Why should you shop at the market as opposed to shopping at the supermarket?
This is the first in a series of blogs that addresses the notion that we should shop at the market instead of the supermarket; through these blogs I will approach the content in various ways in order to satisfy all of the market shoppers blog’s readers’ needs. For part one the blog will cover GMO, supermarkets exploiting farmers and 5p bags.
Well for starters, GMO stands for genetically modified organism, which in simpler terms basically means a product that has been altered from its natural habitat such as fruit, veg and meat. In drastic terms which I like to use a lot, GMO is basically Robo-Cop – he was a human, then he was modified to just a head on a machine, leaving the rest of him as something else. In films, of course, it’s cool – but in your food?! NO! Imagine, I am eating an apple and this apple is like Robocop, what is the real part of this apple that I am eating? Is it just the skin? If so, then what is the inside that is meant to be my 5 a day that the government love to talk about? Wait! So now I am being robbed of my 5 a day? In short, yes. With GMO’s you don’t get the same nutritional value, so yes you are paying less, but for a poorer quality, and a lot chemicals! Huh! Wait! I want my money back! Furthermore, this also raises one of the most important questions: is this dangerous?
“Supermarkets claims that there are no health risks associated with feeding GMOs to animals in which we eat.
But even the UK Food Standards Agency now acknowledges that the genetic material from GM animal feed does survive to pass through and from the gut.
We need to remember that there are detrimental consequences of growing GM on ecosystems, biodiversity and human health, due to the increased volume of pesticides that go hand in hand with GM agriculture, and the genetic pollution due to cross pollination of GM with non-GM species.
Whichever way you look at it, GMOs are a problem.” GM-free.org
Did you know our supermarkets use GMO fruit and veg which is why they are so cheap in many stores? How can you tell? Well some GMO fruits and veg don’t have seeds; for example watermelon seeds are usually black but in GMO’s they are white, the same applies with apples as the seeds are usually dark brown but with GMO you will find one or 2 pale white seeds and the same with oranges etc…
By the way it is not only fruit it is our meat too, here are supermarket supporting GMO’s.
“In 2013, one by one, the supermarkets changed their policies. Morrisons and Asda were the first to allow GM-fed animal products onto their shelves and Tesco, Sainsbury’s, the Co-op and Marks & Spencer quickly followed suit.
Waitrose poultry remains GM-free – but not its pork. And of course organic brands, have remained firm on their GM Free commitment.
Despite consumer opposition, supermarkets say there is not enough non-GM feed to allow them to source GM-free animal products. Non-GM soya providers in Brazil continue to assure us that there is plenty available, but the supermarkets are not listening.” GM-free.org
So how can I avoid this? SIMPLE! Buy fresh produce from your local market and farmers markets! They are straight from the farmer him/herself, fresh and GMO free Organic!, Also, you can buy them for a very cheap price, and of top quality which brings me onto my next point.
Supermarkets Exploit Farmers
Supermarkets support a decline in agriculture which in yours and my terms means supermarkets don’t support fresh produce and producers, but instead aid the decline of fresh products by exploiting farmers, for their products through, lets say in simple terms, ripping them off by not giving them a fair deal. These big multi million pound organisations use their financial power to gain a upper hand on farmers, by simply playing them off against one another or GMO, by offering pathetic deals for products which they sell up on. In other words, they could buy 1,000 bags of potatoes for 10p, for example, and sell it for a £1.00. Now the farmer makes £100 from this, and that is not including the time, effort and finances they had to put in to produce it, and then you have the supermarket making £900 profit on top of this which they contributed nothing to except rip off our farmers. It is not right and surely it is not fair, as farmers put back into our economy, whereas in contrast, supermarkets reinvest into numerous economies.
“It cannot be right that a typical hill farmer earns just £12,600, with some surviving on as little as £8,000 a year, while the big retailer and their shareholders do much better out of the deal, having taken none of the risk. this has far-reaching consequences.
Such is the squeeze on farm incomes that many small and medium-sized farms, and not just in the upland, cannot afford to make crucial long term reinvestment, and I fear this will create a high problems in the near future, especially in the dairy sector.” Prince Charles in a column written by the daily mail
In contrast, if you buy from your local market that market trader/farmer’s market will get his/her product from the farmer also, which will be GMO free and at a better deal to benefit both parties and their customers. Also that money will mainly be going back into our local economy which means we can preserve our farms as well as create a better living for our children of the future, and have more money which will be invested into our local towns and businesses which will improve our way of living.
5p carrier bags
Now to finish part 1 in a less political manner, and on a more down to earth yet numerical manner, I will touch up on supermarkets charging us 5p for bags. Now personally I do not mind that it is 5p if it goes towards charity after all, how can I decline? BUT! And it is a big but as the simple fact is that the market is not charging you 5p for a bag you obviously need, yet supermarket’s are pulling a Leonardo Di Caprio on us like that in Wolf of Wall Street: supply and demand my friends, supply and demand!
5p for a bag – yes 5p is not much BUT if I go to the shop everyday, and I am including shops as shops are charging 5p too, even though they shouldn’t unless they have over 250 employees (take note) that is for me around 3 bags a week. Then I include a weekly shop, which may include 2 or 3 more bags, then I include a monthly shop and provided I forgot to bring my bags, that is an extra 7 bags lets say, so it totals to 31 bags, now 31 bags a month for a year is roughly £20.15 and for 5 years it’s £100.75. Seems like such a small price to pay, yes but it is still money at the same time, and these are the same supermarkets who are ripping off our local farmers, but obviously those are rough numbers just for me and my personal usage, whereas when I used to live at home my mom would easily use 5 times more bags than me as we had a bigger family, so for her that would be £100 a year, £500 in 5 years roughly – it makes a big difference especially as some of us are not the wealthiest and barely get by so I understand it from both sides.
“The number of plastic bags handed out by supermarkets in England in 2014 rose to 7.64 billion – 200 million more than in 2013” reported by the BBC, which means £380 million more to super markets a year, but its just 5p right!
Now the money, some of it is going to charity so they say – I don’t know the facts but I would say there is a fat chance this is going to charities they run, where they take charges for delivery, packaging etc… in most cases, not all, but I won’t argue too much on this as long as charities are getting supported I am fair game. However, there is then the argument they propose of the environment and all I have to say is that if it is a environmental issue, why are you charging 5p like this will make the difference and still producing plastic bags? Why not place simple limits down on how many people get per shop like some do, or charge more, which by the way I am greatly confident that prices on bags will increase.
My argument is that with markets, you don’t get a lot of this contradiction. You go there to buy something, you get what you buy and it is what it says it is. Market traders are brutally honest but fair and support our local economy unlike supermarkets who lie to us, cheat us, and say they support our local economies, key word being “say”. I mean at least we see the man who is selling to us face to face; who can tell me what the owner(s) of any supermarkets today look like or tell me you have seen them in your region?
On one final note, I would like to say: support your local markets and farmers markets, take some of what I said into consideration and next time you go shopping take a trip to your local market and help maintain the Great in British.
please note the profile picture was obtained from happymoneyrsaver.com and all quotes have website sources directly besides or underneath them.