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?
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?
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.