Are supermarkets evil?

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Johnnie Appleseed
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Post: # 20615Post Johnnie Appleseed »

Of course I still buy at supermarkets, being a student in a city. I can't afford buying only bio food, but I try to get fresh vegetables which are bio. I strugggle to get the food which is the least contaminated or which has little or no added chemicals like citric acid and so. What I'm eating is bread, muesli or things that I prepared on my own (from the "raw material"), if I don't go to the canteen. I buy hardly any sauces, no frozen or canned meals and hardly any sweets. You see, all for health reasons.
If I had a garden, of course I would try to substitute all the food I normally buy. But I would still get cheap noodles, Sambal Oelek or cocoa powder if I felt like it- I'm not that strict. In general, I don't think it is good that supermarkets have so much influence; they sell far too many of the products that one should boycott.

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Post: # 21582Post Millymollymandy »

I've been to quite a few supermarkets in England during my holiday. I am so amazed to see off season stuff like butternut squash and corn on the cob in the shops. :shock: :shock: And celery too - love the stuff but in France we only get it here for a couple of months of the year and it is usually bitter and hollow.

Generally the 'weekly shop' is a good 1/3rd cheaper in England than in France. Especially when you can buy medicines off the shelf which cost 1p per painkiller. It seems so bizarre to be able to peruse medicines! Here we have to buy them from a pharmacy and you have to ask for something 'for a cold/diarrhoea/cough etc. You can't look at the pills and potions.

I was also surprised to see Lidl selling branded items like Heinz and Branston pickle too. How come? :?

Anyway I'm now well stocked up with cheese, sausages, beans and all the other things which are essential in my life which aren't available in France!!

Oh and everyone is soooooo friendly in the supermarkets in England these days. That's a nice change! :lol:

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Post: # 21607Post hedgewizard »

Yeah, and I can tell you as someone who works in retail that the friendlier they are the more careful you should be. If you see a headline of "elderly woman beaten to death with bottle of Calpol", that'll be me finally snapping.

I don't have anything in particular against supermarkets, it's just that I regard all big business as evil.

From an environmental point of view, food miles came second on my list of things to address (below personal transport and above energy consumption in the home). I have no idea if that's right, but it's how I figured it.

Since working that out we've begun to try to reduce our food miles by buying a big freezer to reduce shopping trips. Now we can source all our meat locally with the exception of chicken (working on that) and we have a few hens for eggs. We did have local organic milk, but Dairy Crest bought out the delivery mechanism so now we can't get it at a reasonable price any more (the local shop charges 15p over recommended retail and only gets it in once a week).

Fruit and veg are available from Riverford or similar organic co-operatives, and our own veg will be starting in a few weeks (although fruit will take a few years). I have books on storing and preserving, so we're hoping to be completely SS for veg this time next year, with fruit following later. It means eating what's in season, or eating it preserved - but there are apple varieties that are ready in August, and others that store until June! Bananas are a problem though... I'd hate to give them up. Is that a post-war thing, d'you think?

By chipping away a little every year, I'm hoping that in five years I'll be down to sourcing local flour and so forth... who knows?

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Post: # 21616Post Shirley »

This might be of interest to some of you ::


With a week left to submit evidence to the Competition Commission’s (CC) supermarket inquiry, NFUS is urging anyone with concerns over the power of supermarkets, or evidence of its misuse, to write to the Commission.
Description: NFUS will be submitting its own response on behalf of its members up and down the country. However, the Union is also encouraging individual farmers or anyone else who has views on the issue to submit their own evidence.


The Competition Commission will consider any request for anonymity from those providing evidence.


The deadline for submitting views to the Competition Commission’s inquiry is 7th June.


NFUS Chief Executive Andy Robertson said: "We’ve fought hard to get this inquiry so it is vital that the industry uses the opportunity to raise its concerns.


"We will be sending in our own detailed evidence, but this is an opportunity for individual producers on the ground to raise concerns they may personally have. Irrespective of whether farmers have direct experience of dealing with supermarkets, this whole issue is critical to the future of their farm businesses.


"We know that the climate of fear within which too many supermarket suppliers operate limits the amount hard evidence that will be submitted now, despite the CC’s willingness to consider anonymity.


"NFUS has been the mouthpiece for these companies up to now; they are understandably scared of the consequences of speaking out themselves. However, for this inquiry to get a full grasp of the issues, that must change.


"We will be impressing on the CC the need to have closed hearings with full protection for witnesses.


"In the meantime though, farmers, most of whom are one step removed from supermarket dealings, have a real opportunity to air their concerns."

Source: NFUS
Web Source: NFUS press release
Other Info: Click here to visit our Retail Zone
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Post: # 21620Post Masco&Bongo »

Only just caught this thread... very interesting!

We currently shop at T***o - buy it online and get it delivered, rather than driving there.
We buy pretty much the same things every week, which helps with the budgeting and I also try and buy only British food.
Did have a rather unhealthy obsession with Pineapple for a while though. I bought juice, dried pineapple and whole fruits and ate them all the time for about 4 weeks. Suddenly I just couldn't stand the stuff anymore!

We have great farmers markets. Sadly, they're once a month on a Saturday morning. There are other ones around, but they're only on weekdays - rubbish!
We buy local meat, cheese, cakes and desserts and it's great. We've eaten locally produced ostrich, wild boar, duck, chicken, pork etc - much better than supermarket stuff.

As people who currently work full-time, I'd love to shop at local shops, but that means actually going into the village and physically shopping on a Saturday morning, something I try to avoid. (Don't like large amounts of people in one place etc)

I'm looking forward to moving to our new place, as we'll be able to grow lots of our own veg and the village shops etc look better than the one's we've currently got. I'm going to need to source a local milk-person, but I have noticed a farm near the house that advertises "Milk, eggs, chickens geese and turkeys" - cross fingers!

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Post: # 21692Post ina »

Shirlz2005 wrote: With a week left to submit evidence to the Competition Commission’s (CC) supermarket inquiry, NFUS is urging anyone with concerns over the power of supermarkets, or evidence of its misuse, to write to the Commission.
Read in the Farmer's Weekly some time ago that the start of the inquiry had to be postponed, because contrary to what had been happening in the past, all of a sudden they had 1.000 complaints to deal with... Farmers, who in the past had been afraid of complaining openly (for fear of losing their contracts with supermarkets), had now had enough and come out into the open. I think the supermarkets may have been pushing their luck just that little bit too far this time.
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Post: # 22040Post multiveg »

I took part in the HDRA supermarket watch going round the veggie section looking at origins & condition of organic produce. It was in Asda that I noticed quite a huge distance between organic and non-organic produce at certain times of the season - eg, Scottish non-organic carrots were being sold next to organic carrots from Egypt. A lot of the salad potatoes at the mo come from Israel. Produce that is in season here that is sold prepared (shelled peas, sliced beans, etc.) were being sourced from Kenya/Zimbabwe even though unprepared stuff was UK/Europe sourced.
Local non-organic I would think as more ethical/environmentally better than organic flown halfway across the world...
Can't remember which supermarket but they were selling Argentian beef!
There was something on the radio that with all the troubles, BSE, F&M, meat standards etc are higher in the UK, even organic standards are higher than Europe, etc so foreign organic produce may not be classed as organic by UK standards.

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Post: # 22046Post ina »

multiveg wrote: Local non-organic I would think as more ethical/environmentally better than organic flown halfway across the world...
Exactly how I see it!

Farmer's weekly again (couple of weeks ago or so):

A lady who complained to a Somerfields in Wales that no Welsh lamb, but only (frozen) NZ lamb was available, was told by the customer complaints person: Quality and availability of NZ lamb cannot be matched by anything in GB, therefore only NZ lamb was stocked. :shock:

And that in Wales, where you can't hear yourself think for the baa-ing all around you!
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Post: # 26341Post wulf »

Here's an article on WalMart. It iss quite long so I haven't fully absorbed it and, to be honest, the conclusion isn't what I would naturally be inclined towards, but it might make interesting fodder for this discussion.

Wulf

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Post: # 26364Post chadspad »

I tried just shopping in the local village store but the prices are ridiculously high, so much so that its cheaper for me to drive 10kms to nearest supermarket! The veg in the store is usually over-ripe and well over-priced and most other things are named brands thereby allowing them to bump the prices up even more! I do still use the local butchers and we have a lady brings the bread round in her van.
The markets for fruit and veg seem to be far more expensive than the shops and the quality not very good either, not that I need to buy many things as pretty self-sufficient for veg.
Having a 5 year old and hubby only earning a minimum wage, Im afraid like others the need to use the supermarkets instead of the local stores is a must and sometimes the eco/green/fair trade items I would ideally like to buy, have to be left behind for the supermarkets own labels.

I have to say that the shops over here are far friendly and more helpful than the UK tho. I returned to UK over New Year and couldnt wait to go shopping in T***o for the things I missed the most but the immense feeling of depression was unmistakable in there, it hung heavy in the air, everyone in a hurry and with the hump even over the xmas period - it completely ruined my shopping experience!!

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Post: # 26414Post Millymollymandy »

chadspad wrote:
I have to say that the shops over here are far friendly and more helpful than the UK tho. I returned to UK over New Year and couldnt wait to go shopping in T***o for the things I missed the most but the immense feeling of depression was unmistakable in there, it hung heavy in the air, everyone in a hurry and with the hump even over the xmas period - it completely ruined my shopping experience!!
Strange - I found the opposite! Maybe it was the time of year. I just couldn't get over how much the UK had changed and how happy and friendly, and most of all, helpful everyone working in the supermarkets were!! They all asked if we needed help packing our bags (2 healthy adults!!!! :shock: . Or maybe we just looked old and decrepit to them!!)

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Post: # 26503Post hedgewizard »

They ask everybody that. It's a policy thing. I always say "no" because even if you tell them you don't want their placcie bags you still get 'em when your back's turned.

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Post: # 26535Post Wombat »

wulf wrote:Here's an article on WalMart. It iss quite long so I haven't fully absorbed it and, to be honest, the conclusion isn't what I would naturally be inclined towards, but it might make interesting fodder for this discussion.

Wulf
Quote from the conclusion of the article - "Many of Wal-Mart's critics are socialists who probably resent the fact that Wal-Mart provides an increasingly clear example of how capitalism can shower abundance on its entire population, as their socialist utopias never could" :shock: :shock: :shock:

Boy, Wulf, I'll say it's interesting fodder for discussion! :mrgreen:

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Post: # 26550Post Chickpea »

I vowed never to shop at T***o again (or the other Big4 horriblemarkets) about 2 weeks ago. I've signed up for an organic box sceheme and I've been using a local farm shop where the owner is very helpful and informative about where all the produce comes from and whether it's organic, "working towards", or not. he even gave me some seeds when I told him I was starting my allotment. We have a co-op near us which does supermarket-y things like tinned tomatoes. Co-op are Britains most ethical retailer, so I'm very happy to shop there. And there is a smashing locally-owned health food shop in the village, and the unicorn, an organic food cooperative just a few miles away in Manchester where I can stock up once a month. I'm very lucky, and I do understand that shopping locally is not an option for some people.

But for the people who said "Our local shops are full of overpriced underfresh junk" - have you talked to them, or written a letter? It's a long shot but maybe they don't know they're driving people away and would try to change some things if they only knew what their customers want.

My next goal is to find a farmer's market. Oh, and to produce more of our own food of course.

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Post: # 26551Post Andy Hamilton »

Wombat wrote:"Many of Wal-Mart's critics are socialists who probably resent the fact that Wal-Mart provides an increasingly clear example of how capitalism can shower abundance on its entire population, as their socialist utopias never could" :shock: :shock: :shock:

Boy, Wulf, I'll say it's interesting fodder for discussion! :mrgreen:

Nev
So, if that is true, then what is all this about?

Or perhaps even this?

To me that sounds like the typical corperate american response to many of the claims thrown at them. I don't call low wages, local business going bust and the distruction of the environment a shower of abundnace.

The day I decided to stop shopping (or at least shop as little as possible) at T***o was the day I walk along side a beaufitful river flowing along side a superstore next to the huge flyover that links to the M32 and very close to an area of Bristol that is simply breathtaking . It made me think about what could have been there before the hypermarket was built and what it meant for the community. There is no way that the shop assistant will know your name there or like in my local grocers - what town you are from and what you have on your allotment. - It really does anger me when I hear the concited point of view from these corperations. -

Anyway I shall leave it there before I really rant. :lol:
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