Tag Archives: supermarkets

A photo of my first veg box!

The Edible Treasure Trove

A photo of my first veg box!

A photo of my first veg box!

As you may know, I’m a university student. I may be incredibly wealthy compared with many people around the world, but compared with other people in the UK I’m pretty skint. This means that for the last year I haven’t been shopping in my local healthfood store nearly as often as I’d like and have instead been sulking around the crowded aisles of Aldi. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Aldi is a super super cheap supermarket. I know, shoot me now. If it makes it any better I also shop at an independent Indian food shop and I used to go to the farmers market before my lectures started clashing with it. But it’s still pretty poor for an aspiring environmentalist. Also, the fruit and vegetables from Aldi are horrible. Always tasteless, sometimes mouldy.

SO – enter the organic local veg box.
That’s right, I’ve finally got it together and signed up with Riverford Organics.

Above is a photo of my first veg box. Aren’t the colours wonderfully vibrant?

Anyway, they had a stall at the Brighton Veggie Fest last month and the vegetables looked so lush and the guys running it were so friendly that I took a leaflet and decided to sign up right away. After a quick (ok three weeks) jaunt across the country to see my friends and family over Easter I decided to order the Mini Fruit and Veg box for £13.45 per week.

This is going to cause quite a dent in my weekly budget as I’m used to spending only £20 a week on all my food. However, if I was working full time (even at minimum wage) I wouldn’t bat an eyelid at this cost as I know you get what you pay for when it comes to quality.  Aldi was a lot cheaper but the veg box option is better in several other ways:

a) It’s organic, fresher and seasonal, making it healthier and tastier
b) It’s more convenient, as it’s delivered to your door
c) It’s more ethical, as it’s supporting a smaller business rather than a supermarket
d) It’s better for the environment, as there’s much less food miles and pollution
e) It inspires a more varied diet, because you get different seasonal veg
f) It helps you keep in touch with the seasons and with the Earth

There’s also another benefit specific to my situation. I love fruit and will eat it as a snack if it’s available, but the fruit from Aldi was so horrible I never ate it, leaving me tempted to snack on other things such as crisps. Now I can grab an organic apple instead when I’m feeling peckish!

For all these reasons I would really recommend checking out their website or indeed another local veg box scheme that operates in your area or country. Bare in mind that there are loads of boxes to choose from, varying in size, price and contents, so there’s bound to be one that suites you.

For the record, here’s what I got in my box last week:

  • Broccoli
  • Aubergine
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Courgettes
  • Apples
  • Oranges

All the produce was in great condition and tasted wonderful. The apples were especially good!
I’m planning to juggle around my finances so I can afford to keep this up.
Working on a tight budget is all about prioritising!

Eco-friendly Tesco? Really?

So as I said, I wanted to find out more about my approaching megastore, and after some googling I found this article. Take a read:

http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/Eco-friendly-Tesco-given-ahead/story-13290506-detail/story.html

Hmm. They fact that they’re saying they’ll have a rainwater harvesting system and double glazing and etc clearly shows times are changing, and that’s a great sign. Even a small improvement by a large company has a big effect, and what they’re planning for the infrastructure of the store is not even a little improvement.

But can Tesco ever be described as eco-friendly? I’m very dubious to that. The multinational as a whole causes so much damage unrelated to it’s individual stores, such as funding deforestation in the Amazon, that it’s attempts at sustainability, like degradable carrier bags, seem like greenwash.

It’s still good they’re doing it though. It’s just you can’t call it “eco-friendly”. “Less bad” might be a better way to describe it. Anyway, I guess they do have a point about unemployment being a problem around here. But it always drives me a little bit crazy when thinking about the lack of jobs problem, because there is just SO MUCH WORK TO BE DONE. In terms of reworking almost every part of Western society, from retrofitting all the houses to massive tree planting projects, there’s so much to do. But a lot of this important stuff is mostly done by volunteers while 23% of the UK working-age population* rush around trying to find a job. Very silly. Well some of them can go and work in this new Tesco I guess.

*Statistic from:  http://www.hrmguide.co.uk/jobmarket/unemployment.htm

Looks Like We’re Getting A Tesco

I’m not very good at judging time, so I couldn’t tell you when, but some time earlier this year there was a proposal for a new Tesco store to be built in my home town.

A lot of people were, shall I say, displeased with the idea. After all we already have a Co-op, a Morrison’s, a Properjob, and a Sainsbury’s and Lidl on the outskirts. And Tesco’s on both sides in our neighbouring towns.

We have all we need in the way of supermarkets. It is a very small town that takes pride in its quirky array of small independent shops, and people said a new Tesco would damage their business potential by out pricing them. It takes a strong will and a suicidal purse to continually pay twice the price for an item, day after day. We didn’t want that temptation.

There were petitions, which I signed, and local news articles, which I’ll be honest – I didn’t bother to read, and general hoo-ha took place. They seemed to back down, and I heard nothing more about it. Then suddenly, the other day I saw a headline announcing “decision day for Tesco”, which surprised me a little. Then another headline today: “New Tesco Approved”.

What?

Seems positively cheeky, to wait several months after everyone was up in arms, giving the illusion of success, and then to just do it anyway. I endeavour to find out more about this.