Friday 5 August 2016

Weekly Green Tips - Non-supermarket Food Shopping

Week 18 - 7 places to food shop that are not supermarkets

When supermarkets first appeared they were seen as such a boon to the busy housewife.  She could get all her groceries in one place with plenty of choice and as they grew in popularity they also they rapidly grew to the monster enterprises we see today.  But as I wrote in this blog, supermarkets are perhaps not all as wonderful as their advertising would have us believe.  So if you feel you wnt to spread your whopping wings and support other businesses with your food shopping, where can you go? Here are 7 non supermarket places you can get your supplies.

Image from Pixabay

7 non-supermarkets food shopping options

1.  Markets

Both traditional markets and more specific farmers' markets are fabulous places to get fresh produce.  You can often taste the produce on offer and certainly in France the fruit and veg market sellers will always ask if you want what you are buying ripe to eat now or less ripe to eat in a few days.  You don't get that service in a supermarket.

2. Local small retailers

Use it or lose it - if you have a local butcher, baker, greengrocer, village shop, corner shop, wine seller, health food shop etc then support them with your trade.  You'll probably be able to get more unusual cuts of meat at the local butcher and your fruit and veg will probably be locally produced. 

3. Organic and Fair Trade shops

Supermarkets do sell fair trade and organic produce but often the choice is limited - head to specialist shops for better choice. 

4.  Use local Box Schemes

Have a box of fresh produce delivered to your door.  Schemes exist for fruit, veg, wine, meat, fish etc and help support small scale suppliers and farmers.  With veg and fruit boxes you will get the best of what is in season and in many cases these schemes will be selling purely organic produce. 

5.  Use your milkman

If you are lucky enough to still have milk delivered then use them - they often now sell far more than just your daily pint and include fruit juices and other non dairy products.

6. Sustainable supermarkets and cooperatives

These are community run shops run with sustainability at their core.  They do not encourage overbuying with deals and discounts and allow customers to barter for food about to go out of date rather than see it wasted.  Click here for more details about The People's Supermarket in London.

7. Farm shops

With many supermarkets rejecting much farm produce for not being the right shape, size colour etc and forcing down the price they pay to farmers many have opted to sell direct to the public.  You will find local fresh produce in farm shops as well as a good range of locally produced items such as jams, pickles, drinks, biscuits etc.  There are now also farm butchers such as Glover's Farm which we used to shop in in Hartley, Kent with the meat coming form their own farm.

Oh and of course you can always grow some of your own fruit and veg, maybe go fishing and what about foraging locally?  Do you have any other options for buying foods other than in supermarkets?

A Green and Rosie Life

1 comment :

  1. I would love to never have to use supermarkets but I have found that in France markets are generally sooo expensive!
    If growing your own veg it is a good idea to team up with another gardener and each grow different crops so you can do swaps at harvest time. If you then change or swap your crops next year it also allows the soil to recover better than always growing the same things.


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