Are supermarkets evil?

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glenniedragon
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Post: # 19482Post glenniedragon »

Apple, Blackberry, Cherry, Pear, plum, damson, strawberry,gooseberry, black-white-red currants, raspberries, blueberries, ?is rhubarb a fruit? is that our lot? I've grown all the above with varying rates of sucess.....If any of you south-westerners are reading this I've a spare damson sapling going if anyone wants it pm me and its yours!

kind thoughts
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ina
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Post: # 19490Post ina »

Depending on what part of the country - grapes, even kiwi and figs... Quinces, of course. Citrus grows in southern Europe, and doesn't need to be flown in from anywhere. In fact, I think apart from bananas, mango and other tropical fruit, we do have the lot. And, if it wasn't for the fact that supermarkets will only stock about 8 varieties of apples, we could have hundreds of them, all with different flavours. Same for all other fruits: Strawberries for example - I always rejoice when I find something that's not Elsanta!
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Post: # 19518Post Millymollymandy »

I couldn't live without my daily banana! :lol:

Given the choice of having ONLY either the European type fruit listed above, or tropical fruit, which would you prefer?

I think it would be a hard choice because (some of) the tropical ones tend to be thought of as something very special due to their rarity and/or price, so when consumed they become a real treat.

However do mangoes etc. become as 'ordinary' as apples if eaten every day? :?

ina
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Post: # 19523Post ina »

Believe me, they do. I got rather sick of mango in Mexico (spent 11 weeks there once), and would have given anything for a decent apple!

No question for me - I would stick with European fruit. Although I like bananas (and my goats love the skin), I could live without them. Sometimes I don't have one for weeks.
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Post: # 19540Post Ranter »

We're lucky in Leicester because we have a fantastic market. Even if I'm buying tropical fruit (not very often as I'm delighting in finding old English varieties) it's far more pleasant here than in one of the big supermarkets.

I use a local butcher for meat - it's all sourced from local farms. It is more expensive & on my very limited income I manage by simply eating less meat. What I do eat is good quality & there's very little waste.

For dry goods I use a large Co-op - I'm a member so don't mind paying the little extra - there's no musak there, but there is a charity bookshelf. About as good as the supermarket experience can be really.

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Post: # 19554Post Chickenlady »

Boots - air transport is the pits! It produces more CO2 than any other means of transport. So it is definitely worse than stuff that has been shipped over for years, yes!

I use Asda, but buy as local as possible. If there aren't any British apples, for example, I will buy French over New Zealand!
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Post: # 19610Post Ermintrude »

I get a fruit bag with my organic box and even though I get the odd banana and mango at least I know it's been shipped here and produced by a farmer's cooperative. I think fair trade fortnight has done a lot to increase people's perceptions of the "real cost "of foreign fruit.

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Post: # 20039Post Aberlemno »

Our local farmer's market started off well, but the last couple of times I've been (months apart as I usually forget it's happening), there were very few stalls, and what was being sold was incredibly expensive. I would love to be able to afford to buy everything I needed from individual shops, especially our excellent local health food shop, but again, the prices are absolutely prohibitive, especially for the fruit and vegetables. We have a strict budget as neither of us work (OH retired, and I nurse my bedridden mum), but we grow all our own soft fruit, have 7 apple trees, and I am quadrupling the size of the veg plot this year. I make my own sausages, we buy lamb from a local farmer, and free range eggs ditto. I should love to buy all my other meat from the excellent butcher 10 miles up the road, but it would easily double my meat expenditure, so he's just reserved for high days and holidays.

I refuse to believe there isn't rampant inflation (what "they" put in that silly shopping basket of theirs to calculate inflation on food is obviously very carefully worked out). In T***o's in the past year, several of the items I might normally buy have increased in price by as much as 30 pence per item. A particular brand of fruit squash for instance, from £1.85 to £2.05 for a large bottle; Ecover washing up liquid from £1.57ish to £1.84ish. I need to source that by the gallon I think, if I am to go back to using it again. How much profit are they making on branded toiletries too? With two teenage daughters and a teenage son who has just discovered girls, they seem to get through gallons of shampoo and conditioner and what they would have me buy is about £2.75 a time. Considering the own brand is about £2 less (although it has less soap content I should think) someone is making massive profits somewhere along the line.

I find the Co-op very overpriced and their fruit and veg very poor - I had to shop there years ago, but now I have a choice I don't use them.

If I wanted tinned tomatoes or baked beans and I refused to go to a supermarket locally - there IS no other place I could buy them - all the little shops locally are being priced out by huge rate increases and there isn't a greengrocers' in town any more - although we do have stalls on the market. Being ethical for me is a juggling act and I'm afraid at this stage in my life, it has to be T***o's for most of my weekly shop.
All goes back to the earth, and so I do not desire pride of excess or power, but the contentments made by men who have had little. Wendell Berry.

ina
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Post: # 20072Post ina »

Aberlemno wrote: shampoo and conditioner and what they would have me buy is about £2.75 a time.
Tell them if they want branded stuff, they have to pay for it themselves... I buy Lidl's shower gel at 29p. I like the smell (it's fresh, but not very pronounced), it does for my hair as well, and lasts ages.
Ina
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Post: # 20091Post Aberlemno »

They usually do Ina, but the more expensive daughter is having a cash crisis at present, so I have to bail her out. Both have temp jobs but middle daughter is about to start her AS exams so isn't working at the pub until the exams are over. I think I shall buy some of the Lidl shower gel and decant it into an old shampoo bottle . . .

I buy as much as I can from Lidl myself - feel it's far better value for money than the British supermarkets and you can get away from brand names. Their fruit and veg seeds are extremely good value for money too!

We have a good greengrocer who does a whole box of apples for a fiver (so long as they've not just come in from his wholesaler) - and we buy nearly all the fruit and veg we need to get from him. This winter I should have a lot more veg in the freezer than I started with last winter anyway, so that will make a big difference.

I read a letter (about pushchairs, strangely enough) recently in one of the daily papers, and the woman who wrote it said that she could satisfy 99% of her needs in her local supermarket - she only ever needed to go into town for the chemist or the library. Sadly far too many people think like that. What with our local town bending over backwards to facilitate the likes of Debenhams and T***o turning the town into a mini-Swansea, and upping the business rates for all the independent traders, we will soon have little choice at all anyway. . .
All goes back to the earth, and so I do not desire pride of excess or power, but the contentments made by men who have had little. Wendell Berry.

ina
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Post: # 20125Post ina »

Aberlemno wrote: I think I shall buy some of the Lidl shower gel and decant it into an old shampoo bottle . . .
:lol: :lol: I won't let on...
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

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Stonehead
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Post: # 20293Post Stonehead »

An interesting thread. We have very little spare cash so we constantly re-assess our shopping while bearing in mind our philosophy and the needs of our boys.

We're fortunate in that Insch has a reasonable Costcutter shop, an excellent butcher and a rather unusual chemist come newsagent.

However, with the exception of alcohol, most of the items sold in the shop are expensive but against that is the short, two-mile trip into the village.

Before T***o and Asda opened in Huntly, the shop in Insch had a slight cost advantage over driving to Inverurie to shop in the supermarkets there (T***o and Morrisons), but only on items that were available in both places.

With the new supermarkets in Huntly, it's now slightly cheaper for us to shop there. However, this will change if diesel prices rise to just over £1.03 a litre.

Now slightly cheaper may not seem like much to some people, but saving three pounds is a lot when your weekly spend is only £30 - 10% of our grocery spend! Once a month we spend £35-37 when we restock with laundry detergent and the like.

At the same time, we'd prefer not to use the supermarkets, particularly T***o and Asda (owned by Walmart which is even worse than T***o) because they go against so much of what we believe. We'd also prefer not to buy things out of season or transported vast distances, or if we do to keep them as a rare treat.

But, the flip side of that is that we absolutely have to live within our means and we also like to ensure that our buys get a good, healthy, balanced diet. So that means supermarket shopping is a necessary evil for some things while apples and bananas are always on our shopping list. But nothing else fresh unless its British and, preferably, seasonal.

On the positive side, we grow almost all our own vegetables and with increased plantings this year we should make it all the way through to June 2007. This year, we started running out in April but still have stocks of some things.

We also have pork and lamb from our own animals, and buy beef mince and occasionally stewing beef from our local butcher. He sources all his animals locally, and also butchers animals for us in return for home brew.

We do need to grow or find a local source of flours (our oatmeal comes from Alford so that's quite local) as we do a vast amount of baking.

So, for us, shopping is a matter of constantly juggling philosophy, cost and a balanced diet for the boys.

And I can tell you that all three of the supermarkets are within a few pence of each other on our typical shopping basket. We buy almost entirely own brand, cheap stuff and the prices are usually identical on those, while they're usually within 5 pence on pricier items.

Stonehead

PS Is there anyone else that does the human adding machine impersonation in the shops? I mentally calculate the cost of our shopping as we go, leaving the luxury items (like jam, honey, brown sugar) until last and then seeing which ones can be fitted into the remaining money. The Other Half keeps the boys under control while I wander around muttering numbers to myself - it makes the other shoppers steer well clear! :lol:
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ina
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Post: # 20323Post ina »

Stonehead wrote:We do need to grow or find a local source of flours (our oatmeal comes from Alford so that's quite local) as we do a vast amount of baking.

...

PS Is there anyone else that does the human adding machine impersonation in the shops? I mentally calculate the cost of our shopping as we go
Speak to Shirley - I think she had found a local source for flour. Btw - that oatmeal grows around here... The farm is just outside Laurencekirk, but they use the mill in Alford. So I also claim it as local oatmeal!

I often end up at the checkout with the correct amount of money in my hand - gets the staff totally confused: How can I calculate in my head quicker than their machines can?
Ina
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Post: # 20337Post Hillbilly »

I hate the places and try to avoid if I can. Too many people..too much hassle..too much noise. Once a month is about all I can handle. Spend a miniscule amount in them.

We make pretty much everything we consume from yoghurt to bread to soap and try to source locally produced ingredients. Have emailed Shirley about that flour you're on about above Ina..as flour was one thing I couldnt find locally produced.

We barter/work for local reared meat/game and shoot or fish for the rest. Occasionally some lamb drops in our lap and every few months we butcher a pig and share it with a friend. Veg/fruit comes from veg box scheme locally, parents in laws surplus, foraging and of course, our homegrown stuff (except bananas..my one bad habit tho I make sure they are organic and Fairtrade) All household stuff is from Inverurie and refilled products (Ecover).

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Post: # 20342Post Wormella »

I really try not to use supermarkets at all, but in the city center, when you both work stupid hours and weekends it's really hard not to.

I grew up relaying on a local Co-Op and since we didn't have a car trips to the two big supermarkets either side of us was a hour walking (there and back) and a severe limit on how much you could buy.

So it's taken an awful long time for me to get over the novelty of giant super markets. I think I cured it having a massive 24hr Asda in Stafford.

When I do use supermarkets, and I admit the two I have easy access too is a big Tescos I pass in Warrington to and from work and a small metro one in town, I try and think about what I'm buying. If I have to buy veg it's british, I don't tend to buy any convinence or frozen food, just ingredients - which is tricky enough.

I do have to factor cost in, but I learnt from my experinces with Asda as a student it's often a false economy to buy the value stuff, as you end up using more of it.

They arn't evil, they are very, very manipluative - and it's easy to be drawn in if you have to pop into one after a long shift on your feet, or your hungry and you just want food.

Ideally I'd have it so they wouldn't sell ready meals, just ingredients. I think that would make a massive differnce.

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