Educators: See our Go Green Shopping Activity
Today’s supermarkets can present an overwhelming array of choices. According to Barry Schwartz, author of “The Paradox of Choice,” a typical supermarket carries more than 30,000 items and more than 20,000 new products hit the shelves every year. Even buying a single breakfast cereal can require choosing between some 80 different varieties. Clinical studies suggest that while some choice is liberating, endless choices can be overtaxing on our health. We hope that by revealing the hidden costs of many store items, we can both help winnow out some of those seemingly endless choices and simultaneously reduce our footprint on the planet.
The specific items selected are meant to serve only as representative choices—the generic type of options you might commonly confront with most any food or product purchase. We ultimately hope that this shopping experience offers a useful set of criteria to keep in mind each time you visit any market and are confronted once again with those ever-present and ever-expanding slough of choices.