Chicago, Illinois

How to Avoid Grocery Store Traps

Despite toxic foods largely caused by lobbying-induced legislation (as mentioned in A Brief History of Food Lobbying in America), grocery stores have strategically placed such items in a designed fashion so that consumers will be tempted to buy more items than they need. Grocery stores wanted to implement the lean management (LM) philosophy that had been applied in Toyota’s manufacturing plants.

At Toyota, LM was a way to reduce waste in production. The method LM was used at grocery stores was to make sure shoppers would overstuff their carts so that they would not just focus on what they primarily wanted, milk. The grocery stores would first put produce and then middle aisles of packaged goods preceding the milk. Middle aisles are loaded with packaged foods which are mainly addictive snacks that have contributed to the nation’s obesity epidemic. The exception to that would be aisles with legumes, nuts, and complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and pasta.

The grocery store traps can be circumvented based on these tips:

  • Write a list of what you need and must eat for your well-being before going to the store.
  • Avoid the middle aisles until you reach the cashier.
  • Make your store trips mostly circular.
    • Around the front.
    • Sides.
    • Back of the stores.
  • Just before you get to the cashier, if necessary, go to the middle aisles that have what is remaining on your shopping list if such items are in the middle aisles.
  • Get out and check out. It’s not a bad workout!