Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Supermarkets?

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

- Steve Jobs

One of my most favourite quotes that has been on my bedroom wall for a long time.

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At the gym yesterday I did running, an abs class and some weights - I can't believe how little time it takes to loose strength, I couldn't squat with the same weights I was before! I was pleasantly surprised to find how busy Brixton library was  - I literally had to sit on the floor to read and make notes.  I got some interesting ideas to try and work into my timed essay tomorrow, although today I need to find some statistics.

My bike tyre has a puncture, which I need to get fixed, although I would like to try and do it myself, so I can learn and then know how to do it in the future.

Yesterday I was consumed with reading so I got caught short, so, sometimes I have to buy food from a supermarket. 

Over the last few weeks I have been wondering and looking at which supermarkets are most ethical and green (in the sense of food being produced, packaged and sold in a sustainable way).  I read the green consumer guide, that pointed M&S as the most green with 52 points out of 60 (Waitrose came second) - not bad, they have recently made an increasing effort to change where they get their meat, how it is reared, where the electricity in their shops come from to charging for larger plastic bags.  Whilst on my search I also came across this article which is a bit dated (2007) and some information obviously needs updating, but, it gives a good overview of each supermarket. 

And then I came across this Panorama episode: Supermarkets, what price cheap food and started to wonder what sorts of lies or coverups are being made by supermarkets to appear green and ethical when in truth all they care about is making cheap products to have customer money (oops I mean loyalty). There are lot's of questions to take into consideration, but I suppose the most relevant to me are, which supermarkets get their food from where and how much am I (and others) willing to pay for food?

There is even the argument that FairTrade food is not as fair as it seems with still most of the profits going to the supermarkets - articles in the Guardian and BBC go in to this particular issue more in depth.

After watching programs like the above and reading books like A Good Life (Leo Hickman) and other ethical living titles, I can safely say that I am happy to pay more for good quality healthier sustainable food, and would rather have organic food direct from a farmer in my local area than buy food that pretends to be ethical and is from supermarkets that only seem to care about what profits they are making, opposed to everything that they are ruining - this behavior is not sustainable.

Why is it not sustainable?  Soil is ruined, rivers and other water sources are ruined, forest's are ruined in making way for battery farming, and farmer's livelihood's are ruined; is it not insane that we would rather buy cheaper food that is ruining the world than pay a little bit more to keep our country (local shops and farmers) in jobs and for healthier food and a sustainable world, along with a countryside that is actually in use.

I'm not saying that I never use the supermarket, but I am trying to buy less and less from a supermarket and in my dream of all dreams I would be my own provider.

I am only just skimming on a full range of issues that are the cause and effect of shopping in supermarkets including consumerism, economic growth, greed, our complete oblivious disregard to climate change and how this will actually affect us.

A good overall idea of what effects the above can have on our world, including buying at supermarkets can be found here.

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