Avoiding supermarkets - is it time to get back to basics?

Having worked at one of Australia's supermarket giants as a teen I was disturbed by the lack of quality in the logistic processes, the in-store handling, and the concept of imports on fresh produce. It astounded me that produce from my local region was sent more than 1000 kilometres away to go through logistics to then be sent all the way back.

As I've grown older and moved out of home this has become an important issue, considering the current price wars, and the hurt that is occurring to the 'Aussie' farmer.

This lead me to turn away from the supermarkets and seek out green grocers and markets. Recently I have also been introduced to the concept of home delivered fruit and vegetable boxes. A company in my area does just this, with a mission to source locally and within season.

Obtaining my fruit and vegetables in this manner has reminded me of the stories my mother would tell me of all the home delivery options, from the bakery van, and the milk man and the at the gate buys from farmers.

I want to know if my journey in seeking out alternatives to the supermarkets is unique? Are we moving back to a community based model of living from era's gone by? Are you finding difficulty in obtaining an alternative or are you happy with the service of supermarkets?

Last reply: 16th Oct 2012 / 17 replies / Post by Kris

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Posted by: Mutt
Posted: 26th May 2011

Mutt says: I totally agree that we need to move away from relying on the supermarkets for our Fruit and Vegetables. There are many great "farmers" markets out there for us to be able to source our produce from, and generally more often than not at a very reduced cost compared to the supermarkets / chain stores. Reply


Posted by: alpha07
Posted: 26th May 2011

alpha07 says: growing vegies and fruits in our garden is a pretty good idea too. i have one at home. i can always get fresh vegies from it. Reply


Posted by: Anonymous
Posted: 26th May 2011

says: I totally refuse to buy my fruit and vegies from the supermarket because I don't know how long they have been in storage and they are usually average quality. We are very lucky as we have a great fruit and vegie shop locally and have regular farmer markets close by, both are fantastic. So I will never buy from supermarkets when I have these great sources that never let me down! Reply


Posted by: stretch
Posted: 27th May 2011

stretch says: i support what you are saying if we constantly buy from over seas then we loose out every time and what happens to our home land produce
in the generation before mine there were home gardners that would sell there excess stocks knowdays we are lucky to see a gardner that grows his own produce to consume or plate for there families houses
but what do we do to restore our own resourses with a government largly coming from over seas and people have commented it is the same in other countries Reply


Posted by: monday16
Posted: 16th Jun 2011

monday16 says: We only buy our fruits & veg from the supermarket if we're desperate. Not only because they cost so much more than the market but the quality is not as good. Vegs are all limp and dry, fruits bruised - and yet we have to pay so much.
I would rather go to the market, buy fresh & save money.

I would also like to know from where those vegs and fruits that we're buying. I would rather buy from our farmers than imported goods. Reply


Posted by: Joydy
Posted: 24th Jun 2011

monday16 says: We only buy our fruits & veg from the supermarket if we're desperate. Not only because they cost so much more than the market but the quality is not as good. Vegs are all limp and dry, fruits...

Joydy says: When buying at the supermarket always check they should have on display where the fruit and vegetables are from. I always ask if not labelled or if labelled Australian and Imported. Only buy if you are sure that the veges are Australian grown. Have you seen how they grow them in other countries = recycyled water - that has not been treated in some third world countries. Always support Australian farmers. Reply


Posted by: wendel
Posted: 16th Jun 2011

wendel says: I am astounded to see how prices for fruit and vegies differs between supermarkets. I live in a very productive area for both, yet still have to pay top dollar for them. There are a couple of roadside stalls that I like to use when open, they offer straight off the paddock fruit and vegies, and cheap, quality may be a bit down, but for the price it's great, they taste as good if not better, knowing you've paid through the nose for them. Reply


Posted by: roxz64
Posted: 23rd Jun 2011

roxz64 says: It would be good for people to know food miles, which has been brought in by the UK, so people realise how far the products have travelled. It would encourage more local purchases and assist local farmers. Why buy something that has travelled across the country if you can get local fresher products, It is also the "perfect" item syndrome. I would rather buy local despite a couple spots then an interstate/overseas prosduct that has been in storage or freezers for weeks and sprayed with preservatives to keep it looking "perfect". The flavour is also remarkably better. Tomatoes are a good example for this. I know with a bust lifestyles our own vege patch is sometimes not possible but if you look around there are usually local shops or weekend farmers markets or even roadside stalls that make pleasant sunday outings a great way of sourcing fresh. Reply


Posted by: Bernard
Posted: 30th Jun 2011

Bernard says: I find in some countries in the Meditteranean, the fruit and vegetables taste so much better than those over here. In other countries, the chicken is never so fatty as that here. I often wonder why meat looks so "perfect" and fruit doesn't spoil so easily. Its not because tthey're good - its because they're treated with so much chemicals. Most fruit here instead of being left to ripen naturally is picked green and forced-ripened, losing taste and natural goodness. Reply


Posted by: musicmum
Posted: 6th Aug 2011

musicmum says: Definately try to buy at farmers markets and local independant stroes. Or simply grow your own. Seek out buyers groups and friends of the earth co-ops etc. There are many alternatives you just have to find them. Reply


Posted by: tam
Posted: 1st Nov 2011

tam says: i have found that GrowinG your own veggies is Great and what we can't eat we Give to friends and families. the veGGies we don't Grow we Get from the markets buyinG by the box is cheaper and what you can't eat you can share with others... Our neighbor has a veGGie patch and we are always sharinG advice and veGGies.. Reply


Posted by: wabbit
Posted: 22nd Nov 2011

wabbit says: I think that what u r doing is great - I found myself disappointed with produce so often that I started off visiting gardener's markets and the central market in Adelaide, but have now been planting/growing and eating my own produce for a couple of years now and enjoy the taste, price effectiveness (once set up) and the beauty of being able to walk out the back door at the last minute to pick what i want to have with any of my meals..........I also know that alot of community housing ventures create their own veggie pathces and thrive from those as well, so good luck to you and believe in whatever you choose to do Reply


Posted by: ssteve
Posted: 20th Feb 2012

ssteve says: its nice to see the public starting to realize that local fresh organic produce from your local grocer or even online direct from the grower is the direction of sustainable good health and the fruit and vegetable industry . Shopping here instead of supermarkets will provide an opportunity for farmers to be paid for the valuable work they do. Growing at home needs careful planning and a lot of good luck,can be more expensive than home delivery ,though there is nothing better than to grow your own even if it is cheaper at woolies Reply


Posted by: Libbyh
Posted: 1st Apr 2012

Libbyh says: If EVERYONE wold boycott Coles & Woolies, we'd all be better off Reply


Posted by: roger
Posted: 23rd Apr 2012

roger says: I live quite close to the CBD in a small townhouse with a pebbled yard, trying to grow vegies has proved impossible. The supermarket is pretty close but I either do the extra couple of blocks to go to a green grocer, or, my favourite, wait until the weekend & stroll around the markets. Not only am I getting out, I feel inspired, I take the time to smell my produce :) & talk to the growers, it's a great morning out. Reply


Posted by: thedarkness
Posted: 24th Apr 2012

thedarkness says: Produce from fruit and vegetable markets is almost always better quality and it tastes better. Supermarkets are obviously more convenient. Reply


Posted by: Photoman
Posted: 16th Oct 2012

Photoman says: My local green grocer can tell me where every item in his shop was sourced and I like that. Supermarkets are known for keeping produce for up to a year in "inert gassed storage" that stops them from ageing. This means they can supply out of season produce all year around at cheaper prices.

I'm not a fan of organic as recent studies have shown that it is no more beneficial than non organic and in blind taste tests people can't tell the difference. Reply

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