Shopped : The Shocking Power of British Supermarkets

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Shirley
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Shopped : The Shocking Power of British Supermarkets

Post: #9098 Shirley
Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:13 pm

The Blurb! : Our nation of shopkeepers has become a nation of supermarkets. In the 1950's they had only 20% of Britain's grocery spend. Now they control 80% and are hungry for more.

This book, by Joanna Blythman could convince even the most ardent of T***o shoppers that they could both get more for their money AND make a difference to the way we all buy our groceries.

As Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall says,,,, the consumer is the only person who can do anything about (the corrosive effects of supermarkets on our farming and food culture) is you, the consumer! Don't just read it and weep. Read it and change the way you shop!

Definitely recommended and very readable.
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Post: #9102 Wombat
Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:44 pm

Thanks Shirlz, I'll keep an eye out for it, I am sure that our system is the same as yours even though I live in a different country.

I am old enough to remeber the coming of the first supermarket to our area (A Coles New World in Bankstown) and I can also remember accompanying my parents to the local shop, 5 minutes walk away and long since closed, on Saturday monings to do the shopping. Most of the corner shops I knew of now closed! Sad really........

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Post: #9185 ina
Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:45 pm

Thanks, Shirlz, for reminding me - I brought my credit card across to order that book, but had forgotten all about it! I think it's cheapest on play.com - I checked the prices the other day: £5.99, postage free. (I would prefer to buy it at a local bookshop, really don't like ordering books on the net - unfortunately there aren't any local bookshops any more...)

Ina

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Post: #9191 Shirley
Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:58 pm

ina wrote:Thanks, Shirlz, for reminding me - I brought my credit card across to order that book, but had forgotten all about it! I think it's cheapest on play.com - I checked the prices the other day: £5.99, postage free. (I would prefer to buy it at a local bookshop, really don't like ordering books on the net - unfortunately there aren't any local bookshops any more...)

Ina


No need to buy it Ina... I'll lend it to you next time we meet!!!
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Post: #9193 ina
Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:01 pm

Thanks - but I want it as a present for somebody, too... So then I read it first, of course!

Ina

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Post: #9196 Shirley
Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:18 pm

lol of course - need to quality check it first :mrgreen:

I bought my copy from www.thebookpeople.co.uk I'm not sure whether they still have it but it was £2.99 at the time.. plus postage unless you are ordering more books and the order is £30+

edited to say that I've just looked and they don't seem to have this any more :cry:
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Post: #9213 wulf
Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:30 am

I had a little look round to see if my websearch-fu could turn up anything like a website for the book. Most of the results were places selling the book itself but I did come across a reasonable length article from The Idler.

The basic premise seems to be that the more money you spend in the supermarkets, the more you're giving them the power to carry on steamrollering the alternatives; if we want to see that power limited, then we've got to take the time to find some alternatives, which may well turn out to be cheaper and better but will certainly cost us more minutes out of they day.

Is that about right, Shirlz?

Wulf

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Post: #9215 Guest
Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:34 am

Wulf - yup!!

But the beauty of websites like this one means that we can work together to find these alternatives and share with each other - thus meaning not so many extra minutes out of our day.

Perhaps we should tell each other of our shopping habits and where we buy our stuff and compare prices.

Shirlz xx

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Post: #9216 Shirley
Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:41 am

Doh - I didn't sign in AGAIN!!!

Just wanted to add that that website The Idler is fab and the interview made very interesting reading - thanks Wulf!!

It might be worth checking with your local library to see whether it's available. Also worth checking out second hand book shops/ebay too. Just don't buy it from T***o :mrgreen:
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Post: #9222 Muddypause
Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:35 am

Head honcho on The Idler forum seems to be well into permaculture, too. I nearly signed onto that forum a while ago, as I can relate strongly to the philosophy behind it, but in the end I felt it was just a bit too full of gloom and depression. And £10 per issue of the magazine beggars belief. But I still look in from time to time.

On the subject of supermarkets, I'm not sure I agree with the premise that the only people who do anything about the damage they do is us, the consumer. Actually I think that gives the shareholders and directors too easy a let off - "It's not us; we're just doing what the consumer wants". Every interview you ever hear with a supermarket spokesperson says this - blame the consumer - and for some reason the consumer accepts it without protest ("Well why would they protest when we're giving them all that stuff so cheaply?").

The people who make the decisions at executive level have to take their share of the blame, too.
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Post: #9261 ina
Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:11 pm

I always wonder how they arrive at the knowledge of "what the consumer wants"? They've not asked me yet...

Example: Just went to two branches of the co-op, which is not too bad in my opinion - not as "bad" as T***o (i.e. not as powerful, maybe?). Anyway, what I wanted: Organic fairtrade instant coffee (which they used to sell); a box of fairtrade chocolates (as a present). Don't do it anymore. One of the shops used to sell organic milk, but have stopped doing it. Whenever I got to the shop (not exactly round the corner from here!), they told me - oh yes, we had it in this morning, but it's all gone, and we only get it delivered twice a week. So I suggested that maybe they should order more, if it always goes so quickly? I got some VERY strange looks - how can we do that? Now they don't offer it any more, probably because they only sold 12 cartons a week...

Even the co-op seems to make up their customers' minds for them. :cry:

Ina

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Post: #9279 Guest
Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:41 pm

I have read the book - I think Joanna Blythman is brilliant and have 2 of her other books, ' The Food we Eat' and 'The Food our Children Eat' as well as this one.

It is hard, though, on a limited income and with limited time, to resist the supermarkets when you get every thing you need under one roof at a reasonable price (in financial terms, anyway). I love to visit the farmer's market and we grow a lot of our own fruit and veg, but I admit to visiting Lidl on a regular basis and sometimes the Co-op or Asda. In an ideal world I wouldn't go near them.

A very good book, though.

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Post: #9527 Chickenlady
Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:14 pm

Now why was I not logged in? That was me!
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Post: #9572 Shirley
Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:53 am

Chickenlady !

I totally agree - it IS hard to resist sometimes, and never more so when you have children that are pestering for things that you can only get in the supermarket.

According to my 11 year old dear son (ds) I'm mean because I won't buy him, or allow him to buy nasty sweets that are laden with chemicals and artificial sweeteners - I can cope with that, but the problem lies in the fact that he spends a lot of time with his dad (my ex) and his dad doesn't give a damn about what ds eats - he cooks reasonable food for him I suppose, but doesn't eat organic and allows ds as many sweets and fizzy drinks etc as he wants.

I've just bought some clothes from the peopletree - www.peopletree.co.uk - FANTASTIC - a pair of trousers for my little lad organic cotton and fairtrade for just £4.50 in the sale, and a heap of teeshirts for me too - all organic and fairtrade. They've still got some things left in the sale.

INA... that's incredible about the co-op and the organic milk - my co-op does it but only in the litre sized bottles... still, it's a better price than T***o so not too bad and I do use the bottles again for egg/fruit baskets etc.
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Post: #52898 the.fee.fairy
Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:44 pm

*resurrects an old old post*

Thanks for the recommendation on this one Shirlz - not only have you now introduced me to Shopped, but also to the book people...

It sscary when someone puts in print the things that you suspect.


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