The disintegration of shopping the perimeter

Have you heard the advice to “shop the perimeter” of a grocery store to find the foods that are more likely to be “real food”? That the highly processed stuff tends to be in the aisles (and there are so many aisles!), but produce and the like are around the edges? Seems like good, simple advice.


Due to poor planning, I needed a carrot and a head of garlic. Due to life choices, I live in an area with many grocery stores, though the ones I typically shop at aren’t the closest one. Because the things I needed were available at any grocery store (I think), I went for efficiency.

I’m not sure why this day and not prior, but I was overwhelmed and amazed by how much junk food there was. In the perimeter!

From the front door, I had to walk through the bakery to get to the produce. Front and center was a huge table of pink baked goods, where you can work on cultivating your own cancer for the cure.

Beyond the bakery, on shelves under the produce stands were various candies, chocolate-covered things, etc.

A large display for bulk candy was at the back end of the produce.

The divider between the produce and the aisle next to it was “fruit drinks” and other crap beverages.

And this was the produce section.

Disheartening is a massive understatement.

While we’re all implicit in our own food choices, life in the US certainly makes eating well more difficult than it otherwise could be.

There are grocery stores where this kind of layout is not the case (including the places I normally shop), but mainstream America doesn’t shop at Health Food Stores.

We can do better. We need to do better.

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