Consumerism

Top 10 Excuses Why We’re Still Addicted to Supermarkets

We know that the best food is from local, small-scale farmers and out of our own gardens and food forests. But why do most of us still find ourselves regularly going to the supermarket?

As a permaculture teacher, IT professional and someone who is passionate about high quality local food, I ask this question to friends, colleagues, farmers, students and people I meet every day.

Here is what I’ve found to be the top 10 excuses why we still haven’t kicked our supermarket addiction:

1) I’m too busy

It’s quick. It’s there. You’re driving home from work and it’s on the way. You pop in and out and can get food that’s ready-to-eat.

2) It’s easy

It’s easy. You don’t have to think anymore. Just grab what you feel like and be on your way — day or night.

3) No seasons in the supermarket

You get what you want when you want it. Organic tomatoes in winter? No problem. Beef in the summer? Mangoes in Canada? Yup, all there. Pretty much everything is available all the time. There are no seasons in the supermarket.

4) Local is too much effort

Even though in our hearts we support our local farmers, it just takes too much effort. We have to eat every day, you know, several times.

5) Finding farmers takes time

Many local farmers still don’t have their own farm websites. After all, they are farmers, not computer scientists. Finding them takes time and effort. Farmers’ markets are great, but sometimes we’re too busy or the weather is bad.

6) You can trust supermarket organic food. Right?

Without third-party checks and government regulation, there are no guarantees. You can’t trust something that is not certified. Unfortunately, when curious consumers start looking into the claims of big supermarket chains, they’re often attacked and threatened with lawsuits.

7) We are creatures of habit

It’s not just that we still go to the supermarket, we likely go to the same supermarket and buy the same food we always do. We are creatures of habit.

8) There’s no real difference

If people are still watching TV, then they likely still believe that industrial organic comes from the same pretty old farms pictured in food advertising and product labels.

9) There’s no good alternative

If there’s nothing but supermarkets between my work and my home, what can I do?

10) Ignorance

And then there’s just plain ignorance. Many people still don’t realise that supermarkets are nutritional deserts. There’s hardly any real food in them at all. What you do find is grown for sweetness and shelf life and has been green-picked and shipped from the other side of the globe to be ripened in gas chambers.

What do you think?

So here are the top 10 excuses I’ve been hearing. Why don’t you tell us if you’ve heard other excuses for not yet kicking the supermarket addiction. What’s wrong with the above excuses? For example, I would argue that grocery shopping is still the most time consuming modern domestic chore….

Further Reading/Watching:

7 Comments

  1. I use to think that if you have time to sit on your butt and watch TV you have time to eat healthier. Then I found myself working ridiculously long weeks and being physically and mentally drained at the end of it. I resorted to what was easy.

    Easy is fine, but if it leads to gambling your health, you need to get things into perspective. I don’t think the majority of people really take food for what it is – our fuel… the stuff that turns non-life into life… the stuff that keeps us going. We put more importance into earning money to pay dues than doing whats best for our wellbeing… our survival. I guess we should all ask ourselves the question: Do we want to continue to live a healthy life so we can do the things that we want to do? If the answer is yes, nutrition is vital. Simple.

  2. Let me say something more.

    I use to be vegan (why I am not anymore is another story) and the reason I went vegan was because I accepted that my tastebuds were really poor decision makers and a moral compass. The same could be said about our tendency to eat what is tasty over what is good for us. Our tastebuds bellow that we should satisfy them for if we do happiness will ensue. Our conscience is drowned out by this booming voice. It cowers out back with its tail between its legs, waiting for an opportunity to tell us that “It tried to warn you!”

  3. Yep, I have either been guilty myself of thinking some of these things, or have heard others make the same claims. Another way I find myself at the supermarket is when the kids have been sick and I have to wait til late at night when my partner is home so I can head out on my own to stock up, at these times the supermarkets are the only places open where I live. I go to the markets once a week and I always try to shop at our locally owned, smaller supermarket for everything else (not really a solution I know), at least their fruit n veg comes from nearby. Have been busy planting a variety of perennial food plants in my yard that are suited to my climate and grow annuals that we enjoy as much as I can. Still very much a learner but I gotta start somewhere I guess! Thanks for the read :) mum in Canberra.

  4. Another excuse Fraser, that I have come across has this financial emphasis. “My food bill is a small component of my overall costs. My mortgage is the largest expense and I need to work long ours to meet the financial commitment”. While this comment has little appreciation for the need of nutrient rich, toxic free food for our health (good comment Pavel), it highlights an orientation we human beings sometimes make. We tend to value things according to their financial metrics, as if there is nothing else to measure value by. I also hear the comments by Toni, where the lifestyles we are caught up in, drive us away from a return to the “earth connection” that seems to benefit our mental and physical health. Go for it Toni! We do have to start somewhere. Just do it and move towards a new lifestyle that values the more important aspects of life. It is not easy or convenient making the transition toward something new like this, but at least you are having a go. It will surprise you in time, when you look back… just how far you have come! No doubt, the posts on this website keep inspiring us and challenging us to take a shift in our thinking and our practice!

  5. I was getting mentally ill about 6-7 years ago. its been a long journey sense then. I’ve been in and out of the “outpatient” hospital, Ive been thought about 5 different psyche drugs (which caused me to become balloon into obesity 2 or 3 times)….I’ve had it TOUGH!
    Then, 2 years ago i decided to follow my initial efforts that i made when i first got mentally ill… “The Natural path”. I’ve learned a boat load about nutrition and what common foods to avoid…I Never Understood the true meaning of bad food, the saying “In Small Amounts it wont hurt” was an adopted reality from my moms view. this View kept me eating fast food once a week and frequent junk food……..

    I will Never Turn Back after what i know now about….

    High Fructose Corn – Syrup in virtually everything,

    Genetically Engineered (GMO) Corn -a main ingredient in the majority of supermarket foods,

    and

    Traditional way = Freshly Ground Grains having living cultures of Phytace (breaks down the Nutrient Inhibitors; Phytates}.
    “lactobacillus” starter was used in place of Modern Yeast! another step in the reduction and removal of Nutrient Inhibitors.

    more on Traditional Bread-
    wheat and other Grains{aks seeds} – seeds naturally contain high amounts of “Nutrient Inhibitors” which enables the seed to pass through intestines without being digested. Phytace help break the “N.I.” down, Pre-Ground Flower is virtually void of this beneficial microbe. Critically, The Traditionally prepared breads were typically Lacto-fermented prior to baking(Sour Breads). freshly ground Flour {Full of with Phytace} is inoculated with a starter and left on the counter for the desired time (Starters have high amounts of “Lactobacillius” ;similar effect as yeast). Finally, Bread Prepared this way would help Significantly reduce the Nutrient Inhibitors content. Ref: Weston A. Price Foundation & Harvard Food Law {Nancy Fallon}

  6. I used to live near a fantastic small set of shops. there was a butcher, a grocer, a baker, a european deli, an asian grocer, a fish shop,a chemist, a health food shop, 3 fast food (fish and chips, chicken and pizza) and an IGA. I never had to go to a stupidmarket. The shops were immensely popular with the locals, the carpark never empty but you never had to wait for a park. Why can’t more councils be instrumental in deciding retail logistics? All of this wasn’t organic, sustainable or especially ethical but at least it voided a dependance or habit of stupidmarkets. Which, considering their size contain very little food.

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