January 14, 2021

Once more the grocery has surprised me.  I realize Valentines is only five weeks away, but I was not prepared for the front store display of candy.  What surprised me more was the small size of the display.  When the stores switch the endcaps, they generally do it to provide splash and get you in the mood for buying.  It is on the candy aisle where the change really occurs.  Maybe it was because it was early, but the candy aisle had not changed, just the endcap.  I also wondered at the sparseness of the candy on the endcap.  If this was intended to provide the splash, It did not bode well for the 2021 recovery.

Candy has its main origin in Ancient India.  Between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, the Persians, followed by the Greeks, discovered the people in India and their “reeds that produce honey without bees”.  They adopted and then spread sugar and sugarcane agriculture.  Sugarcane is indigenous to tropical South and Southeast Asia, and the word sugar is derived from the Sanskrit word “sharkara.”  Pieces of sugar were produced by boiling sugarcane juice in ancient India and consumed as khanda, dubbed as the original candy and the etymology of the word.

Holiday candy seems to roll out in a never-ending stream.  Halloween candy came out in September and Christmas candy ran over the top of Thanksgiving.  Actually, the only candy I recall associated with Thanksgiving are the candy corn and the same sugary texture used to make tom turkeys.  Some have gone so far to claim the lesser holidays (not Christmas or Easter) are really a conspiracy devised by commercial ventures.  Valentines brings spending of millions of dollars for dinners, flowers, and candy.  St. Patrick’s Day is clearly a ploy for beer companies.  Even Easter and Christmas seem designed to sell chocolate eggs or hollow Santa’s. Maybe, but only if we believe in conspiracies.

Thoughts:  Conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.  The term has a negative connotation, implying that the appeal to a conspiracy is based on prejudice or insufficient evidence.  Conspiracy theories have been linked to witch hunts, wars, and genocides, and are often perpetuated by terrorists and totalitarian governments.  While conspiracy theories were once limited to fringe audiences, they are now commonplace on social media.  The “Fake News” instigated four years ago is now considered real, and the real news is now considered fake.  Maybe, but only if we believe in conspiracies.  Follow the science.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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