Shopping- I really try and buy the weekly groceries as organic, locally produced, Australian owned, as little added numbers/preservatives etc, minamally packaged as possible, and still within a budget. This can be a really time consuming thing to do, due to checking and rechecking – (well up until recently it has been.) I can usually alternate between two different main supermarkets, and know now which ones regularly have the products that I want. Add in some farmers markets, fruit shop and health food shop and we are away!
This has been no easy feat! I think it has taken the best part of the last year for me to now know most brands which fall in to my buying categories. For a long time it was reading the backs of EVERYTHING, checking out ingredients, where its made, who the company is owned by etc etc. Shopping could take a really long time.
Last weekend after a shop at the local main competitor super market (that will see us through the week), groceries for 4 people, $150 dollars spent, only one item made out of Australia- toothbrushes were made in Singapore. Thats pretty good I thought.
So what is my point with all this? (bit tired today but I’m getting there…)
People have become completely removed from what they are buying. .
I don’t want to just buy my packaged meat, neatly cut up in stir fry pieces with no idea where it comes from. I don’t want my pears to come from China, when perfectly delicious ones are grown in Victoria. I don’t want my chocolate ingredients to come from 4 different parts of the world to be put together in a factory that is still on the other side of the world and then shipped to me and bought for $4.50 a block on the supermarket shelf (thats not good food miles!)
What I would like is for people to be a bit more questioning of what is actually in that jar of food they have just bought, question where the meat is from, is the dairy from free range cows, and does the supermarket offer a more locally produced chocolate product? If people even slightly changed their buying habits, super markets would follow suit and produce on the shelves what is selling the most. Look at how far fair trade coffee has come in recent years.
Its really easy to look at a shopping list and just go bang bang bang in the trolley and dashing out the checkout with not a clue of how many food miles you have just clocked up, and how many additives and preservatives you have just added. Every one does this as its easy! Its convenient. We all lead busy lives and at the end of the day when your knackered, the kids are whingey, you still have to make dinner and 50 other things to do after that, that you think “as quick as possible please”.
So, how to change current habits? Even if you started off small it would make a difference.
Animal Vegetable Miracle- a book that tells the story of how our family was changed by one year of deliberately eating food produced in the place where they lived. Loved it!