I saw this video a few weeks ago, and it cracked me up. I also tend to grocery shop at multiple places. I buy most of my produce and bread at farmers markets and Stanley’s Fruits & Vegetables. I buy my milk/milk alternative, peanut butter, jam, cereal, etc at a general grocery store like Jewel or Mariano’s Fresh Market. I buy frozen vegetables and a few selective frozen dinners at Trader Joe’s. Sometimes, I even pick up soup, salad or shrimp spring rolls at Whole Foods to make me feel like I am eating a nice dinner out. All of this shopping can be exhausting though, so I try to space it out over the course of a week.
The interesting thing about this concept is that it is now labeled as “selctive shopping” in the research community. I had the opportunity to talk to Summer Porter, a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois in Chicago, whom is conducting research on nutrition environments, child feeding practices, and food choices in Dr. Angela Odoms-Young’s lab. Summer said that selective shopping occurs when one shops at several retailers, which often may be miles apart in an effort to extend the food budget. In 2010, she performed a qualitative analysis of interviews obtained from low income African American caregivers in Chicago. She looked at the strategies used and the barriers these families face to feed their families, while operating on a tight budget. Summer said she had noticed a trend that many of us shopping on a budget, in an urban environment, can relate to selective shopping instead of one stop shopping. According to Karen Glanz, cost has been reported as the second most important factor in food decisions, behind taste. Summer stated that,
For those of us who use selective shopping, it is not uncommon to travel to four or more stores in order to get the type of food we want for a lesser cost. Compile this time consuming strategy with environmental barriers such as not having access to a car and having to take 2 buses to get quality produce, and one can begin to understand the effort burden of eating healthy on a limited income.In the context of public health initiatives and awareness surrounding the obesity epidemic, the food environment is an essential component of understanding the complexities behind eating behaviors.”
The selective shopping concept is very interesting, because one stop shopping would save time and effort. You have probably heard of the phrase “time is money” yet we still like traveling to multiple locations to get cheaper specific food items and produce. It makes sense that the two most important factors in food decisions are taste and cost. I like traveling to multiple locations not only to save money, but because I feel like I am spending my money wisely on tastier and healthier food choices.
Are you a selective shopper? How many places do you stop at?
Porter S, Odoms‐Young A , and Zenk S. Budgeting and food insecurity among low‐income African American caregivers: A qualitative analysis. Oral Presentation: APHA 139th annual meeting and exposition. October 2011.
Glanz K, Basil M, Maibach E, et al. Why Americans eat what they do: taste, nutrition, cost, convenience, and weight control as influences on food consumption. J Am Diet Assoc. 1998;98:1118–1126.