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 Post subject: Supermarkets?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:34 pm 
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Baking In The Flavor

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:18 pm
Posts: 182
I've been considering stopping shopping in supermarkets. For a while now every time I read the news (well, the environment/food page on the guardian website) I find myself feeling quite uncomfortable about supporting supermarkets, granted a lot of these things are to do with meat/dairy/egg production but I know even if I'm not buying those things I'm still supporting somewhere that sells them. It seems wrong to try and block these things out and continue doing something that feels wrong to me.

But, on the other hand, it seems impossible! I only have a once a week farmers market which is tiny to buy fruit/veg and bread, then I have no idea where to buy things like flour, lentils/pulses and the boring stuff like washing up liquid, I know ideally that would come from a independant shop but I don't know of any that are close enough to visit regularly.

If anyone here boycotts supermarkets I'd be really interested to hear your experiences and I'd be grateful for any tips and advice!


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 Post subject: Re: Supermarkets?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:42 pm 
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Not a creepy cheese pocket person
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:17 pm
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Location: Austin
What makes you uncomfortable about supermarkets?


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 Post subject: Re: Supermarkets?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:18 pm 
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Huffs Nooch

Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:09 am
Posts: 143
Where do you live?


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 Post subject: Re: Supermarkets?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:12 am 
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Wears Durian Helmet
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:27 pm
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Location: asheville
Is there a food co op in your area?


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 Post subject: Re: Supermarkets?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:47 am 
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Baking In The Flavor

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:18 pm
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mollyjade wrote:
What makes you uncomfortable about supermarkets?


I was worried someone was going to ask me that! Which I suppose shows that I haven't really thought this through a lot. It's not necessarily just the supermarkets that I have the problem with, it's the companies (for example dole and del monte) who I want to avoid. I do have a problem with supermarkets insisting on selling things completely out of season, or worst still things that are in season here and they're still sourcing them from the other side of the world (for example asparagus from peru during british asparagus season, apples from new zealand when british apples were at their peak). And I'd just like to support local people doing things on a smaller, more traditional scale, rather than big companies with big factories.

I live in the UK, in a fairly small town not a million miles from london (where I could definitely find plenty of indie grocery shops and greengrocers, I just don't go in that often).

And there is a food co op in my area, I just googled! I knew we used to a long time ago but it disappeared but it seems there's another. I'll have to check it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Supermarkets?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:25 am 
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Not a creepy cheese pocket person
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Location: Austin
The more you can figure out what exactly is bothering you, the better you'll be able to work around it. Coops, farmers markets, and gardening all sound like good bets for you. You might also research companies that you want to support that your grocery store does sell. If your grocery store doesn't sell something you want (like fairtrade chocolate), you can ask the manager to start stocking it.

I can think of a few things that bother me about grocery stores (the way shelves are stocked to make you buy certain products, how difficult it is for small companies to get their products on the shelves), but most of what bothers me about food production happens long before the food arrives at the store.


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 Post subject: Re: Supermarkets?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:03 am 
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WRETCHED
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Location: Maryland/DC area
It really depends on your area. We have a few grocers in my area that focus on local foods although due to season, may need to bring things in from other parts of the US (and sometimes Mexico). I mostly shop at those and they don't sell things from places like dole/del monte and canned foods are generally things like Eden foods, Amy's, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Supermarkets?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:31 am 
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Aired her grievances, lost the feat of strength
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:56 pm
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Location: Brighton, England.
I live in the UK & have also been trying to avoid shopping at supermarkets. I'd rather support small businesses & I don't like how the supermarkets treat their growers for things like vegetables - having very strict guidelines on how food should look, wanting their growers to supply things at a rate that means they need to use unnatural growing methods.

What I have been doing is drastically cutting down on what I buy at the supermarket. I buy everything I can (& can afford) from Infinity foods, Holland & Barrett & local independent stores, if there's an option to buy something from an all vegetarian store over a store that sells meat I'll do that. Next I boycott all of the worst supermarkets, Asda, Lidl, Aldi, Morissons & Tesco - these are the stores with the worst records for animal welfare for the meat & dairy products they do sell & they still test on animals, there are a few other reasons (eg the way they treat workers, the way they aggressively open stores in new areas) but these are the areas I've researched the most. After that if I need to buy something from a supermarket I try to buy it from the Co-Op & then if that's not possible I'll go to Sainsburys (or Waitrose / M&S but they're more expensive & further away so I don't shop their regularly). This means that I spend as little money as possible in the worst place, for example I pretty much only buy Alpro smooth soya yoghurts (because I can't find them anywhere else & I hate all other soya yoghurt), recycled toilet paper (it's unaffordable anywhere else) & organic veg (if I can't get what I need in Infinity or at the local market) from Sainsburys.

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 Post subject: Re: Supermarkets?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:14 am 
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Smuggling Raisins

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:16 am
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I would much rather get my produce at farmers markets and stuff as well. Unfortunatly in my area there are none that run during the winter, and even during the other months, it's only once a week, so going to the grocery store is unavoidable. I just do what I can and buy independant and local as much as possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Supermarkets?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:22 am 
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Dying from Nooch Lung
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Location: Chandler, AZ
If you think you're capable of it then I say go for it! Your reasons for boycotting them are very well-founded.

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 Post subject: Re: Supermarkets?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:31 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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Location: The North
Eryn, if you want information on how evil supermarkets are, this book is a pretty good start!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Not-Label-What-Really-Plate/dp/0141015667

Its over 6 years old but still has lots of relevant information about supply chains, aggressive marketing, cash crops and worker exploitation amongst other things and it's from a UK perspective. Well worth a read.


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 Post subject: Re: Supermarkets?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Aired her grievances, lost the feat of strength
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:56 pm
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Location: Brighton, England.
cidersmurfette wrote:
Eryn, if you want information on how evil supermarkets are, this book is a pretty good start!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Not-Label-What-Really-Plate/dp/0141015667

Its over 6 years old but still has lots of relevant information about supply chains, aggressive marketing, cash crops and worker exploitation amongst other things and it's from a UK perspective. Well worth a read.


This book is really awesome.

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Not-For-Profit Bakery: Operation Icing
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