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This is a local shop, for local people

I've been meaning to try this for weeks. The exciting excel spreadsheet below indicates what I bought at Stokes, my sometimes blogged favourite local greengrocers where the eggs are from five miles away and almost no food is wrapped in plastic. It compares the prices I paid on Saturday against the online prices you'd pay tonight to buy those same goods (or as near as possible) in two well-known supermarkets in the UK.
Quick comparison
I've helpfully used conditional formatting to show if the supermarket prices per item are higher (red) or lower (green) than my local greengrocers. Yes, geeky. For eggs, I compared Stokes' supply against large free range eggs from the West Country (one specified Devon, the other is Woodland, which is IIRC a West Country brand). Some of the maths involved division and multiplication as some items are not sold loose in supermarkets. Like flat mushrooms, which I bought loose whereas in the supermarket you can only buy in 250g plastic cartons wrapped in cellophane. Stokes sells aubergines by the kilogram, whereas supermarkets price them per fruit. Or vegetable. I've never really been sure about aubergines.

The final trigger for this was watching a somewhat patchy Dispatches on the rising price of food* which highlighted the fact that I didn't feel the price had risen that much. It turns out that's because I'm already saving money by walking down to the local greengrocers on a Saturday morning. So when the middle class media are chattering about how shocking the cost of large free range eggs are, wonder where they are shopping.


*my problem, aside from finding Jay Raynor a more irritating food critic than Giles Coren (who at least willingly dons Elizabethan gear to wander around Southwark and Borough), was that a part of the piece talking about the wholesale price of rice mentioned that it had doubled in six months. It also mentioned that some rice-producing countries have brought in controls on exports to the West. Yet it neglected to point out that these controls were to protect the internal food supply i.e. prevent their own people starving.

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Posted @ 10:45 pm on Monday, June 23, 2008
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