It has been almost a full month since I posted about my intention to revive Supermarket-free Me on the blog while I give up supermarkets for lent. I was delighted by the responses I got via the blog and Twitter. Clearly there is interest out there and I know a growing number of you have already heroically pledged to give up using supermarkets for a year or more!
If indeed you are interested in my challenge then I thought it could be helpful to share with you links to some members of the supermarket-free community out there, or indeed, to those who blog or tweet about issues that might be relevant you. So here, in no particular order, are some recommendations:
Joanne O’Connell is a journalist who has given up supermarkets. She’s a regular on Twitter at @byesupermarkets and her webpage is goodbyesupermarkets.com . If you’re concerned that avoiding the supermarket may be expensive, you might be interested to visit her page What can you get for a Tenner.
A Year Without Supermarkets
The Pugh family gave up supermarkets and set up their blog ayearwithoutsupermarkets.com – they also tweet at @teampughblog . Their year is over but the blog provides documentation of their experience and the money they saved. Plus they are still posting regularly, with some content referring to being supermarket-free (which they still are!)
If you know anything about food you’ve probably already come across Joanna Blythman, an excellent journalist and author who writes about the stuff for a living. Her web page is joannablythmanwriting.com and you can find her on Twitter @JoannaBlythman
Zoe Morrison is a fellow blogger. Like me, she blogs and tweets mainly on environmental issues but unlike me she updates far more regularly and has taken on so much more! As well as working towards Plastic Free July, going without shampoo and signing up for the Rubbish Diet (to name but a few of her challenges), Zoe has also given up supermarkets for several months! You can read the blog at ecothriftyliving.com and follow her on twitter at @Ecothrifty
Margot and Barbara
Liz who writes margot-and-barbara.com is cutting down on both supermarkets and plastics – two of my favourite subjects! She touches on growing your own which is very much complementary to my cause (even if…ahem…I haven’t actually ever done this myself!) Liz posts on a wide variety of topics so you may have to rummage around for the relevant ones but I’m including her as you’ll have a delightful read as you search! She’s on twitter at @margotbarbara
Big Barn describe themselves as a Community Interest Company and are all about encouraging local trade. They have a good website at bigbarn.co.uk with tools to help you find local suppliers in your area. Discover them on twitter at @findlocalfood
Follow this family of three as they aim for a more sustainable life and give up supermarkets. Their very decent and well-written blog arabode.wordpress.com gives an interesting account of life at the start of this process and you can connect on twitter at @Arabodeblog
Sophie isn’t (as far as I know) supermarket-free, but has a fabulous blog sophiecussen.wordpress.com mainly about gardening and growing your own but she dabbles in a number of green issues. Not just a great writer, Sophie is lovely on twitter too and supportive if you have any garden questions @sophiecussen
Finally a shout out for @nothingnew who last year bought nothing new and this year has given up the supermarkets.
If I’ve missed you or you want to use this post to connect with others then please do add a comment at the bottom of this post with your blog, twitter or other info of interest.
So are you swithering about whether you should be cutting back on what you spend at the supermarket? Perhaps (as I felt last year) you think it sounds like an exciting and positive challenge but you just need some more reasons for why this is a ‘good thing’? How about indulging in a little background reading!
Since last year’s project I have been hooked on reading about supermarkets and where my food comes from. I have acquired quite a few books on the subject. Although I’ve not read them all – in fact, I tend to read a chapter here and there from different books depending on what interests me at the time – I have to say I have lost hours to devouring this type of writing. It’s fascinating and hugely relevant to anyone who thinks even a little about what they are eating and consuming from supermarkets.
So here goes…. A few publications I’ve found useful, listed alphabetically by author:
Blythman, Joanna: Shopped The Shocking Power of British Supermarkets (2012)
(eBook so not pictured above)
Patel, Raj: Stuffed and Starved From farm to fork The hidden battle for the world food system (2012)
Lawrence, Felicity: Eat your heart out why the food business is bad for the planet and your health (2008)
Lawrence, Felicity: Not on the label What really goes into the food on your plate (2013)
Siegle, Lucy: To dye for Is fashion wearing out the world? (2011)
Simms, Andrew: Tescopoly How one shop came out on top and why it matters (2007)
Weber, Karl: Food, Inc. How industrial food is making us sicker, fatter and poorer – and what you can do about it (2009)
Have you got any more? I’d love to hear about them!
PS: if you are thinking of buying any books, why not source them from a local bookseller and get started with supporting your community – http://www.hive.co.uk can help if you prefer to buy online.