Today I am welcoming Lucy Chan to the blog to talk about her amazing project, Supermarket Free Month. I was so excited to join in the cause and pledge to be a Superfreegan in April (and beyond). You might just want to do the same after you read her story!
Tell us about yourself….
I am a stay at home Mum of two beautiful children, a vibrant and bright 6 year old girl and a loving and sweet 4 year old boy. My fantastic, supportive husband and I live in an Ecovillage in South Australia. It is an amazing place to live and we often forget we live in this oasis and not everyone knows all their neighbours or can pick an apple for breakfast from the communal orchard at 6am in the morning!
What is your outlook on life?
I guess, that we all have the responsibility to do something about what we believe in. Nothing is going to change if you just sit around shaking your head, hoping someone does something about it. Be the change you want to see in the world.
What is Supermarket Free Month?
Supermarket Free month encourages people to avoid the supermarket and shop at the farmers market, butcher, fruit and veg shop and wholefood shop. It is about getting into your local community and getting to know the little guy and having a better idea where your food is coming from.
Why did you start Supermarket Free Month?
I have always tried to be aware of what I was eating and where it was coming from. I am constantly learning and it is a journey, so I don’t claim to be perfect. It started as a little personal challenge that I posted on Facebook a couple of years ago and I had a great reaction from friends and relatives. It started lots of conversations and got people thinking. I thought why not spread this, and get others on board, often a lot of people need that little nudge and a bit of support of others around them, to take that step.
What is a Super Freegan?
A Super Freegan is someone that has pledged not to shop at the supermarket for the month of April. It is someone that cares where their dollar goes and where their food comes from, it is someone that cares about the food that they put in their and their family’s mouths. It is someone who isn’t afraid of a challenge.
Why should we ditch the supermarkets?
Supermarkets have played a big part of our lives for a long time, they give us convenience of buying in one place, as life gets busier. In Australia we have two main players in the supermarket game, and they hold a 70% share of the grocery dollar. These companies not only own supermarkets, they have a huge list of subsidiary companies that we use everyday. A scary fact is that of every dollar spent in Australia, 23c of that dollar is spent in the companies owned by the big two supermarkets!
This really doesn’t leave much for the little guy, how can those small local shops survive with these big giants around.
Shopping locally is so much more fun. I love our farmers market, I meet so many friends and neighbours, I’m often so busy talking I miss out on the best stuff because I forget to shop! I’m the “lady that buys lots of chicken” at my local butcher and we always have a good laugh. The local shops are usually more helpful and are able to listen to suggestions on products you’d like to see in the shop.
What are your top tips for avoiding the supermarkets?
♥ Get organised! I know that isn’t always a fun word but it makes life so much easier. Before I go to the farmers market, I sit down over breakfast and plan the meals for the week. I then don’t have to think at 5pm what I’m going to make for dinner.
♥ Make a list of the items that you regularly buy, and visit your local shops and find out where you can buy them from. Some things are a little tricky but jump on to our facebook page and ask for help. We are also getting some great business’ on board to help you source those hard to find items.
♥ Farmers markets are a fantastic way of buying directly from the farmers and producers, finding out exactly where your food comes from.
♥ Start your own backyard food production. I love seeing my kids out in the garden picking tomatoes and eating cucumbers straight off the vine and sending them out for basil to make pesto for their lunch.
♥ Start talking to people in your area to find out where they get their favourite foods and new shops you can try.
How do people get involved?
Visit our Supermarket Free website and sign a pledge to become a Super Freegan. This allows access to our pledge area, where you can find a discount code for our supporters and hints on tips on how to go supermarket free. Jump on to our facebook page for up to date information and to share with other Super Freegans. You can download the poster Supermarket Free Poster A3 and start putting it up around your town!
Where can we find out more about Super Market Free Month ?
Do you have a favourite inspirational quote?
“Never doubt that small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
Thanks Lucy – you are an inspiring mum who is changing the world! Who is ready to become a Superfreegan with us? I will be having some information on the blog and on my Facebook page during April, but please leave a comment with any ideas or links you might have so I can gather some more information for you.