Thursday, September 27, 2007

Alternatives to Supermarkets

Once in a while a book comes along that shifts your thinking and practice in a tangible way. I've recently finished such a book.

Felicity Lawrence's excellent Not on the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on Your Plate gives a well-written and coherent argument against the industrialization of modern food production in the UK.

Having been an instinctive supporter of supermarkets (on the basis of free market forces alone) I now realise how narrow my perspective was and how pernicious the effect of the supermarket giants is on local economies, the global environment and poverty in the developing world - not to mention creating food for us that is tasteless, rubbish quality and fills our bodies with saturated fat.

I put off reading the book for a long time, mistakenly assuming that it was written by a calorie-counting lettuce muncher who was going to tell me to go the gym more. Thankfully nothing could be further from the truth. Not on the Label is fundamentally about social and economic justice and the preservation of the physical environment - issues that I assume all right-thinking people have a strong concerns about.

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