying in open disclosure on the floor and plop it on the conveyor belt.
“Wouldn’t have wanted to forget the spinach!” I’m sure I look pathetic, perhaps like an overly proud mother who has no identity apart from her kids - or in this case, her fresh produce.
She glares at me through wisps of untamed blonde hair and over flaming red sunglasses perched on the tip of a sunburned nose. “Well, you’re welcome. Couldn’t help hearing your little lecture on juicing. So it looks like you can you juice just about anything – how about macaroni and cheese? (chuckle) Bet that’d be real good …”
I seize her challenge as an opportunity. “Well, I suppose so, but it sure wouldn’t have any living enzymes …”
“Of course not. No living enzymes. Well now, we wouldn’t want that, would we?”
“But you see, life begets life, and when we eat nothing but dead (or cooked) food we only set our bodies up for sickness and disease because then our living cells can’t do their jobs to keep us healthy.”
“Are you using a credit card?” The cashier’s pierced lips speak from beneath his downcast eyes.
“Well yes – oh here, I’ll scan it … sorry I’m not paying attention.”
“Now press the green ‘ok’ button.”
“Yes. Thank you for reminding me. All these credit machines are so different – they should standardize them, don’t you think?”
“So you’re serious about this juicing thing, aren’t you.” The woman behind me removes her sunglasses to get a full look at the weird-o in front of her.
“Yes, I believe God created specific foods to promote optimal wellness, and we’d all do well to eat it the way He intended without lots of alteration like heat or refinement or artificial additions. You can check it out in the Bible – look up Genesis 1:29.”
She proceeds to unload her cart and slams each item ceremoniously onto the belt. Not one speck of green can be seen anywhere.
Meanwhile, I re-fill my own cart with loaded bags. The casher finally looks up; his steel-gray eyes meet mine.
“My mother was just told she has a suspicious spot on her breast – could fresh juice help her?”
My heart jumps into my throat. “You know, I believe it’s very possible. Does she have a computer?”
“There are plenty of great web sites, but have her check out www.hacres.com for starters. She’ll find lots of good information there. Here, I have a scrap of paper … I’ll write it down for you.”
“So is anyone going to check me out today or what?” The blonde woman speaks boldly while hiding behind her brash sunglasses, now pushed high up on her nose.
The casher looks down, once again lost in his own discouragement. “Yes m’am … “
“What’s your mom’s name?”
“You two … I happen to have an appointment in fifteen minutes and need to get out of here!”
“Yes m’am …”
I slowly head toward the parking lot wondering about the deception prevalent in our food culture. We seem oblivious to the fact that God created the human body to be self-healing; that we can avoid so much sickness, disease, and depression if we just agree with Him and fuel our bodies appropriately.
“M’am, m’am … you forgot your spinach!” I turn to see the cashier running after me.