5th Anniversary of not using Supermarkets

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     Chris Ogle 
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    Today is the 5th Anniversary that I made a decision to not use Supermarkets… 

    A decision I have no regrets taking as it has brought untold benefits, the 1st of which is the quality of food I eat and how I go about preparing it. It is however a continual evolving process.

    There’s a lot going on in the supermarket arena too

    With Lidl and Aldi making huge inroads into the supermarket space (13% it is now alleged), and signs that Asda and Sainbury’s may merge if the monopolies commission deem it appropriate, and Tesco launching it’s new discount brand ‘Jacks’ to take on the low cost end… and,  the massive acceptance of online shopping it is carnage out there with fierce competition…

    Couple this with the Veggie Box model (such as Riverford), organic fresh produce delivered to your door for those that are looking to pay a little more for a high quality mixture of vegetables, dairy and meat. These provide a welcome attention to detail often missing from supermarkets with the added value of recipes and suggestions… often this might be the only option for time constrained busy people, those without local markets or just can’t get out to local grocers to pick their own.

    No sign that the recession is over

    Today… we are actually in a more challenging position than we were 5 years ago. There is a growing use of foodbanks which has become an almost accepted part of the governments programme ‘Aid to those finding it difficult to manage’  and the advent of organisations such as the “Real Junk Food Project” which takes food that would otherwise be thrown out and makes it available to those that need it, feed bellies not bins… 

    How will it all pan out do you think?

     
    It’s not easy to predict. But I’m not sure that the supermarkets can sustain a model of ‘over supply’ to their stores. Maybe their range of options will shrink, but if it does then the viability of some stores might become more questionable. Models built on the wastage of supermarkets would suffer too, causing further upset for the most vulnerable in our community.
     
    If we sustain another crash (very likely) then maybe we will all need to tighten our belts? What might the ramifications of Brexit be (if it indeed happens)?
     

    What not using Supermarkets has taught me this year?

    Another year of experimentation with intermittent fasting and falling in love with food, not just eating, but careful selection and preparation also… 

    I cooked every day for my daughter and my recently deceased mother and so was more intensely involved in what I was preparing, the nutritional value and achieving balance in what I consume, for this I am very grateful the the network I have built through not using supermarkets and Link4Growth.

    I also took advantage of being in my mothers house and their very productive and delightful garden, I have been extremely happy there growing food as my father did and this has heightened and intensified the importance of food and what we eat. It has also reconnected me back with nature and the awesomeness of this planet and the resources that we have at our disposal.

    Final words… 

    I think the answer to many of our issues lies in just one word ‘Enough‘. We are so used to this abundance of produce which is available to us, where we pop down the supermarket and pick up anything we want… We just need to take what we need, no more.

    What I have learned over this 5 years is that a human being doesn’t need a huge amount of food to be sustained. Actually I have cut down my shopping (especially as I have been growing food this year) and I buy less meat and dairy than at any time in my life…

    I also appreciate every meal I eat with gratitude and savour the tastes of what I am eating. I have developed an unbelievable respect for food this year (growing your own does that). 

    If you would like to read the journey so far… please follow the links below… 

    1st year of not using supermarkets

    3rd year of not using supermarkets

    4th year of not using supermarkets

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