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Shopping for the Long Run

If you want to live a long time, you have to start thinking about stuff you never thought about before. Take grocery shopping, for instance.

Shopping is no big deal, right? It’s simple. You wander up and down the aisles. You buy some stuff. And then you go home.

Chances are nobody’s told you the store is laid out to maximize profits. But if you’ve ever gotten home with something you hadn’t planned to buy… you’re a victim of grocery store psychology.

Every item in your local grocery store has ben placed where it is for a reason. For instance, did you know big companies pay grocery stores to put their products at eye level?

Or that the milk and bread are deliberately placed far from the entrance because they’re staples. Supermarkets know you’ll travel for those items. So they use them to draw you deep into the store.

But my wife and I discovered a benefit of grocery store psychology. It’s made shopping for a long life easier.

Because when you’re shopping for your health, you pretty much never have to leave the perimeter of the store. If it’s at all healthy, chances are it’s along the outside aisles.

Think about it for a minute…

Grocery store psychologists usually put the produce near the entrance. They do it for two reasons. It sets a fresh, healthy tone as you enter the store. Plus, it looks best in natural light. But it’s also convenient if you want to eat for the long run.

As you move around the store, the outside aisles usually include dairy – eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt, etc. The meat’s there, too – including the organic and antibiotic-free options. Add in the produce, and you have most of what you need for a healthy diet.

The inside aisles are where all the crap lives. Processed, packaged foods. Artificial colors and flavors. Cans lined with chemicals that act like hormones. And everything sugary you can imagine.

Our trips to the grocery store are a lot faster these days. Other than quick side trips into the pet food aisle and paper goods, we just make one big circle and we’re done.

It costs a little more to shop this way. Pre-packaged crap is cheap. But my organic greens are about 25% more than the conventional variety. And we’ll splurge on Spanish Manchego cheese and other favorites.

But we’re still saving money. Because now that we’re getting used to fresh, flavorful foods, we eat out a lot less. Restaurant food just doesn’t taste that good any more.

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