Non-Consumer Mish-Mash

by Katy on April 24, 2010 · 20 comments

It’s time again for Non-Consumer Mish-Mash, where I write a little bit about this and a little bit about that.

Double Down? I Say Double Trouble!

I have yet to watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, the TV show where the British celebrity chef teaches us Yanks how to eat healthfully. Not that I wouldn’t enjoy the program, it’s just that I’m not much of a TV person, and I hate to watch commercials.

Having said that, I did catch a commercial (probably while watching “Lost.”) for the new KFC Double Down Sandwich. This monstrosity of American fatty goodness is constructed from two pieces of fried chicken that cushion two slices of cheese, two pieces of bacon and the “The Colonel’s secret sauce.” With not even a slice of tomato to redeem itself, this sandwich brings 32 grams of fat to the party, (the venerable Big Mac boasts a mere 29 grams!) and may represent the pinnacle of fast food.

I stared in open mouthed horror at this commercial, (which seemed like an SNL joke) and told my husband that “this is exactly what brings people to the United States to try and teach us how to eat!”

I think Jamie Oliver saw the same commercial and decided we needed an intervention. How embarrassing.

Strangers in Paradise

The column that I wrote a few days back about talking to strangers has continued to resonate with me. My job as a labor and delivery nurse requires me to have extremely intimate conversations (and contact) with virtual strangers on every single work day. And you know what? I really like this aspect of my job. (The conversations, not the contact.) By the end of my shift, I feel like I know these women and their families extremely well. Sure, I’ll most likely never see them again, but the eight or twelve hours that I’ve just spent with them is rarely without a number of deep and meaningful conversations.

I’m not really sure how this relates to Non-Consumerism, but I love how I to get to know these women who come from every background you can think of. I have a great job, I really do.

Top Ten Ways You Know You’re a Non-Consumer

  1. Family asks you what you want for your birthday and you can’t think of anything.
  2. The newest, most popular movie hits the theaters, but you’re too busy planning your garden to be bothered with it.
  3. You turn down an offer of free stuff because you realize you have no need for it.
  4. You plan your meals based on what needs to get eaten up first.
  5. You delay errands until you can batch them all together.
  6. Your idea of a hot date with your honey involves the words library, walk and leftovers.
  7. You step out of your way to pick up change, however small the amount may be.
  8. Your idea of garden art involves a clothesline.
  9. You no longer forget to bring your reusable bags into the grocery store.
  10. Your bank account has mysteriously plumped, even though you’re not bringing in any more income than usual.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Jinger April 25, 2010 at 4:42 am

Jamie’s show has been excellent…I love the way he relates to the children and staff at the schools. He’s the genuine article. And the flash mob at Marshall was terrific. You can catch the past shows on hulu.


Shannon April 25, 2010 at 7:52 am

I thought the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution had a lot of heart. The people of Huntington were very worried about how they would be portrayed, but I think they really showed them to be a great little city, with the same problems we all have. Really inspiring stuff.

Also, I still remember some of the nutty middle of the night conversations husband and I had w/ our L&D nurses. We still remember a couple of them by name! It really made the experience better because it is such a huge and intimate time in your life, you know?


Lisa April 25, 2010 at 8:44 am

When you wrote of the top ten ways to recognize a non consumer, you were describing me to a tee. My reluctance to buy, buy, buy drives my husband insane. He’s still bit by the consumption bug. I go to great lengths sometimes to keep my latest experiments under wrap because he would have a ‘cow’. My best kept secret is that I haven’t used shampoo in over a year now. (And my hair is gorgeous and healthy for the first time in my life.) Not everything has stayed hidden though. Yesterday he walked in while I was applying homemade deodorant (baking soda and tea tree oil mixed together). Oh, the horror! He chauffeured me to the dollar store and insisted that I buy REAL deodorant. Maybe I’m in my second childhood, but I’ve refused to use it so far. I like the homemade type!

As for the Jamie Oliver shows, I think they’ve been great but wonder how much effect they’ll have nation wide. The long term love affair with junk food that we have as a nation is liable to be difficult to end.


Linda H. April 25, 2010 at 10:09 am

I had the same exact thoughts when I saw the ad for the new KFC “sandwich” . (Can you have a sandwich with no bread/bun?) This product is just wrong on so many levels. Good luck to Jamie Oliver- He seems like a down to earth person who is really trying to make a difference. This country definitely needs it.


Rebecca April 25, 2010 at 10:36 am

After 3 kids, 1 very long labor (over 48 hrs) and 3 c sections, I can say that our nurses defined how “good” the whole birth experience went for each child. We do remember you, even if not by name, by experience.

I had to laugh at that sammy, as I have Celiac disease, and have been known to construct sammys with meat layered between cheese, lettuce and tomato, because I can’t eat wheat bread. but I can’t/ wouldn’t eat that one!


Hiptobeme April 25, 2010 at 11:00 am

Numbers nine and ten are still elusive to me, but not for long! I am well on my way!


Amy April 25, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Eight items on your list of 10 are true of me. The exceptions are #3 and #10. I almost never turn down free stuff, and unemployment and illness have kept the bank account from growing. So am I a partial non-consumer?


Katy April 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm


You are whatever you choose to be. My list was random, and you get to self define!




Emily April 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Not to defend KFC’s excesses with this “sandwich”, but to compare –Burger King’s Tendercrisp Salad has 45 g of fat (according to the BK website). At least the Doubledown sandwich doesn’t pretend to be healthy.


Karen April 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Love the 10 part list! Several of them definitely apply.

Not much of a tv person either but Oliver is a good force against the food struggle in America. The double down sandwich sounds like the perfect poster meal for everything that’s gone wrong in American cooking. I can’t wrap my mind around that particular meal, but think if you want a chicken sandwich, you could put some leftover chicken on a roll, or wrap some in a “roll” of lettuce if you can’t do wheat. What happened to making our own food?


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl April 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I loved my labor and delivery nurses all 4 times…they were so wonderful. And the L&D nurses that were with us when my sil delivered her stillborn baby were amazing too. I love L&D nurses!


Marianne April 25, 2010 at 3:30 pm

im with ya on all but one. my husband and i going on a date does mean going out to eat.
i think i’ll substitute making my own cleaners for that one. =)


Con April 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm

You may never see them again, but I’m pretty sure those strangers in paradise will never forget you! I’ll never forget Wendy the nurse that was there for my first delivery.

I’m thrilled to know I’m a non-consumer, love that list!


Caroline April 25, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Hi Katy
I think your enjoyment of that aspect of your job has a lot to do with non consumerism – it illustrates how important relationships and experiences are to you. Materialism tends to be used to fill the gap when those things are absent from peoples lives.


Nienke April 26, 2010 at 12:18 am

“1. Family asks you what you want for your birthday and you can’t think of anything.”
I like how you see it exactley the other way round from how I see it! 🙂
As I put off buying stuff I would like to have, I can always think of a pressie for my birthday. (Is this sentence proper English???)


Katy April 26, 2010 at 6:36 am


It sounded like proper English to me! I once complained about some new slang to my father, (an English professor) and he told that a language that is unchanging is dead. Like Latin.



Laurie April 26, 2010 at 9:21 am

Katy – you wrote about contact with strangers and said “not sure how this relates to non-consumerism…” – well, THIS is how it relates: you find joy in PEOPLE, not in Things. And there’s no cost to find joy in people. Hallelujah, that’s a big Non consumerism philosophy!


fairydust April 26, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I hope you do get a chance to watch Jamie Oliver’s show! It was fantastic and very inspiring. He butts heads with some of the most amazingly critical people, and yet never loses hope or sight of his objective, which is just to provide healthful, non-processed food to our country’s kids so they get the best start possible. It really is scary to hear statistics that this new generation of children will live less long than their parents because of crappy food and crappy eating habits.


Raffaella April 27, 2010 at 5:47 am

I showed the picture of the DoubleDown to my boyfriend and he asked me if it really exists. 🙂
I can eat fast food once in a while, but how can some people eat it regularly, I wonder? It feels disgusting after a (not very long) while…


Deb April 29, 2010 at 8:39 am

Loved your top 10 list — this week I turned down a free couch and a microwave cart, both in excellent condition, because I didn’t need them; I stepped to the other side of the walk to pick up 2 pennies; I finally reached my goal of saving enough to purchase a plane ticket to visit family in Australia. For the past few years, I can never come up with gift ideas when my family asks — this past Christmas I could only think of socks, which I really needed. My daughter thought I was nuts, but she got me the socks and it was awesome.
Jamie Oliver — I’ve been a fan of his for a few years now. Caught the show you’re talking about a week or two ago. He was trying to get 1000 people to try cooking (or something like that?) to win a bet. I think in West Virginia. It was interesting,


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