Sustainable Shopping

Why buying loose fruit and vegetables from the market is better for the environment, your pocket and your general well-being! 

Recently I have ditched the supermarket and started buying my fruit and vegetables from a local market stall.  My primary reason for doing this was to try and reduce single-use plastic. The amount of packaging had become ludicrous and it seemed an easy swap. But this hasn’t been the only benefit to changing my shopping habits: 

  1. When buying loose items, you get to choose the exact quantity and size that you need.  This will help to reduce your food shopping bill and your food waste.  There is also something rather satisfying about actually feeling and smelling the produce before you buy it.
  2. There are no best before dates: consumers need to realise that they are only a guide and really aren’t needed on our fruits and vegetables.   Many people throw away perfectly edible food just because the packet says that they should.  We need to learn how to trust our senses: smell, sight and taste should be our guide and not the date that is printed on the packaging.  And don’t forget that limp vegetables make fantastic sauces and soups!  Eliminating best before dates will reduce unnecessary waste and in turn save us money.  
  3. The produce tastes better: the strawberries and tomatoes are sweeter and the oranges juicier. It’s probably because they are fresher; maybe they haven’t travelled as far or perhaps because it has been grown using more traditional means.  Whatever the reasons, there is definitely a difference.  And the colours are amazing… they are just oozing goodness!
  4. I love the social element of the market: everyone chats whilst choosing and queuing, they seem to be less stressed and rushed.  And the people who run the stall, seem to be genuinely enjoying their work.  There is a lovely buzz that you don’t get from the supermarket. 
  5. Being outside is good for your well-being.  No-one likes queuing, but it is made much more tolerable when you are standing outside in the fresh-air watching the world go by.  

Where do you buy your fruit and vegetables from and would you consider switching to a local market stall?  It is an environmental swap; a money saving swap; a taste sensation swap and a good-for-your-health swap!

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