Grocery stores are amply stocked with what’s best not to eat and much less so in what to eat. Consider:
• The Mayo Clinic notes that “Most of us tend to spend the most time shopping in the center aisles, when you really should spend the most time shopping in the outside perimeters of the store. This is where you’ll find the freshest foods, including produce, meat and dairy. Fresh foods are generally healthier than the processed foods you’ll find in the center aisles.”
• Marion Nestle writes in her tome “What to Eat” that “there are too many choices; about 320,00 food and beverage products are available in the United States, and an average supermarket carries 30,000 to 40,00 of them.
• Consider how many varieties of cereal are in your supermarket. One estimate claims that the average supermarket carries 250 varieties.
I think the message is clear: supermarkets devote too much of their “food” space to heavily processed food-like items.
In my blog post “Why celebrate the wealth of seed varieties?” I noted that there are 10,000 – 15,000 varieties of tomatoes that exist in the world. While I’ll admit, it would be unrealistic for your supermarket to carry a substantial fraction of all these, I still think it’s worth asking how many varieties you’d like them to carry. Does your store carry yellow, green, purple, or white tomatoes? Do they sell any heirlooms?
There are times where it’s good to compare apples to oranges. Oops. I mean fresh veggies to highly-processed cereals and frozen dinners.