Groceries Have a Geography?

Geography is everywhere—even in the grocery store. Not only does your food come from all over the world, it’s also arranged in patterns in the store.

Think about the grocery store where your family shops. What different sections are in the store? What types of things are shelved together?

You’ve probably noticed, for example, that all the fruit is in one place.

Or is it?

In addition to fresh produce, your grocery store probably sells canned fruit, fruit juice and fruit snacks—each in a different aisle. The salad bar may also have pieces of fruit!

Now, since geographers define the word region as an area “having one or more common characteristics that are found throughout,” try to think of each of the parts of the store that have fruit products, as a region.

If fruit is one region, how many regions would you guess your store has?

Now that you’re brains are warmed up, check out the full Geographic Groceries activity and have some extreme family fun!


More food for thought:

After your family has completed the activity, encourage them to think about how the regions they identified would change, depending on where they lived. Would things be organized the same?  Use the photographs below as a starting point!

A young women prepares her fruit stand for the day in Antigua, Guatemala. Photograph by Brett Newell, MyShot
A street vendor displays his fruits in the street of Chinatown. Photograph by: Herman Lumanog, MyShot

How would the geography of groceries change if there were no grocery store at all?

Floating Market - 2012-06-25_123883_sense-of-place.jpg
The Lok Baintan floating market is located in Banjarmasin, about an hour from central Banjarmasin by klotok (traditional boat). Trading begins early in the morning and traders sell and barter freshly harvested fruits and vegetables.
Photograph by: Hary Muhammad, MyShot


Lady selling fruits in Ha Long Bay - 2012-06-24_135724_spontaneous-moments.jpg
This woman rows her boat around the islands of Ha Long Bay selling fruits to earn her living.
Photograph by: Phoon Mun Wei, MyShot

Featured photo by: Hary Muhammad, MyShot

3 thoughts on “Groceries Have a Geography?

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