Friday, 24 November 2006

Community Wholefood

It’s official! Last week environment minister Ben Bradshaw urged shoppers to take direct action by leaving packaging at their supermarket checkout, to force the giants to cut down on excessive waste and packaging going to landfill. Let us know how you get on. (Tupperware, by the way, is very useful for carrying away your cheese, fish and meat).

There are many reasons why I’m slowly giving up supermarkets themselves: health, ethics, community, financial and time (and that’s not smug, it’s pragmatic). For a positive alternative, Just Trade is one of those great Lewes social enterprises. It’s a bulk food and goods collection organised by Common Cause, Lewes’s non-profit co-operative, and it takes place every other month at Lewes New School. Once you get your head around transport (they also deliver) and storage it’s much easier and cheaper: a 5kg sack of organic rice costs £5.41, 2kg of BioD concentrated washing powder costs £5.58, there’s less waste, and there’s that wholehearted pleasure of being part of a community process. This month there are some gorgeous things to eat, drink and give as presents. The order form can be downloaded from their website; deadline for orders is 27 November, collection is 8 December.

I discovered the power of my purse many years when through the customer suggestions book I persuaded my rural mini-supermarket to stock organic milk, then vegetables, then meat. I still like to believe that we create our own reality, one step at a time.

No comments: