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What’s your local shopping style?

By 9 May 2014 36

farmers-market

With all this talk of IKEA due to hit Canberra and the excitement about no longer having to make that long Sydney trek to collect our flatpacks of brightly coloured laminated furniture, it feels a little unhip to ask whether it’s actually in the best interests of the city to host this multinational.

But as I started fantasising about a house full of shiny laminated right angles, my husband called me out on the cognitive dissonance I apply in my purchasing.

We all do it.

It’s cool to buy locally grown food unless we want an exotic ingredient or a recipe calls for something out of season. It’s hip to support local coffee shops and restaurants but we get excited about the International credibility of having Jamie Oliver open up or visiting well marketed Aussie chains like Grill’d or Koko Black. We talk about the markets and boutique galleries but we sit at home with a hot choccie and shop on Etsy, supporting International artists and artisans while ignoring the wealth of talent on display in chilly sheds and suburban shopfronts on weekends.

IKEA sells some gorgeous stuff from cheap and flimsy impulse buys through to solid and value for money furnishings, but when we buy from them the only money that stays in Canberra is the wages of sales staff, rental and minimal admin. Not just business profits but manufacturing, administration and marketing all rain in some other financial eco-system. When we buy online even more of the money sinks into that black hole never to help keep our favourite coffee shop open or boutique strip buzzing.

Network marketing appears to be enjoying a surge in popularity as a compromise, a way to support local business, shop from home and socialise with friends all at the same time. The new hip line of network marketing businesses are clean, green and treat their staff well. I’m doing it too, and loving it.

When we hear about consumer confidence or spending levels being up or down across the Territory, I don’t believe we are necessarily spending more or less money, at least to the extent indicated, but I do see businesses struggling and entire communities showing a reversal in fortunes as certain suburban centres receive more or less favour. In many cases people are rejecting local industries saying “we can get that elsewhere”.

So let’s get our act together, Canberra. What can we do to get customers out on the street, in the community, eating at locally owned restaurants, shopping at locally owned boutiques and bringing home groceries from local farmers?

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36 Responses to What’s your local shopping style?
#1
morethanmumma1:05 pm, 09 May 14

A couple of times a year I have an attack of guilt and decide I’m going to go back to shopping locally. I pop down to the Sunday Farmers Market at Philip, stock up on beautiful, fresh, locally grown and sourced fruit, veg, meat, bread, eggs and honey etc. I feel virtuous and think to myself ‘this is the way forward’. Then the reality of my budget kicks in as what is usually fit for two weeks feeding a family of five sees us through half that. So, in theory I’m with you. I honestly think we need to support local shops and farmers. Maybe (speaking for my family) we need to curve our habits and eat less, buy less etc. But without some fairly drastic changes to the way we do things, I just can’t afford it and I hate that. Any tips for dealing with the budget side of these lofty ambitions?

#2
arescarti421:11 pm, 09 May 14

arescarti42 said :

So let’s get our act together, Canberra. What can we do to get customers out on the street, in the community, eating at locally owned restaurants, shopping at locally owned boutiques and bringing home groceries from local farmers?

As far as I’m concerned, this sort of thing is an example of free markets at their finest. If people aren’t shopping at local restaurants and boutiques, it’s probably because they aren’t competitive on price, service or product. People want to shop at Ikea because Ikea can make a bjorkenflap more efficiently and sell it way cheaper than local retailers. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a good use of resources.

I’m also not sure why local businesses are inherently more deserving of my business than an overseas one, a local business should be able to stand on its own merits.

#3
Mysteryman1:18 pm, 09 May 14

arescarti42 said :

“So let’s get our act together, Canberra. What can we do to get customers out on the street, in the community, eating at locally owned restaurants, shopping at locally owned boutiques and bringing home groceries from local farmers?”

As far as I’m concerned, this sort of thing is an example of free markets at their finest. If people aren’t shopping at local restaurants and boutiques, it’s probably because they aren’t competitive on price, service or product. People want to shop at Ikea because Ikea can make a bjorkenflap more efficiently and sell it way cheaper than local retailers. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a good use of resources.

I’m also not sure why local businesses are inherently more deserving of my business than an overseas one, a local business should be able to stand on its own merits.

Exactly.

I buy from local markets because they supply better produce than the large supermarket chains. Often it’s better priced, too. I don’t buy from them because it’s “hip” or “cool”. If a local, or even Australian furniture producer offered me a good product at a good price, I’d buy from them. But I’m not going to support local businesses just because they are local. Offer good service, a good product, or good prices. Better yet, offer all three.

#4
JessicaGlitter1:34 pm, 09 May 14

arescati42 Anything manufactured “overseas” in cheap countries opens a question of ethical production. We buy plenty of bargains that we wouldn’t if we could see where and how they were made. Things made in Europe or other countries that have similar labour conditions to Australia tend to cost about the same or more once you go to the trouble of importing them. With your supermarket shop we’re seeing the big supermarkets bullying farmers and manufacturers into dropping their prices below what they need to make a profit.

But of course the best “selfish” reason to shop local is that we love our town to have character and vibe but if we only ever shop at the mall, it’s only ever possible for the mall to stay in business. If we neglect our suburban centres then we forfeit the right to complain about Canberra being boring!

morethanmumma, I find that shopping vegetarian can be very cheap, but I’ve read that up to a quarter of the rubbish that goes to landfill is food scraps so perhaps we can all work on our efficiency when shopping. And when I’m at the market or greengrocer, I shop for the bargains rather than going in with a mental shopping list.

#5
Maya1231:54 pm, 09 May 14

I try to produce the food that I can easily grow, such as vegetables and fruit. I bottle fruit and have shelves of this stored for winter. I also collect feral fruit. I have a huge resistance to food grown overseas, because of the carbon miles (or these days, perhaps we should be saying kms). I also will buy local produce where possible over produce grown further a field in Australia. I will buy foreign food if there is no reasonable alternative. I will do my best not to buy any food from countries with a poor food health record. I read the labels.
Other products I try to buy Australian where possible. I didn’t think it was possible to still buy Australian clothes, but recently I have found outlets where I can. Prices for this varied from expensive to surprisingly ‘affordable’. I will be regularly checking these Australian clothes as need arises.
It is a selling point for me for other goods to be made in Australia, and I am willing to pay a little extra for them if need be. These are usually goods that only need to be bought every few years; for some goods, if well cared for, perhaps once in a lifetime.

#6
gospeedygo1:54 pm, 09 May 14

arescarti42 said :

What can we do to get customers out on the street, in the community, eating at locally owned restaurants, shopping at locally owned boutiques and bringing home groceries from local farmers?

Grow a much larger, more diverse, less transient and less apathetic population base?

#7
Madam Cholet4:11 pm, 09 May 14

JessicaGlitter said :

arescati42 Anything manufactured “overseas” in cheap countries opens a question of ethical production. We buy plenty of bargains that we wouldn’t if we could see where and how they were made..

The thing is though, it’s not about boycotting purchasing the things that come from other countries – and I think we are all thinking of clothing or goods made in Pakistan or Bangladesh as an example. It’s about knowing that the workers who made those goods were treated ethically as we would expect our workers to be treated. If Australia decided to boycott products from these countries then their work would collapse and they would not have a living at all, let alone one that pays peanuts for long hours and very little else.

So, we need to know that anyone we purchase through in Australia has the right policies in place, and that they actually live those policies and don’t leave it up to a third party to carry out their audits and provide them with the result they want. I believe and hope that there is more action happening here since the last factory disaster.

#8
tr0jan5:00 pm, 09 May 14

I prefer to shop locally, or at least Australian made and am happy to pay a little more for these products within reason. I have recently purchased a kitchen through IKEA in Sydney and had it shipped here. I did attempt to shop locally, visiting a flat pack kitchen company locally, but was blown away when the price was nearly 10k for the flat pack ALONE. I designed my kitchen using the clunky IKEA planner and went to Sydney, spent the better part of a day waiting for my turn, and running through the order several times to make sure it was correct with the staff there. For my trouble, I ended up saving nearly 6 grand.. Buying locally is great, but not when we are clearly being taken for a ride.

#9
Ryoma9:35 am, 10 May 14

This is an interesting and really timely post, given the economic challenges facing our city at present.

In terms of my shopping style, I often clash with Mrs. Ryoma. I try to shop at the Farmers Markets at least fortnightly, and to buy “sustainable” and “ethical” products where I can. Mrs Ryoma, on the other hand, is driven by one thing, and one thing only – price – and often confuses it for value.

More than that, I am concerned about food miles. If (God forbid) something ever stopped the delivery of food supplies into Canberra, I think what we grow within a 50km radius would be minimal. Wine (obviously), mushrooms, honey, eggs, apples, and very limited amounts of vegetables. So I try to support the very local farmers on that basis rather than those from further away.

I am usually pretty keen on free trade, but I do my best to limit what food I buy from the EU and the United States, as they subsidise their agriculture. I have no such issues with buying from the majority of other countries, except for China (as I have concerns about their food safety).

I agree with other comments here that local businesses don’t necessarily deserve our support just because they are local. And another thing which came as a shock recently was to realise how little (beyond the Farmer’s Markets) I actually can support small businesses. I’ll admit that much of what we buy is from the supermarkets, but a lot of it also comes from chain stores. They may be local franchises,but in many cases I think that the profits often end up elsewhere.

It depends upon what people buy, too. We live in a small apartment, so we have no need for more furniture (unless it helps us to save space). The same space limits what we can do as hobbies, how many books and paintings we buy, etc. As we return to visit Mrs. Ryoma’s family overseas every few years, we tend to buy 90% of our clothing on those trips. As such, we likely spend more on services (power/gas/water/internet/insurance) than we do on goods (beyond food).

I don’t know of many local small businesses that meet our needs (admittedly, I haven’t looked that hard) and I think that it might be a major challenge to our economy going forward. If they are still in the 1980′s paradigm of “stack it high” and “yell and sell” (a la the Harvey Norman ads), then I’d say they’re facing diminishing returns. The population is aging, and Gen X and Y are going to have to fund our own retirements. This means we’re unlikely to keep upgrading our appliances to show off to each other (or the mythical Jones’s) if we have any common sense. As a result, if you’re flogging mass produced goods rather than customised services, this could well be why things are slow.

Next topic – I cannot stand shopping centres. Compared to either the farmer’s markets, or shopping overseas, the Westfields make every town centre across the country look like an identikit concrete block wiith no architectural distinction, and are as predictable and boring as school used to be! :)
So I’m quite happy to buy on-line if I can instead. Having said that, if an individual business stands out, I will support it.

But it’s worth thinking about what our city would look like if much of the trade went on-line. The majority of businesses in Civic seem to be hospitality and fashion-related, but without the fashion, what would fill the space? It could be a good way to fix our housing shortage…

One final point. I’m as guilty as anyone else of this, as I said above regarding clothing. Many of us love to travel overseas and to buy plenty of things where they are cheaper. At the same time, many of our businesses Australia-wide cannot compete due to our (relatively) high wages and conditions, and yet (collectively) we expect a rising standard of living (wage rises and entitlements). Can we not see that these are two sides of the same coin?

#10
Masquara2:12 pm, 10 May 14

There are those who are happy to have farmer’s market semi-rural lifestyle people pocket a lot of extra dollars of their hard-earned in exchange for a bit of supposed cachet. Often those heavily entitled “farmers” are former public servants expecting a proper wage for growing a bit of chard on their acreage, or for turning quinces into jelly. Not gunna happen. Generally, a small number of unsophisticated consumers are gullible for a while, but they tend to wake up to the scamming over time and go on to shop based on quality and price, wherever it is on offer. No-one can seriously shop local – there are no coffee growers in the ACT. If anyone is aware of one single eco-tragic who owns nothing made in China, hold them up, please, as a paragon of virtue. There is no such person. Only this morning ANZFA were on the radio debunking the myth of “organic” food being any more healthy than conventional produce. Does anyone think those gang-run market gardens all over Australia aren’t labelling heaps of their chemical-dosed produce as “organic”? The sophisticated consumers are the ones who are shopping on price, and using the money they save to activate their own dreams and plans. I for one am not going to pay a massive premium to the nonsensical eco-elite when Shop-Rite and Coles offer honest produce from real farms.

#11
lostinbias8:33 pm, 10 May 14

Masquara said :

. Only this morning ANZFA were on the radio debunking the myth of “organic” food being any more healthy than conventional produce..

Thank you! Good to see someone listening to the science of the matter.

Masquara said :

Shop-Rite and Coles offer honest produce from real farms.

…but who the hell are Shop-Rite?

I work in supermarkets (not duopoly though), and as a result tend to buy most of my stuff from supermarkets. I tend to find I get the products I want, including nice imported products, at reasonable prices. I’m not concerned about food miles, organic food, GMO, or any of that.

I plan to feed my children on as much GMO as possible.

As for IKEA, it’s been something that Canberra has wanted for a long time. It’s a fact of life in Sydney and I anticipate local furniture companies will learn to adapt into a niche market.

#12
Maya1239:08 pm, 10 May 14

Masquara said :

There are those who are happy to have farmer’s market semi-rural lifestyle people pocket a lot of extra dollars of their hard-earned in exchange for a bit of supposed cachet. Often those heavily entitled “farmers” are former public servants expecting a proper wage for growing a bit of chard on their acreage, or for turning quinces into jelly. Not gunna happen. Generally, a small number of unsophisticated consumers are gullible for a while, but they tend to wake up to the scamming over time and go on to shop based on quality and price, wherever it is on offer. No-one can seriously shop local – there are no coffee growers in the ACT. If anyone is aware of one single eco-tragic who owns nothing made in China, hold them up, please, as a paragon of virtue. There is no such person. Only this morning ANZFA were on the radio debunking the myth of “organic” food being any more healthy than conventional produce. Does anyone think those gang-run market gardens all over Australia aren’t labelling heaps of their chemical-dosed produce as “organic”? The sophisticated consumers are the ones who are shopping on price, and using the money they save to activate their own dreams and plans. I for one am not going to pay a massive premium to the nonsensical eco-elite when Shop-Rite and Coles offer honest produce from real farms.

The best way to save money is to grow your own vegetables and fruit. Then it’s local and saves a heap of money. Also, some food can be found growing in the wild.
To get a (proper) organic rating is not easy. It is not just a matter of labelling the food organic. It has to pass tests, and sometimes takes years to be allowed to be certified organic. Yes, anyone can say their food is organic, but this doesn’t mean it’s certified organic. Anyone can say anything, but the so called “sophisticated consumer” you talk about would know the difference between certified and a false claim… or they are not actually “sophisticated”.

#13
sepi10:13 pm, 10 May 14

Coles are not the most ethical shop owners around.
http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/accc-takes-action-against-coles-over-alleged-treatment-of-suppliers-20140505-37rei.html

They may sell some honest produce from real farms, but they don’t do it in the best way. They insist on only apples and pears of a uniform size, and so what happens to the rest of the fruit that is produced?

#14
Maya1231:26 am, 11 May 14

sepi said :

Coles are not the most ethical shop owners around.
http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/accc-takes-action-against-coles-over-alleged-treatment-of-suppliers-20140505-37rei.html

They may sell some honest produce from real farms, but they don’t do it in the best way. They insist on only apples and pears of a uniform size, and so what happens to the rest of the fruit that is produced?

I often would like to buy smaller fruit, but it generally isn’t available. (To eat as small snacks.) Also some smaller vegetables. I find most shop onions, for example, are too big, and I select the smallest available, but even then the onions are often still bigger than I want. Tomatoes are usually too big too, unless one buys the more expensive tiny tomatoes. I chose smaller potatoes. I buy the smallest bananas as well. I imagine the sizes I prefer are rejected and rarely make it to market. Just the one size fits all.

#15
cbjcurtin9:14 am, 11 May 14

It’s fantastic when people support local shops like ours, but we need to earn the custom. We compete on price and have unbeatable freshness and quality. We get great support from our local community and in return we support local fetes, fairs and sporting teams. Shopping local does keep more money in our local economy. As they say shop local and buy your kids a job

#16
Maya12312:45 pm, 11 May 14

Masquara said :

There are those who are happy to have farmer’s market semi-rural lifestyle people pocket a lot of extra dollars of their hard-earned in exchange for a bit of supposed cachet. Often those heavily entitled “farmers” are former public servants expecting a proper wage for growing a bit of chard on their acreage, or for turning quinces into jelly. Not gunna happen. Generally, a small number of unsophisticated consumers are gullible for a while, but they tend to wake up to the scamming over time and go on to shop based on quality and price, wherever it is on offer. No-one can seriously shop local – there are no coffee growers in the ACT. If anyone is aware of one single eco-tragic who owns nothing made in China, hold them up, please, as a paragon of virtue. There is no such person. Only this morning ANZFA were on the radio debunking the myth of “organic” food being any more healthy than conventional produce. Does anyone think those gang-run market gardens all over Australia aren’t labelling heaps of their chemical-dosed produce as “organic”? The sophisticated consumers are the ones who are shopping on price, and using the money they save to activate their own dreams and plans. I for one am not going to pay a massive premium to the nonsensical eco-elite when Shop-Rite and Coles offer honest produce from real farms.

There might be no coffee growers in Canberra, but a “sophisticated” (what does this actually mean in reality) shopper would know they can buy Australian coffee, or they are ignorant. The best that a person can do is:
1. Grow as much as they can themselves. This is local and saves a lot of money, which can then be used on “their own dreams and plans”. But perhaps “their own dreams and plans” is to have food security. Not everyone’s wishes are for a bigger MacMansion, or a bigger fuel guzzling four wheel drive. Some people are truly more sophisticated in their thinking than having to keep up with the mythical Jones.
2. What you can’t grow yourself, buy as locally as possible. This might mean the coffee will come from northern NSW, but the olive oil might only have to come from Yass. The money will go back into the community rather than go overseas.
3. When Australian can’t be bought, than it might have to come from overseas. But have alternatives been researched first? Be flexible. Do you have to buy a food product out of season?
There is also the issue of food safety. Not all countries have such a high standard as Australia.

#17
Masquara5:17 pm, 11 May 14

Maya123 said :

…but who the hell are Shop-Rite?

Sorry, you’d have to be an inner-north local to know. IGA type supermarket at Ainslie has been through several names though always owned by the same family.

#18
Masquara5:36 pm, 11 May 14

Maya123 said :

There might be no coffee growers in Canberra, but a “sophisticated” (what does this actually mean in reality) shopper would know they can buy Australian coffee, or they are ignorant.

Australian coffee is about four times the price of imported coffee though …

#19
Maya1237:19 pm, 11 May 14

Masquara said :

Maya123 said :

There might be no coffee growers in Canberra, but a “sophisticated” (what does this actually mean in reality) shopper would know they can buy Australian coffee, or they are ignorant.

Australian coffee is about four times the price of imported coffee though …

Rubbish. I buy Australia coffee often. It’s about the same price as imported.

#20
lostinbias7:21 pm, 11 May 14

Masquara said :

Maya123 said :

…but who the hell are Shop-Rite?

Sorry, you’d have to be an inner-north local to know. IGA type supermarket at Ainslie has been through several names though always owned by the same family.

I said that! Not Maya123! Quotes, what are you doing?

I am an inner north local. I know some of the IGA supermarkets in the inner north became Shop-Rite a few years back, but then reverted back to IGA. Last I checked the Ainslie local was still IGA. Has it changed to Shop-Rite again in the last year or so?

#21
Masquara8:39 pm, 11 May 14

Masquara said :

Maya123 said :

There might be no coffee growers in Canberra, but a “sophisticated” (what does this actually mean in reality) shopper would know they can buy Australian coffee, or they are ignorant.

Australian coffee is about four times the price of imported coffee though …

Rubbish. I often buy Australian coffee and it’s about the same price at imported.

No need to be angry. Do name a supplier of high quality, high-grown coffee grown in Australia that is the same price as high quality, high-grown imported coffee!

#22
JessicaGlitter11:27 pm, 11 May 14

Thaks for all the comments guys. There seems to be an assumption that the biggest supermarkets and department stores will always be cheaper than the local stuff, and that local may be better quality.

I suppose it’s inevitable that the conversation return to food and drinks, after all we consume food multiple times each day and buy it several times a week. (Even if we do a “big shop” weekly or fortnightly, we buy a sandwich here, an avocado for our salad there…)

In my experience there are cheap and more expensive places and ways to buy groceries. At the supermarket you need to look for those big signs and at the markets and greengrocers it’s usually the front of the stall that has the bargains.

Supermarkets are allowed to, and big supermarket chains are very good at this, identify the few items by which we guage whether a shopping trip has been “expensive” and drop the price to attract custom, sometimes even below what it costs to get those items in. You know exactly how much you should pay for bread and bananas and if you’re like me you freak right out when bananas are over $2 a kilo. And as we have seen in the news, Coles can bully their suppliers into dropping prices. Supermarkets also have a reputation for bullying farmers into dangerously low prices that we don’t necessarily see reflected.

As a vegan and sometimes fruitarian, I do most of my shopping at the grocery section, fruit market or greengrocer and in my experience the big mall greengrocers are by far the cheapest shop with the supermarkets and fruit markets generally even behind. I know sometimes I see something on sale at the market and then my husband sees it even cheaper at the supermarket but often the reverse is true too. And supermarkets tend to have better temperature control.

For staples I’d have to say the health food shops blow away the supermarkets because they actually sell decent bulk quantities. Even boutique health food shops like Mountain Creek have some very expensive treats on the shelves but the prices are quite agreeable in the bulk section.

BUT – my shopping priorities may be different from yours. And even though I identified the possibility that supermarkets manipulate your perception to make you think they are cheaper, I don’t think anyone’s researching whether shopping at greengrocers or fruit markets gives vegans a perception of value.

#23
wildturkeycanoe7:17 am, 12 May 14

Maya123 said :

There is also the issue of food safety. Not all countries have such a high standard as Australia.

What makes you think the products at the Sunday markets for instance, have any sort of Standards or testing, when they pretty much come from the ground straight into the back of a truck? Our mandarins bought from the markets on the weekend were pitiful in quality and a dollar a kilo more expensive than the batch we bought from Aldi the week before.

As for the general feel of this thread, it isn’t so much about choice for us on whether to buy local or global, it’s all about making the dollar stretch to end of the fortnight till next payday. Those who have the capacity, buy as much as you wish to support our “local” producers.

I am still amazed how a product can still make money after coming from overseas, changing hands several times etc., but local businesses who sell for double the price struggle to survive. Perhaps they just can’t shift enough of it at those prices?

#24
bigfeet9:12 am, 12 May 14

wildturkeycanoe said :

Our mandarins bought from the markets on the weekend were pitiful in quality and a dollar a kilo more expensive than the batch we bought from Aldi the week before.

If that is the case, why did you buy them?

#25
JessicaGlitter9:41 am, 12 May 14

If you’re after coffee and want to support local business, why not try a locally roasted bean? It will be grown overseas (and some of our local roasters are paying well above the fairtrade rate as they develop direct relationships with farmers) but roasted locally and sold fresh, often within a few days of roasting. As coffee needs to be consumed between 14-30 days after roasting there’s no point having coffee that’s roasted in Italy, shipped to Australia, warehoused and finally appears in your supermarket at the end of its peak freshness.

I’m most familiar with Ona as my husband has their beans in his shop but I’ve talked to the Kaldi team and they are seriously intense about perfectly roasting each and every bean, to the extent that they created a new roasting machine and blending process. Additionally, I’ve only heard good things about Lonsdale Street and Two Before Ten, Cosmorex have been at it for ages, and there are other roasters around the area.

#26
VYBerlinaV8_is_back9:50 am, 12 May 14

We tend to shop wherever produces the quality we want at the best price. Our local Woollies is good, and sometimes we make a trek to Costco, or to a smaller independent supermarket to get certain items.

We don’t eat a lot of meat at home, and that reduces the price heaps.

#27
justsomeaussie10:46 am, 12 May 14
#28
wildturkeycanoe12:09 pm, 12 May 14

bigfeet said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

Our mandarins bought from the markets on the weekend were pitiful in quality and a dollar a kilo more expensive than the batch we bought from Aldi the week before.

If that is the case, why did you buy them?

Only found out when we got home how dry they were inside. You can’t open every one before you put it in the bag and throw reject ones back, the store owner would have serious words with ya.

#29
sepi2:03 pm, 12 May 14

Off the ground into a truck in Australia is odds on cleaner and safer than stuff grown in parts of Asia, where the growers go to the toilet between the rows of vegies, and do not have many controls on the chemicals they spray all over the food.

That Chinese milk a few years ago that was full of melamine and killed people has put me right off food from china.

I prefer to have the option to buy local, even if I can’t always afford it. but if no one buys local, the local farmers will disappear under units and in the future we will have no choice about eating dodgy food from OS.

#30
Madam Cholet3:43 pm, 12 May 14

wildturkeycanoe said :

Maya123 said :

There is also the issue of food safety. Not all countries have such a high standard as Australia.

What makes you think the products at the Sunday markets for instance, have any sort of Standards or testing, when they pretty much come from the ground straight into the back of a truck? Our mandarins bought from the markets on the weekend were pitiful in quality and a dollar a kilo more expensive than the batch we bought from Aldi the week before.

The farmers markets are a trust based system. I don’t believe there is any system at any farmers market which prompts sellers to volunteer how their produce was grown or treated. They could have been sprayed with something you might not want to ingest just a week before harvest, who knows. The produce could have been in cold storage next to Woolies produce for the past year, (birthday apples anyone?). And it doesn’t guarantee quality just cos you met the producer and he or she was nice.

Personally wouldn’t buy ‘fresh food’ from Woolies unless I was desperate due to their habit of storing things for long periods of time. But in the end it comes down to what you can afford and your willingness to go there week in week out.

And just on the ‘people believe that organic is more nutritious’….who in the world believes that? Buy it if you wish to (and I do buy organic meat), but don’t talk yourself into being healthier for it.

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