If you have no choice but to use conventional supermarkets, then simply change what you buy (mostly basic natural foods with less profit – fresh produce, tinned lentils, dried pasta and rice). Supermarkets are not geared up to offer healthy food – if they did, they would have aisles of fresh food, and just a couple of processed foods. If you live near one, then support alternatives:
a zero waste supermarket in Birmingham
The Clean Kilo (Birmingham) is England’s largest zero-waste supermarket. Situated in Bourneville, it offers groceries using a tare system to weigh food, without paying for the cost of containers). Beautifully fitted out with natural hues and materials, there’s a deli, chilled plant milk dispensers and machines to make your own orange juice and peanut butter.
Most food is organic from local artisan producers, bought in bulk to build strong relationships and good income for small local suppliers, and containers are exchanged to create a circular economy. This keeps money in the local area, and also helps to reduce road traffic as no lorries are needed to deliver food to local people, which also helps to reduce carbon emissions for cleaner air. Even the crisps arrive in packaging-free containers from nearby Staffordshire.
a thriving food co-operative in Manchester
Unicorn Grocery (Manchester, England) is a thriving co-operative supermarket, home to the country’s first living roof on a commercial building (which supports habitat of the endangered red blackstart). It offers (mostly local organic) produce (we love their simple recipe pages) and lots of vegan dry goods and meals. It pays staff the same as big supermarkets and and has a free downloadable guide for other towns to do the same.
an eco-vegan supermarket in Brighton
Kindly (Brighton, England) is another all-vegan supermarket, which also offers home delivery (in electric vans) in this eco-friendly seaside city. You can even find goods ‘made in Brighton’ like homemade banana bread, oat milk, pita bread and seitan steak!
a people-owned supermarket in London
The People’s Supermarket (London, England) was launched by chef Arthur Potts (his uncle’s Mick Jagger!) Against colossal opposition (council bureacracy) it’s now thriving and offers affordable real food, prices kept low due to people volunteering a few hours a month each. Believing the level of food waste is ‘criminal’, the next plan is to use it up to create ready-meals for sale in store.