Useful Resources for the Ethical Shopper
An online directory that can link you up with farm shops, veg box schemes and other independent food shops in your area simply by typing in your postcode. Who says local shopping can’t be convenient?
Landshare connects people who are keen to grow their own food with people who have land to spare. It’s a simple yet very effective idea that’s taken off hugely since its launch in 2009.
One for the lucky residents of Todmorden, Incredible edible is a community group that grow food around the town which anyone can help themselves to. They also run local campaigns like Every Egg Matters, which encourages people to keep chickens or buy local eggs. If you are not a Tod resident, this website is an inspiring and helpful resource for setting up your own community schemes.
An award-winning social enterprise that celebrates local shops, businesses and people. If every adult in the UK spent £5 a week in their local independent businesses instead of online or at supermarkets, it would mean better towns, more jobs and a nicer place for everyone to live. Totally Locally exists to Make this so! Thirteen towns are involved so far, with more to come.
Suma’s Food Group Pages
Buying groups allow families, work colleagues, friends, neighbours or social organisations to club together and gain access to wholesome foods at wholesale prices. If you are thinking about setting up a food-buying group, our food group pages offer lots of information on how to go about it. The pages include case studies of existing groups and handy guides to get you started.
The Complete Book of Self Sufficiency
John Seymour (first published 1976)
Home crafts, making your own butter, looking after chickens and pigs and home brewing; this book covers every aspect of living a self-sufficient lifestyle and is written by someone who’s been doing it for decades. Whether you go the whole hog or just pick and choose the relevant chapters, this book is really interesting to dip into and has lots of great illustrations too.
The Allotment Book
Andi Clevely (2008)
I found this to be a useful guide to growing your own veg in my back garden (I don’t have an allotment) because it covers all the basics plus more in-depth info on each plant. However there are loads of good grow your own books available now, so take your pick!
Food For Free
Richard Mabey (2004)
One way to make sure you know exactly where your food is coming from- go out and forage for it! this pocket guide covers the common plants, berries and mushrooms, with tips on when they can be found and how to cook with them.
Stuffed: Positive Action to Prevent a Global Food Crisis
Pat Thomas (2010)
This book gives a global perspective on food production and offers positive suggestions, both large-scale and individual, on how to achieve a secure and sustainable food supply. Essays from industry experts offer some interesting perspectives on the subject too.
What to Eat
Joanna Blythman (2012)
Moving away from the style of her previous two books, this book is laid out like a quick-reference encyclopaedia of food. Covering various meat, dairy, vegetable and store cupboard items, this book answers questions like where does this food come from, how is it grown, is it good for me, is a ‘green’ choice? It also gives some handy cooking and shopping tips.
Bad Food Britain
Joanna Blythman (2006)
An examination of British food culture and attitudes to eating. Blythman notes that despite our love of cookbooks and celebrity chefs, as a nation we are still very attached to TV dinners and processed food. Packed with surprising facts and figures (Britain eats more than half of all the crisps and savoury snack in Europe, for instance) this book is both wide-ranging and entertaining.
Shopped: The Shocking Power of Britain’s Supermarkets
Joanna Blythman (2004)
An exposé on the undercover world of supermarkets written by an award-winning food writer who is passionate about revealing the truth about the food we eat, what’s in it and how it reaches us.
Tescopoly- How one shop came out on top and why it matters
Andrew Simms (2007)
One of Britain’s leading experts on the issue of supermarket power lays down the facts on the negative impacts this can have. He looks at how superstores can drain the life from local high streets and small towns, and charts the rise of one large supermarket in particular (can you guess which one?) It’s not all doom and gloom though; Simms shares his thoughts on how we can start to think differently about big business reclaim our local high streets and communities.
Slow Food is a global grassroots movement which was started to help us reconnect with where our food comes from and how it is produced – to fully understand how the choices we make about the food we put on our plates affect others further on down the food supply chain. Slow Food UK is the British arm of this movement, and campaigns on sustainability and social justice issues that surround the food we eat. Projects like ‘The Ark of Taste’ protect regional specialities and produce that is at risk of extinction, such as heritage fruit varieties and underrated delicacies like Kentish cobnuts.
War on Want
War on Want are running a campaign to challenge corporate culture and government policies that allow supermarkets to abuse workers’ rights. They have published groundbreaking research on the subject and give support to a supermarket watchdog that would control the power of supermarkets.
An alliance of organisations, from large NGOs to small pressure groups, concerned with the negative impacts of supermarket power. Their website has a list of local groups across the UK who are taking action to oppose new superstore developments.