Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Why "Just Shop the Periphery" Isn't Necessarily Great Advice - A Photo Essay
















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9 comments:

  1. I think this advice is more outdated than anything else. I remember it being pretty valid fifteen years ago when I was in college, but sometime between then and now the grocery stores caught on.

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  2. Let's face it simplistic advice usually doesn't hold up over time. Stores study consumer shopping patterns and adjust accordingly. This why supermarkets periodically rearrange the display aisles to force customers to pass by different areas of the store - a tactic dating back to the 60's that apparently still works. Moving processed products to the periphery is simply a newer version of the same old tried & true tactic.

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  3. All this aggressive consumer directed strategies of food companies makes me think they are getting close to a set point of being unable to increase their profit in the western countries (even if you are over eater there is always a limit of you can eat). I wish they would change their strategy of trying to push people to buy pretend to be food and started investing in producing healthy organic and sustainable with minimum processing food products. People aren't ignorant forever and good nutrition eduction is going slowly producing some changes as it gets disseminated in several media.

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  4. Plus you are missing all of the spices, vinegars and oils, beans, rice, flour, oats. You know the things you make recipes out of. No wonder people think it's expensive to eat real food when they think they can only eat expensive cuts of meat, vegetables and dairy. And no wonder they all think it tastes boring when they can't put any flavour on it. This "advice" has always driven me mad.

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  5. Megan Boschman11:17 am

    I've always assumed this advice was a guideline, not to be taken entirely literally. It's a way to package the much longer directive of "choose mostly fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean meats and meat alternatives, and whole grains, while avoiding overly processed foods like sugary breakfast cereals, chips, and 'fruit' snacks".

    Assumedly people are apt enough to know they will need healthy things besides just that flanking the outer perimeter, like the commenter above mentioned (or is that too presumptuous??).

    Either way, this is a good reminder to constantly evaluate our knee-jerk advice, as food retailers will always find a way to exploit it.

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  6. Cactus Wren2:35 pm

    I've never heard the "Shop the periphery of the supermarket" suggestion given as an iron-clad rule that you must NEVER under ANY circumstances even set foot into any of the inner aisles. But apparently some of the posters here would turn off the "all classical music" station when the disk jockey said "That was Haydn's Trumpet Concerto in E flat" (or "The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning"), on the grounds that if a person is *talking* then it's not ALL classical music.

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  7. Anonymous1:43 am

    Hi,
    Your blog is downright depressing! Could you for once capture something positive about industrial food or supermarkets. I know the situation is bleak but please give me something to feel optimistic about on occasion. I do purchase some industrial food but prominently feast on fresh fruit and veggies, whole grains, lean organic chicken and fish and exercise a minimum of 1 hour a day. Surely there must be more persons committed to a healthy lifestyle out there somewhere! Yoni I applaud your whistle blowing efforts but please throw me some good news!

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  8. Thank you for pointing this out! I realized years ago that "shop the perimeter" had become simplistic advice, but the photographic evidence is compelling.

    Next, could you please tackle "When you go to a restaurant, order an appetizer instead of an entree"? Maybe this works at very upscale restaurants, but at the mid-level restaurants in my family's budget—local places as well as chains—the appetizers are usually breaded, fried, and/or covered in cheese.

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  9. There's frozen stuff in the perimeter of the store? Since when? The bakery department has indeed always been there...

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