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Span
Jan 18th, 2006, 05:38 PM
I just wondered weather you guys would buy fresh foods from a supermarket to ensure organic produce or from a local shop which prevents the 'multi national' and 'food miles' problem a little, but means I can't buy organic which I would much prefer to do.

Unfortunately, I don't live close enough to a farm etc to buy from there, but when I have travelled to do so, I find much of their stuff is imported anyway.

I try to grow bits myself, but nowhere near enough to feed a family of 4 all year.

I would be interested to know what some of you choose to do:)

Mr Flibble
Jan 18th, 2006, 05:49 PM
i try to support health food shops which make an effort to stock vegan stuff, but when the price difference is too great I just hafta go for who ever is cheapest - they arn't charities after all. A few percent is acceptable, i.e. 95p for coconut milk instead of 89p. An example of not accept about thou is Ecover products, most of which i buy from my local health food store. The dishwasher tablets however are about a third cheaper if you shop around, and at 4 quid a box that's significant.

Jane M
Jan 18th, 2006, 06:04 PM
I buy most of my stuff from the co-op but will make exceptions for a real good deal at a grocery store...hey I am on a tight budget and have decided to just do the best I can with what I got.

Gorilla
Jan 18th, 2006, 06:23 PM
i go to wholefood/healthfood shops as much as possible, but i can't always get everything i need there so sometimes have to pick up the odd few bits and pieces in supermarkets. i try to buy organic and local where possible but it's not that easy, there are farmers markets where i live but they're not frequent enough and don't actually have that much fruit and veg. i'm hopeless at growing anything :o. i've thought about veg box schemes but they're all quite expensive and i don't think it'd be worth the money. i'd rather buy what i actually want to eat, not have to improvise with what i'm given (that may be a fun challenge to some people, but not me!)

Ecover is much cheaper if you get your bottles refilled btw (not that that applies to dishwasher tablets though obviously...:))

Leo
Jan 18th, 2006, 06:23 PM
i try to support health food shops which make an effort to stock vegan stuff, but when the price difference is too great I just hafta go for who ever is cheapest - they arn't charities after all. A few percent is acceptable, i.e. 95p for coconut milk instead of 89p. An example of not accept about thou is Ecover products, most of which i buy from my local health food store. The dishwasher tablets however are about a third cheaper if you shop around, and at 4 quid a box that's significant.

i totally agree the price of ecover products in my local health shop are very high compared to Asda or Tesco, i had to buy my washing up liquid from there today though as tesco or asda do not stock the Vegan one, the small bottle was the price i normally pay for the large size, maybe reviewing prices would encourage alot more people to shop locally.... i hate making cost an issue but when you have a family it has to be considered.
Answering to Span though i think that you have to sacrifice buying organic with alot of things for example, you cant get ( or i havent seen) Organic wholeweat pasta so i have to make a choice of one or the other, most Green grocers if you ask could probably tell you where their produce comes from but then can you be sure it has been grown without pesticides etc..., unless they state organic (as the large supermarkets have the luxury of doing so) you can't be 100% sure, i am all for not going to the large supermarkets but unfortunately each week i find myself having to go back there. You proved today what a money saver going to the local shops can be so i will definately be trying next week to reduce how much i buy from the big stores. I think you just have to choose what is best for you :)

Mr Flibble
Jan 18th, 2006, 06:25 PM
Only if you live close to somewhere that offers it. Otherwise it's more damaging to the environment/expensive to travel somewhere that does ;)

Gorilla
Jan 18th, 2006, 06:25 PM
Answering to Span though i think that you have to sacrifice buying organic with alot of things for example, you cant get ( or i havent seen) Organic wholeweat pasta so i have to make a choice of one or the other
i'm surprised you haven't seen organic wholewheat pasta in your area, it's really easy to get in health food stores round here and even some supermarkets sell it.

Cherry
Jan 18th, 2006, 06:26 PM
I sort of weigh everything up as I'm deciding what to buy. If it's a choice between organic with food miles and food grown locally I'd probably go with the more local stuff, but that's partly because it's also cheaper. When the organic and non-organic both come from abroad (e.g. bananas) I'm inclined to buy the organic one, even if it's more expensive.


Unfortunately, I don't live close enough to a farm etc to buy from there,
I'm lucky in Summer as I live near two 'pick your own fruit' farms :D Alas, I'd also be in luck if I wanted a few cows, or an ostrich burger :(

RedWellies
Jan 18th, 2006, 06:29 PM
I'm very lucky where I live as my local town has a health food shop, an organic grocers (which sells locally grown produce) and supermarkets. I always buy organic if possible. One of the reasons people don't is the cost,therefore if the demand was greater, hopefully this would be reflected in the price.

Tigerlily
Jan 18th, 2006, 06:32 PM
Supermarket, I have no other choice. There are no local grocery shops, the "health food" stores do not cater to vegans and don't even sell food, and where I live pretty much ALL produce is imported where I live. (except for potatoes)

Span
Jan 18th, 2006, 06:36 PM
Yes Mr Flibble, I'm all for supporting local health stores, I do every week, but what do you do for fresh fruit and veg?

Wow redwellies, you are very very lucky having local organic produce..... i wish:rolleyes:

I don't mind the extra money (within reason) for organic and to be honest, at the local shop today, I have no idea where most of the stuff came from, but I know it wasn't local or organic so food miles seems a problem wherever I go.:(

I think, at the end of the day, you have to choose what is right for you personally. For me it is organic, so maybe fresh co-op produce is as ethical as I can get at the moment:o

RedWellies
Jan 18th, 2006, 06:46 PM
Wow redwellies, you are very very lucky having local organic produce..... i wish:rolleyes:


yes, Herefordshire is good for growing...but also good for raising animals:(

Mr Flibble
Jan 18th, 2006, 07:20 PM
Yes Mr Flibble, I'm all for supporting local health stores, I do every week, but what do you do for fresh fruit and veg?

Despite living about a hundred metres from an indoor market, I don't use it. It has not one organic item of fruit or veg on sale, none of it is sold as local and it isn't open sundays/evenings. I buy most of mine from morrisons/sainsburies. I buy organic/fairtrade when i can, which probably accounts for about 50%.

twinkle
Jan 18th, 2006, 07:56 PM
I got boxes from Eden Farms (http://www.edenfarms.co.uk/) who deliver to Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln and surrounding areas when I could afford it. If you spend over a certain amount you can choose what to have delivered, but the random boxes are very good value and I quite enjoyed the challenge of them. Plus I had them delivered to my work place (so did several other people) so there was some fun swapping on delivery days ("my celeriac for some of your heritage tomatoes?" :) ) The really nice thing was that a high proportion was UK grown, though I'm not sure how this pans out through the seasons.

I'm pretty sure someone told me about a box scheme in the Birmingham area where you can choose the items in the box, really recently, but I can't remember the details.

Roxy
Jan 18th, 2006, 09:08 PM
There are 4 supermarkets within the 3km radius of where I live :o Needless to say I do most of my shopping at a supermarket.

However, sometimes, I do go out of my way to a local organic market - but they are a chain anyway as they have about 5 or 6 stores in the greater Vancouver area.

Span
Jan 18th, 2006, 11:29 PM
ok then, on a similar note; how do you feel about sticking to seasonal fruit and veg?
summer is easy, but at the moment it's a bit thin on the ground.
do you think that with our dietary requirements we would get everything we need from whatever is available at that time of year (especially winter)
:)

Tigerlily
Jan 19th, 2006, 12:16 AM
Seasonal eating is fine if you live in California or somewhere hot where fresh produce grows all year round.

If not, have fun eating tubers.

applepie
Jan 19th, 2006, 12:22 AM
I like to buy things in One Earth Shop as I think it has to be supported as much as possible, or we might lose it. Apart from that, I buy fruit and veg on the market once a week, which is the cheapest. Otherwise, it has to be the supermarket - both for convenience (easy to get to etc.) and for financial reasons.

pat sommer
Jan 19th, 2006, 12:30 AM
Winter is a doddle- plenty of hardy greens and root veg about. It's May when there is a gap... and back to Gorilla #4 : ya, it's more convenient to pick up what we want when we want it but heh as vegans we all have over-riding priorities; I support organic farmers by getting a weekly veg-box-delivery. As we all hope, our lifestyle choices will add up to greater overall choice in the future. And, hell, how else would I be forced to come up with a swede curry?

Just read Not On The Label- if that don't put you off Supermarkets, nothing will!

sugarmouse
Jan 19th, 2006, 01:24 AM
me and my friends share a supermarket trip maybe once a fornite or less.i buy at health food shops, some things..but i doresent the prices a little, and at the indoor market:)

i try and make a lot of things from scratch...theres a sainsburys,tesco,kwik save, asda, morrisons...aswell as the little shops in town..its pretty easy to get good things but i do prefer to support local shops.

Hemlock
Jan 19th, 2006, 01:27 AM
Farm shop, local co-op, health food shop, local shop. Try and avoid supermarket where humanly possible!

Tiggerwoo
Jan 19th, 2006, 01:50 AM
I try to do the main bulk of my shopping in places like Fresh and Wild, Planet Organic, Nutri Centre and As Nature Intended....... all organic supermarket/health food stores. Unfortunately they are quite a long way away and sometimes it is just not practical to travel that distance so I do end up using Sainsburys or Tesco. I have noticed though the quality of the organic fruit in proper organic stores is better than organic fruit and veg in normal supermarkets. Anyone else noticed that? I think their standards are higher as they do not buy in as much bulk?

pat sommer
Jan 19th, 2006, 11:30 AM
supermarket veg organic/conventional must meet cosmetic criteria over taste. 40-60% wastage typical and some varieties are just not pretty enough! check out NOT ON THE LABEL by Felicity Lawrence, Penguin

another supermarket issue highlighted by the BBC aired recently about the plight of Borneos orangutans: their forest home is being converted to palm-oil plantation exports destined for our supermarket shelves (10% of all products). If the Tescos of this world sign on to a sustainably-sourced-charter much as hard woods now are covered, then the orangs will have a fighting chance. I visited a Borneo sanctuary in '98 in the south then travelling overland to the north; one plantation took 3 hours to cross on a motorbike before reaching forest again! God only knows what I will find next time! www.palmoil.org.uk (http://www.palmoil.org.uk)

Mr Flibble
Jan 19th, 2006, 11:34 AM
I try to do the main bulk of my shopping in places like Fresh and Wild, Planet Organic

Do you not find them obscenely overpriced? I sometimes call into these 2 when working from my company's Holborn office and whilst they do have an impressive range, a lot of the stuff has a 33% markup on the price of a normal health food store. I know all you Londoners are richer than the rest of us, but still!

Tigerlily
Jan 19th, 2006, 02:15 PM
I want to move to the UK. You guys have all these nifty shops.

There's a Co-op here but it is not the type of Co-op you guys are talking about. They only sale mediocre, unorganic, plain vegetables and fruits (no "exotic" things like kale or cherries) and I don't even think they sell soy milk!