Here’s a confession for you. We rely upon online deliveries from the supermarket. Yes, the supermarket – that bastion of evil that lurks on the outskirt of every large town.
In an ideal work we would shop locally and buy produce from markets and makers. However a combination of living semi-rurally in a small village with only one small convenience shop and a butcher’s, and a once weekly visit from the fishmonger’s van (we’re vegetarian, so the butchers or fish van is of no use to us!), without a car, and all the other time pressures of life, such as jobs, a small child, social lives, etc, means it is difficult for us to shop in any other way.
For quite a few years now we’ve gotten a supermarket order delivered fortnightly to us. Inbetween deliveries we top up on things we need, like fresh food and bits and pieces, with, generally, the Co-Op, Earthy Food Market, Real Foods and Marks & Spencer (their green thai curry sauce is amazing, and the only one that I’ve found that is veggie friendly). A couple of years ago we tried a local vegetable box scheme, and it just wasn’t for us. Instead we try and grow our own herbs and vegetables as much as we can in the summer. We’ve had a few hits (a veritable courgette explosion! A whole summer of never having to buy lettuce!) and a few misses (including one very wet summer a year and a half ago where slugs ate EVERYTHING that dared to as much as poke it’s head out of the soil), but by in large our food comes from the supermarket.
I thought I’d look into how ethical the main seven supermarkets in the UK are to see which are the most ethical. We use Sainsbury’s and I had always assumed them to be a tiny bit more ethical than Tesco, but according to the Ethical Consumer this is sadly not the case:
Were there any surprises here for you? I was also surprised as I thought Waitrose would score a bit more highly than what they did, and that the most ethical supermarket, the Co-Op, doesn’t really score that highly in terms of ethics.
If we wanted to switch to a supermarket that performs better than Sainsbury’s we’re a bit stuck. The Co-Operative doesn’t offer home delivery unless you do your shop as normal in a selected store (a 12 mile plus journey for us); Marks & Spencer don’t deliver groceries; and we’re outwith the Waitrose/Ocado delivery area.
However, I’d like to source at least some of our food more ethically. I like to think there may be more ethical alternatives to online supermarket shopping out there that will fit within our modest food budget, even if it means buying some items from some independent retailers and still using online deliver from the supermarkets to a lesser degree. I’m going to spend the next little while looking into this and I hope to report back soon with my findings!
Do you use the supermarket? Or have you found any good online sources that offer delivery and aren’t too pricey? I’d love to hear!