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Mar. 1, 2020

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Is it time to say goodbye to grocery shopping as we know it? In the age of algorithms, apps, and cheap delivery services, you might never again stand at a checkout and hear the words: “paper or plastic?” In "Why Grocery Shopping Is on Its Way Out," Corey Mintz delves into the changing ways we shop and the small human moments we’ll miss the most.

The act of grocery shopping involves low-level social interactions called “weak ties,” Mintz writes. “These connections have been shown to improve physical and mental health and to help reduce loneliness.” They may even lessen the risk of dementia and memory loss.

“The trend in food retail over the last century has matched these broader social and economic developments: depersonalization, a steady march toward speed and convenience, and a shift away from the human relationships built around food,” he adds. According to Mintz, shopping via apps instead of stores is supposed to give us more time with our loved ones, but let’s be real: “Who do you know who has more time for friends and family than even a decade ago?”

If everyone makes the e-grocery switch, Mintz writes, we'll lose those meaningful real-life experiences: getting out of the house, selecting the best apples or avocados, and playing the game of choosing the fastest checkout line.

Read Mintz’s piece about the evolution of grocery stores as we accelerate toward a lonelier world.
 
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This week's newsletter was produced by Raizel Harjosubroto, edited by Tajja Isen and copy-edited by Jonah Brunet. We'd love to hear what you thought of it at web@thewalrus.ca.
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