I noticed when I shop at the grocery store, I use a lot less of it than I used to. I hardly use any of it any more, by floor space. I couldn’t find a floor plan of my local market, but this one looks fairly representative:
When you avoid food where you have to throw away packaging and food with fiber removed, you only use the two circled parts here:
Some of the circled part includes a “coffee smoothie bar,” which I wouldn’t use.
The biggest differences in my life for sticking with fresh produce (and bulk foods for nuts and legumes put in bags I brought with me) are that foods are more
That is, by my values, better in every way. If you prefer foods that taste worse, are less convenient, cost more, pollute more, and are unhealthy, that’s your business.
If you don’t have the skills to prepare fresh produce… well, I suggest you learn. Same if you’ve numbed your taste buds to nuance and subtlety with the salt, fat, sugar, and flavor-pack additives of factory-produced “food.” In fact, the rest of this post is probably about you.
Manhattan Real Estate
This store has been around as long as I’ve lived here, which means it’s been paying Manhattan real estate prices and taxes since the 90s at least. Every square foot costs so they’ll maximize their profit everywhere. If I’m not using the rest of the store, others must be, and the store must be making more profit there.
So what’s in the rest of the store?
There’s a Whole Foods near me too. Think they’re any different? Hardly. Here’s a Whole Food aisle, and it doesn’t look much different to me, except that they can probably charge more for nicer packaging:
I see no healthy food in any of these aisles making up the bulk of the floor space of the market, meaning it’s making the bulk of its profit. If I’m not buying that stuff, others must be. Sadly, they’re ingesting it, and it’s turning into fat.
While many people blame obesity on factors outside of people’s control, like genetics or health conditions, simply looking at markets shows that Americans are spending tons of money on products that make them fat. I don’t even mean abstract markets like the stock market. I mean literal markets where they buy food.
Since your local markets almost certainly distribute fat-producing “food” floor space to healthy food floor space similarly, your eyes will tell you how much more fat-producing products people around you consume. Then you know the cause of people’s fitness or lack thereof in your community.
No genetics or health conditions can compare its contribution to that ratio of fat-producing products to healthy products.
In any case, to me, the rest of the market looks is stuff that
- Tastes bad
- Is inconvenient
- Costs more
- Comes from a distant factory
- Makes you fat
In other words:
What you can do about it
I recommend what I did, which is to learn how to prepare food from fresh produce and buy nothing else.
Actually, I did it in the opposite order, which I recommend: buy nothing else. Buying only fresh produce (and nuts and dried legumes) forced me to figure out how to cook it. It took a few months of figuring stuff out, but I did, I have a six-pack and every other sign of health, and there’s no going back.
You can too. It’s that simple. Only buy fresh produce, nuts, and dried legumes, and figure it out. You’re not going to die.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book