Ethical Shopping - easier than you think!
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 February 2012 01:09 Written by Grow Local Wednesday, 01 February 2012 01:39
It’s easy to shop ethically when you’re at a farmer’s market. The stallholder will always be pleased to tell you if what they’re selling is their own produce - many will have signs proclaiming their apples are fresh from Stanthorpe or their corn is organically grown.
Things are very different in the pre-packaged world of the supermarket.
Where can you find out if the processed food you’re buying at the supermarket contains genetically modified ingredients? Who can tell you if the crops were harvested by child labour, or if the producers are being paid a fair price? How can you avoid that ingredient in shampoo that Orang-utan habitat in Borneo is being cleared for?*
Even brands that you thought you knew can surprise you. True blue Vegemite is famously US-owned, by Kraft. But did you know that Kraft itself was owned by tobacco company, Philip Morris, for many years? And would qualms about supporting the biggest of Big Tobacco companies have made you choose a different brand?
Help is at hand in the form of two guides, both of which are now available as pocket-friendly booklets and iPhone apps.
The Guide to Ethical Supermarket Shopping 2012 offers a practical way to make a positive difference through your everyday purchases. With food brands, supermarkets, cosmetics and beer all covered in an easy to find and understand format, you can stop worrying that your money is supporting unethical behaviour.
The Australian Marine Conservation Society’s Sustainable Seafood Guide and iPhone App aims to simplify one of the most confusing shops for the ethical shopper - the fishmongers.
You may remember controversy over the illegal fishing of the vulnerable ‘Patagonian Toothfish’ in Australian Antarctic waters, but did you know that ‘Australian Sea Bass’ at the fishmonger’s is exactly the same species? Long-lived and overfished, this is probably not a sustainable choice.
What about something really common that doesn't have a misleading common name, like scallops - they can’t be a problem surely? Yes, even the humble scallop is in trouble according to the Guide. Stocks are only now beginning to recover after serious overfishing caused the scallop population in Bass Strait to collapse.
The Guide doesn’t stop at telling you what to avoid. It offers more sustainable alternatives so you can eat your seafood guilt free.
If knowledge is power these easy to use guides will make you a superhero of ethical shopping wherever you may be.
The The Guide to Ethical Supermarket Shopping 2012 is $7 and available from http://www.ethical.org.au/
The Sustainable Seafood Guide is $9.95 and available from from AMCS - http://www.sustainableseafood.org.au/Sustainable-Seafood-Guide-Australia.asp?active_page_id=695
*The ingredient is Palm Oil and it's in lots of processed food and cosmetics