Better and Greener Grocery Shopping

If you want to do a greener and more ethical food shop and are baffled by the overwhelming choices, here are 5 questions, and answers, to ponder while stalking the aisles of the supermarket. Number 1: Where can I find products without excessive packaging? Buy loose fruits and vegetables, or look for packaging that is recyclable or compostable. Ask the supermarket to take back the packaging that you don't need, and take a bag with you. Number 2: What fish and seafood is from sustainable sources? General guidelines: don't buy deep-water species as they tend to be over-fished, don't eat fish during their breeding season and look for seasonal purchasing guides. Download the Pocket Good Fish Guide and carry it in your bag.

Number 3: Do you stock a Fairtrade version of this? Ask for Fairtrade products and supermarkets will start to respond by stocking them. Number 4: Where can I find local produce? Look at the packaging carefully, sometimes the same vegetables from two different countries will be sitting side by side. Again, pester your supermarket to increase the local and seasonal food that it carries. Number 5: Do you know where the palm oil in your products comes from ? Palm oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia are having a devastating effect on the rainforest. Palm oil is often not on ingredient lists. Steer clear of processed food.

And lastly, an important question when it comes to finances: How to buy organic on a tight budget? Some fruits and vegetables have more pesticide residues than others. If you can’t afford to switch to all organic, consider buying organic: flour, potatoes, bread, apples, pears, grapes, strawberries, green beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. :: thelondonpaper

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