So I wanted to write about the dreaded ‘Supermarket’, well it is to me anyway!
So call ‘Supermarkets’ destroy local shops and business, sell mass produced food that is not necessarily good for you, dictate with clever marketing strategies what you buy and when, What is super about that? Now as I have said in previous blogs I try to be as sustainable as possible and this has a massive affect on the food I eat and buy. I’m proud to say I have not bought food in a supermarket for over a year now! Admittedly I buy the odd pint of milk or a pizza on something along those lines, when I can’t get to a local store, but that’s it and that is rare only when i’m desperate. As you may have guessed I don’t think ‘Supermarket” are very super at all! But why?
My big issue with the whole supermarket ethos is many people call them their ‘Local Supermarket’ I struggle to see this, yes they are local in terms of geography but thats real about it. To me they destroy the whole idea of a local shop altogether, by forcing real local shops out of business and not even by accident, it’s a clearly managed process. Most towns you visit here in the UK, not only have more that one supermarket but more than one of the same company WHY? This is pure domination and greed, something which infuriates me! This is slowly and systematically killing the independent shops creating a shopping centre in one shop. They sell cheap goods that only last five minutes, on credit from their own banks, insured with insurance from their own insurance companies! They are slowly taking over our towns live a virus, moving into health cover, legal advice, travel and even beginning to moving in the Estate agents business, how do they get away with this? Because people keep going to them, like sheep!
The ‘Supermarkets’ have a clever strategies for killing of their competitors, not the rival ‘Supermarket’, that a different kettle of fish. They sell everything under one roof much cheaper than any independent seller can, meaning it’s more convenient to go there for all your goods. I often have this out with people and get “why wonder around town to loads of different shops when you can do it all in one, and it’s much cheaper”! This is a fair point I agree, but what are you sacrificing by doing this? Most ‘Supermarkets’ sell their own banded food and it’s appears good value but it’s not. It usually contains very high salt levels is not fresh fruit or veg, it may look good from the complicated label but who really understands all that information and knows that it is actually good for you or even true, do you?
I could rant on for ages about the unfair treatment of farmers, made to sell their good at a loss in order to please Mr Supermarket, or face being destroyed. I could talk about the loss of local jobs in favour or mass production in third world countries, or even the mistreatment of those workers in the third world countries. It would be a long post but you get the idea!
So my finally my point! There is an alternative!
Most of my food comes from a local farm outlet ‘Growing With Grace’, it’s organic and tastes and smells amazing compare to the proceed crap you get from the ‘Supermarket’. The rest of my food I get from the local co-operative ‘Single Step’, a friendly little shop where you have customer service and interaction. It’s not only the taste and the friendly service but fact that you can get veg with character, not regulation shape and size the ‘Supermarkets’ only sell you, in a kind of vegetable conformity. This of course also means less waste of resource and energy too which is always a bonus. I have recently also taken on an allotment and have started growing my own food where I can. This is very much work in progress and I am learning as I go along, but thoroughly enjoying being outdoors and producing my own food. Not forgetting the local markets, fishmongers and bakery too.
People always tell me they can’t afford local or organic food, well thats rubbish! I am a mature student and work 14 hours a week. I mange to buy all my food without going to the supermarket. Yes it is much more expensive! When I tell people my grocery bill is about £40 a week they seem disgusted. But hey I know what I would rather, healthy food that actually has it goodness still in it or cheap processed crap that is full of pesticides and god know what else. Also as I grow more of my own and lean to make my own cleaners and washing powder etc it only gets cheaper.
I am by no means perfect and am not preaching but having managed to ween myself off the ‘Supermarket’ culture, therefore know it possible, hard but possible. I’ve had to make sacrifices, like not been able to get certain food or treats I love (and miss) but I belive it’s worth it. By supporting ‘Supermarkets’ I belive we risk losing part of our culture and farming as we know it. This is a massive massive issue, they are getting their claws in taking over our towns and cities destroying them from the inside out.
Once it’s just them the will fight to the death between themselves then crank up the prices higher and higher until we are truly slaves to the ‘Supermarket’, I personally won’t allow myself to become that. I hope you won’t too! Happy shopping!
(An interesting links supermarkt tactics and effects: http://www.tescopoly.org/issues-and-impacts)