My weekly supermarket shop often feels like an episode of “Supermarket Sweep” the 80’s Australian TV game show, where I zoom through the isles usually in a kid-wrangling-shopping-frenzy shoving random items into my trolley and getting out of their in record breaking time. I am your classic shopper that goes in to get milk, and walks out with a trolley full.
Up until recently, my only efforts towards being a responsible supermarket shopper was buying Australian products where I could and using my green reusable shopping bags, which incredibly seem to breed at our house – but that is a story for another day.
That is until I discovered The Guide to Ethical Supermarket Shopping 2011.
The clever bunch at The Ethical Consumer Group have created an amazing, pocket sized guide to the corporate behavior of the most commonly bought brands in Coles and Woolies, encouraging shoppers to support local and responsible businesses rather than the big multinationals.
The guide is the result of over ten years of research and highlights issues such as use of child labour, animal testing, palm oil and GM foods and more. The book describes the ethical shopper’s nirvana as growing your own produce or shopping at your local farmers market. If that is not possible, then second best is for you to support your local independent supermarket or co-op. The guide describes the worst thing you can do it shop at Coles of Woolworths, but if this is your only option, then isle-by-isle it describes the environmental and social behavior of the companies behind the most commonly bought products and brands.
Incredibly, the Pocket Guide only costs around $6.00 AUD, is in its 4th Edition, has sold over 70,000 copies and there is even an iphone app!
So check it out online, buy a copy or download your iphone app, but most importantly THINK about who and what you are supporting with your every dollar. As the pocket guide’s tag line perfectly states “your dollar is your vote, make it count.”