Grocery shopping today is very different.

The evolution and growth of farmers markets and Whole Foods and similar stores has changed the way people shop over the last few years. People crave the freshest produce and ingredients, which is by no means a bad thing. It is a wonderful thing, in fact. However, this obsession with food has cast a huge stigma over center aisle shopping. When people shop nowadays, they tend to steer clear of center aisles and shop the perimeter of their store.

For many folks, anything that comes out of a can, jar or any sort of packaging is bad and want nothing to do with it.

While it is true that many unhealthy processed food items can be found in the center aisle doesn’t mean that you should quarantine it entirely! There are plenty of great and nutritious things you can find with center aisle shopping.

Center aisle shopping gets a bad rap. But, we’re here to set the record straight and give you a little guidance about center aisle shopping.

There’s just as much bad on the outside

Just about every grocery store has a bakery. While the fact that it is “freshly baked” may lead many to believe it is healthier and better.

The reality is, the cakes, cookies and pies you can pick up in the bakery are just as fattening and unhealthy as the prepackaged stuff you can buy in the center aisle. What is more important than avoiding the center aisle altogether is educating yourself.

Take the time to inspect the food and packaging. Figure out what exactly is in the food you eat and what the nutritional value of each item is before you make a decision one way or another.

You may be surprised what you learn. Like canned fish, for instance. Yes, canned fish. We’ll bet when you think of canned meat you instantly think of Spam and other questionable products. There is no way canned fish can be good, right? Well, if you take a look, you may be surprised to learn that these products are nutrient dense and have a long shelf-life. In fact, some of these products are just as healthy as frozen, and cheaper!

Avoiding center aisle shopping isn’t realistic

Looking through your recipes or cookbooks, how do you expect to cook and complete an entire meal made with ingredients from the fringe of the store?

There are essential (and healthy) meal building blocks that you can only find in the middle of the store. Where else are you going to get pasta, oats, non-dairy milk, nuts, rice, dried fruits, quinoa and, of course, stock up on your Randall Beans?

The middle of the store is also one of the only places you will be able to the ingredients you need to create more exciting and culturally diverse recipes and dishes.

Don’t write off center aisle shopping altogether. There is plenty of good food to be found!

You can find good food online too! If you can’t get Randall Beans at a store near you, you can always order our beans online.