PERHAPS I should love them but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I do hate Tesco. It’s not that I want to knock success it’s just that I feel as if I’m being forced into shopping there.
Feeling all post-holiday euphoric I vowed to never go there again. Looking enviously at the food halls on every street corner in New York made me wonder why we couldn’t have that fresh food lifestyle in Britain. The answer I came up with was the supermarkets –
we’ve lost our tradition of hunting and gathering at varied locations near our homes
and for many that simply means all the local businesses shutting up shop until there is no choice.
My bank statement every month was starting to look like my salary should just be paid direct to Tesco – I went there for recycling, petrol, for food, wine and household goods. There was even a standing order for Tesco car insurance – I was convinced they had an unhealthy grip over my life which needed breaking.
As many other’s have said before me, if we don’t want the supermarkets to push everything else out then we have to take individual stands
So for the past two weeks plus I have been finding alternatives. I suppose I’m fortunate that my home town still has butcher’s bakers and a fishmonger of sorts. (I’ve never had need to check out any candlestick makers but there probably is one).
So instead of getting in the car I’ve been able to walk to the vegetable shop and buy mainly local (or at least British) produce. Feeling very content about shrinking my carbon footprint (maybe it will go someway towards offsetting the foreign travel?) I’ve been able to call into the award-winning butcher and buy locally farmed meat as well. It also proved to be cheaper and fresher than those cling-wrapped versions of food we’re being groomed to accept as normal.
Some cheese could be sourced at the Deli (possibly slightly more expensive) and wine from the local off-licence. I know it’s also a chain but there tends to be shortage of co-operative vineyards in Derbyshire and at least by keeping a presence in the High Street the chains, it could be argued, encourage shopping on foot rather than out-of-town.
Cleaning materials, toilet roll and other household items was availble in limited ranges at the corner shop and the walking between all these different shops upped my weekly exercise to boot.
So far so good.
But tonight I ended up back there again, wandering the illuminated aisles, queuing to pay over my hard-earned cash. Why? Fresh herbs for a recipe I’m trying out and non-biological washing powder. OK, they’re hardly life’s essentials but how much of our weekly shopping is truly for survival?
Does the fact they had these two items mean I should love them after all they provided what I needed exactly when I needed it? Perfect examples of supply and demand and at a decent price too.
I think I shall have to accept that I can keep most of the weekly shop out of the hands of the big supermarkets – but that I will still have to visit on occassion.
So that’s why I hate Tesco. For being unavoidable unless I want to go without – so turning a mirror onto my own consumer selfishness.
Here’s some other thoughts on the topic;
Is Tesco a force for good?
Why we need to stop shopping at Tesco
Who’s afraid of Tesco
Tesco: Our love hate relationship.