Shopping the Perimeter
I have a news feed page that opens whenever I access the Internet. It’s my daily attempt to catch up on local, national, and worldwide news to determine if:
A: It’s safe to join the general population that day
B: I should remain in the house with the doors locked and the curtains drawn
C: I should start constructing that underground bunker I keep putting off building
The challenge with being able to determine which course of action I should take is that on any given moment, there will be conflicting opinions and positions on every current event. Which posts are credible? Back in the good old days of magazines, there were different categories of magazines. If you wanted to read about news and current events, you'd purchase a magazine written about news and current events. Sports? Sports Magazines. The Biogeography of the Yamatji Aborigines? National Geographic. Fashion? Fashion Magazines. Last week on my news feed, I saw a post about the current tenuous political climate on the Korean Peninsula. The article was from the website of a well-known women’s fashion magazine commonly found near grocery store checkout stands. I was tempted to click on the link, but instead, I opted to click on a story posted by a golf website about how aliens that visited our planet 624 trillion years ago carved an image of a cell phone on volcanic bedrock near a now-dormant volcano in the southern Peruvian Andes.
The news feed articles that really confound me are posts about health and nutrition. On any given day, there will be several posts by credible-sounding websites with headlines like, “If You Eat These 10 Vegetables Daily, You Will Never Get Cancer.” So I clicked. After all, the website had either the word “Health” or “Nutrition” in its name, and in some cases, both. So they have to be reputable, right? I already started feeling healthier just by reading their article. I was just about to hop in my car and head to the nearest grocery store, when I accidentally scrolled further down my news feed and saw the following headline: “If you eat these 10 vegetables, you’ll be dead within a week.” My clicker finger disobeyed a direct order from command central not to click on the link. Guess what? The same 10 vegetables that apparently will protect me from cancer will also kill me within a week. Now there’s a humorous side to this, but also a very non-humorous side. On any given day, there are many examples like this. Best advice is to take everything you read with a grain of salt – which depending on which salt website you read, will either cause you to stroke out, or add 10 years onto your life expectancy.
But there is good news. There appears to be one subject that all health and nutrition experts agree on. And that has to do with how we should grocery shop. According to these experts, all the food you need to stay healthy and fit, can be found on the perimeter of a grocery store. If you want to live a long, full, healthy life, you put yourself at grave risk just by turning down an aisle in the middle of the store. One time I “accidentally” turned down the cereal aisle, and immediately began feeling nauseous and weak. Through my blurred vision, I noticed that Captain Crunch with Crunch Berries was on sale for the ridiculously low price of $1.88. Last thing I remembered was reaching out to grab a box. Once paramedics transported me safely to the perimeter of the store, I regained consciousness and felt fit as a fiddle (not to be confused with Fiddle Faddle).
Although I don’t always see eye-to-eye with these health experts, I am in 100% agreement with their recommendation to shop the perimeter for a healthy and nutritious diet. On the perimeter of every grocery store, you will have access to healthy fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy, and baked goods. Did that last one surprise you? It did me too. But I have yet to find a grocery store that didn’t include a bakery in the perimeter of their store. So I always make sure there’s at least one healthy donut in my cart. And when I’m really committed to eating a healthy diet all week, I’ll get a dozen assorted healthy donuts.