2006 – our year to ditch the supermarket!
This was a major change of habit for us – I’ve been shopping weekly at a supermarket for over 17 years! Albeit purchasing organic, eco-friendly, fair-trade products where possible — and these have been increasingly more available in the last 5 years or so.
But our awareness of the evil of supermarkets has grown over the same period. Here’s my top 5 list of what I think is bad about the supermarket in Britain:
1. Market dominance – reduces choice and availability of produce elsewhere – kills the high street – I don’t want to have to get in my car to drive 5 miles to visit a Tesco superstore just because I don’t have a local convenience store (n.b. we await to see what difference the Tesco store makes to the fantastic high-street in Castle Douglas!)
2. Disregard of human and animal welfare – look at the dreadful conditions of even just a few of the animal products sold in a bid to provide the consumer with cheap food — steroid fuelled, hideously overgrown chickens, crammed into sheds for instance. My sister-in-law also tells of the slave-labour wages and other dreadful employment conditions in the Tesco store in her Polish home-town.
3. Over consumerism – the vast one-stop shop that is today’s supermarket, with it’s BOGOF offers and it’s discounted lines from toiletries, to clothes, white goods and beyond. It simply encourages this rash buy, buy, buy culture that is prevalent in today’s Britain. It’s wrong. Surely they understand that. We’ve a population in debt. We’ve a population too fat to lift themselves of the sofa. How better to control the masses than give them what they think they want? “yours at 70% off” – “don’t mind if we’ve exploited a family in Brazil to get it to you. don’t mind if you can’t really afford it. don’t mind if you don’t really need it. go on. show me the money!” It’s wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!
4. Creates demand for unseasonal produce. This doesn’t sit well with me, particularly with my interest in Ayurvedic principles. Eating salads in winter can be downright harmful for some folks. There’s a reason why we like stews in winter and lettuce in summer. It’s the way our bodies are designed to work! And what do supermarkets do? Offer us everything they think we want all the time, so now we have a generation of cooks who don’t know when asparagus is actually in season, for goodness sake!
5. Healthy people and environment. Well – this could be a long list! Suffice to say – over-packaging and ridiculous air-miles for a start. Pesticides – even the government advises us to top and tail carrots for goodness sake as well as peeling thoroughly – not to mention obvious pollution and the health risk to growers…
There are alternatives. And they are easy. More on that later.
In the meantime, there’s plenty more folk with the same kinds of protest, with more detailed information – here’s just a couple:
Ruaridh is 7 3/4 yrs and fully supports our decision not to buy at supermarkets. This isn’t always easy for him, as we can’t get everything he likes from our new suppliers.
However, Ruaridh says
I’m afraid we’ll probably get more global-warming because so many things get packaged, as you’ve heard on the news. They just try and get money out of everyone. They just want to get famous, those companies. It’s not always easy for me, because our new supplier (www.damhead.co.uk) doesn’t supply toys, and our local Tesco does – it’s a nightmare! But what I like about Damhead is it delivers food and stuff without pesticides, which is healthier for me and my family.
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