How to Find Real Food at the Supermarket

by | Apr 24, 2013

Foodist Supermarket Navigation


Grocery shopping has never been more confusing than it is in 2013.

With conflicting nutrition information coming at us from all sides, navigating the supermarket can feel as impossible as doing long division while juggling loaded bear traps. It’s neither fun nor safe.

To help you find real food within the endless labyrinth of junk, I’ve put together this handy flowchart for your use and amusement. Consider it your supermarket GPS. If you ever get lost, just start back at the top.

I originally created a version of this flowchart back in 2011, but it has been updated and made far more awesome for my new book Foodist. Please share and enjoy.

May the food be with you.

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88 Responses to “How to Find Real Food at the Supermarket”

  1. This is great. Thanks. I’ll be sure to share.

  2. Natalie Mann says:

    Absolutely love your graphic. Now we have to get people cooking!

  3. Dee says:

    Darya, These types of info graphics are good communication tool….think I’m going to attempt doing a one page flowchart for my diet ….. You’re inspiring!

  4. Qzee says:

    I’ve managed to buy ready made salads at the grocery store that had more than five ingredients: lettuce, shredded carrots, beet greens, onion, cucumber,and balsamic vinegar with olive oil dressing, which I thought was food…

  5. Sammy Handley says:

    Love the graph. You might as well make it fun and enjoyable when choosing the right food to buy. Might use this myself. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Sumon Ahmed says:

    That is a nice health tips. I like the post so much for the very helpful tips.

  7. Cathy says:

    I love this! I missed it the first time around so I’m glad you reposted it. I’ll be buying my bacon at the meat counter from now on to avoid dog food!

  8. Sarah says:

    Hilarious! I always make sure to shop in the perimeter of the grocery store first. When in the aisles, I never look at eye-level, as that’s what the store is pushing most. I have your book on my wishlist (birthday is coming up!)

  9. chemcrazy says:

    The “sciencese” makes me sad. It perpetuates chemophobia. Everything ever is a chemical: some are good for you, some are only good in certain quantities, some are bad for you. It’s important to know the why’s, not just “can I pronounce it?”

  10. Luca Samson says:


    That was a really great article and I loved the flow chart! Very creative!!

    I too am a bit of a health nut and love to exercise, eat healthy and stay fit. Im also a bit of a meditation and yoga fanatic.

    Looking forward to more articles!

  11. Solomon says:

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and
    now each time a comment is added I get three emails with
    the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Appreciate it!

  12. Linda says:

    Funny it has to be this complicated just to get something in your stomach. LOL

  13. Karen P says:

    Brilliant!!! Love this. 🙂 Keep up the good work.

  14. Micke says:

    You know this is really sad that we have to really work on such things like getting healthy food (which should be by default always healthy, otherwise – trash, not the store shelf!).

  15. Gerard Jeronowitz says:

    Just saw a different version of this posted on a friend’s FB wall. My first thought after going through it: the entire junk food section leads to the “well done” box.
    Chips/candy bars/etc. do have a label, don’t make health claims, did used to be alive (corn,cocoa, sugar cane). “Was it ever alive”‘s YES line should lead to “are there more than 5 ingredients” which gets you to the “it’s a food” box. The separate “produce isle” box isn’t really needed since it is covered later by the “are you on the perimeter of the store”

  16. John says:

    hahaha, so funny, but it’s good chart, has some really nice tips

  17. salim says:

    Hilarious! I always make sure to shop in the perimeter of the grocery store first. When in the aisles, I never look at eye-level, as that’s what the store is pushing most. I have your book on my wishlist (birthday is coming up!)

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