Shoppers have Hobson’s Choice

British shoppers have more confidence in the safety of the food they buy than consumers in any other country in Europe, according to one of our local scholars.
Dr Mark Harvey, from the University of Manchester, has come to the conclusion that we have recovered from fears of BSE, Salmonella and bird flu and now buy food with confidence.
He’s widely quoted as crediting the supermarkets for helping bring about this turnaround and adds: “The UK was a food desert a few years ago.
“But now, partly thanks to the supermarkets, we have a more cosmopolitan and varied diet.
“It is quite astonishing that, despite past problems in Britain, consumers remain confident in the price, quality and safety of the food.”
Researchers apparently compared opinions on food safety standards between different European countries – and the UK came out on top.
But there could be another explanation for this showing – we don’t have a lot of choice. While our European neighbours often treasure their neighbourhood markets, shops and farms, here in Britain the supermarket is king.
Confident or unconfident, all too often we simply don’t have an viable alternative.


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