Where do you buy most of your food from? What are the food shopping and restaurants like in your local area?
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Dear talk London,
There are far too many supermarkets in London, encouraging people to get in their cars and pollute everyone around them, leading to toxic air for us all, early deaths, stunted lungs for children, and damage to embryos and pregnant women. This is crazy. Instead you should be encouraging local independent shops, people shopping by foot or bike, and veg box companies - but only those who use clean transport. You should be heavily taxing large shops, polluting deliveries, and awful great big carparks. What a total waste of space and materials. Turn them into green spaces instead and invest much more in cycle infrastructure.
Give discounted business rates to local shops. Their profits circulate in the local economy instead of disappearing into tax havens and corporate pockets. Encourage local greengrocers, butchers, delis, bakeries and cafés. Encourage and reward community efforts to run food businesses, and encourage deliveries by cargo bike or electric car not polluting vehicles. Ban polluting traffic from around shopping centres and streets, so that shopping is a pleasant experience.
Encourage many more farmer's markets, both in number and regularity. Ban polluting traffic from around them so that those shopping don't have to breathe polluted air while food shopping. Turn all high streets Londonwide into food and craft markets every weekend, again banning polluting vehicles. Plant far more trees in the middle of streets, and encourage cafés to extend onto pavements so people can enjoy a coffee in the sun while breathing clean air.
It is very difficult to buy things not wrapped in plastic. Please encourage shops and restaurants to swap to more enviromentally friendly packaging. Intoruce a London plastic bag tax, and reward those organisations who set up bottle deposit schemes.
We are lucky here in Stoke Newington I guess, as we are well catered for, as far as fresh veg and fruit is concerned. There is Dalston Market aka Ridley Road, plenty of affordable fruit and veg, bear in mind though, it generally has a shorter shelf life as it is riper than supermarket produce. Plenty of Turkish and Indian shops selling fresh produce. plus herbs and spices a lot cheaper than supermarkets. Of the supermarkets, Morrisons is my main one, low prices on basic food items, but runs out of items pretty regular.One good thing I noticed in Morrisons, you can bring your own container when you buy from the Butchers and fishmongers depts. Sainsburys is my back up store, always well stocked, and I tend to buy smaller quantities of some fruit and veg there, it costs a little more and I find the quality is better than Morrisons. As I eat a lot of fresh fish, it's good to note that Sainsburys have been top of the Marine Stewardship ratings for a long time. There is an excellent Farmers Market, currently on Sats, at St.Pauls Church car park. Good variety of stuff, but a little too expensive for me. There is of course that huge conglomerate, Wholefoods a healthfood store, very expensive, more of a 'life style' statement for those who shop there, window shopping is the closest I get. There is an excellent health food shop 'Fresh and Wild' in Cazenove Rd, plenty of herbs and spices measured out for you, bulk rice, oats etc. Herbalist advice. Vegetarian and vegan orientated. Prices are considerably lower than 'Wholefoods'. There are many 'Takeaway' food outlets covering most types of cuisine. Like some of the other members, I also feel there are too many unhealthy food outlets. I notice that the 'Hipster' influx into our parish seems to have spawned an explosion of 'Gourmet Burger' outlets that provide designer burgers. All in all, we are well catered for in all aspects of food both affordable and expensive. Bon apetit
We get most of our fresh food from Kingston Market. High quality, keen prices. I don't get fresh foods from supermarkets except in emergancies. Strangely our (marked for closure) little Sainsburys has a more useful range than the big one which is further away, we use them for some of our dry goods. Our local eastern european corner shop often trumps them on quality and price, though I sometimes need help deciphering the labels. Good too for exotic treats. Waitrose used to be good for exotic items but their range has gone downhill over the last few years. We get loose leaf tea from them and nothing else. Bit of a pain, I don't like teabags, you can taste the bag and a rip off in general. We blend 3 loose teas to suit our taste. We have a first class local butcher and fishmonger, though a walk in the 'wrong' direction. Market stalls even for these give them stiff competition.
Shame the market traders use single use plastic bags so indiscriminately.
Finally a few items come through a group buying schieme from a wholefood co-operative wholesaler (Suma) - we order once every couple of months or so.
In my local area we only have a branch of Sainsburys and a couple of smaller convenience stores. I use Lewisham market at least once a week for most of of my fruit and vegetables as they are much better value than supermarkets. For other items I use supermarkets although rather than just using my local one I keep an eye out for offers on things I buy regularly and then often stock up from the respective store to get the best prices...
How about using land ear-marked for development (or instead of) to encourage more pop-up fresh produce markets – with strong eco governance: no plastic, locally sourced etc. Rent subsidy to attract small local businesses, allotment owners with surplus and the like and monitored to keep prices competitive with supermarkets. I've often walked past the local allotments in Honor Oak on my way back from the local Sainsburys and thought, 'there's something wrong here' when I see the courgettes I've just bought are from Portugal.
I buy food in supermarkets. Something in Sainsbury and Waitrose they have good fruits and veg but my favourite is Mark's and Spencer. I am not into cooking and at work I can only use a microwave and the break is short.
I am going often to the gym in my day off so I buy my food also in cafè or good priced restaurants
Supermarket I'm embarrassed to say (Sainsburys only one local) and convenience Supermarkets (Co-oP, which is dearer sadly). Chislehurst is a 'upmarket' village on edge of London, (though my humble home isnt one of the up market ones!) so High Street Rent/Rates exorbitant, meaning no chance traditional for butchers/bakers/greengrocers/fishmongers etc, unless they call themselves 'artisan' and charge prices which would double/treble/quadruple my food bill.
And so we have far too many estate agencies, chain restaurants, hair salons and top end designer stores for house and clothing with the obligatory couple of charity stores (only ones who can afford high street prices other than chains or designer/ high margin goods and services).
Empty shops used by owners as investments without the hassle, laying dormant for years with no council powers to enforce use for local shopping. A bi weekly farmers market i've heard ok, but need to shop daily so ******* Sainsbury (add your own description here!) is only option without driving (and i cycle mostly)
We need market stalls in high street with high street closed or part closed to through traffic at certain times for local shopping periods, which cater for all diff working hours. Town Team volunteer org is well meaning, but little of importance has changed since they started years ago.
Theres a lot of passing trade here, partic at school in/out times as a major primary at end of high stret, but nowhere for them to spend their pennies except supermarket and coffee meeting places (again mostly chain)
Thinking of moving out to Totnes, about the only place that controls its own destiny, should be more such towns!
Tesco and local. Try to buy fairtrade and organic. I'd love to use local groces more but it bothers me that the produce faces car fumes through the whole day. Would love a place with fresh organic uk produce that doesn't kill you financially and is not on the street.
Thanks everyone for sharing your views in this discussion. Some of you have mentioned you prefer to shop locally.
Are there many restaurants/food outlets in your local area? How does this compare to chains?
Which do you prefer to use and why? Are there any you'd like to see more of?
Chapel Market on a Sunday morning covers our fresh fruit & vegetable needs for most of the week - a farmers market, a fruit & vege stall, a fishmongers etc Am annoyed at most supermarkets packaging and I don’t like ordering online for fresh food. A local butcher or the market covers our once a week meat - minimise meat dinners means we don’t have to skimp on quality/price!
For fish, I go to F C Soupers in Nunhead, and for meat Smiths also in Nunhead, both are are local sell products that they have been selling for over twenty years or longer.
For a eating out experience, Babettes, in Nunhead for rustic french food, Mr Bao in Peckham for fluffy bao bun encased Taiwanese food. Il Guardinia for a wonderful Peruvian run Scililian restaurant, beside Peckham rye Station
About once every 5 days from the local Sainsbury's, which is only about a kilometre away. It gives me exercise carrying two full bags home, or hanging three on the handlebars of my bike and pushing it.
I echo other people's comments on the huge amounts of plastic still being used for packaging. And the local Sainsbury's doesn't recycle plastic any more - the manager told me that only the really big ones have a skip for that.
There is also a local shop, where I buy eggs (because they have free range), 1l cartons of fruit juice and sometimes yoghurt.
Restaurants in the area - some good Turkish/Kurdish ones, and an excellent long-established Italian family-run place. Many parks now have a cafe with a good vibe.
I get most of my food from a veg box scheme - I find it's the most convenient, and also a good way to eat organic, seasonal food and support good farming practices, especially UK-grown food. I try to use supermarkets as little as possible as I think they often act in unsustainable and exploitative ways.
Thanks everyone for taking part in this discussion!
The draft London Food Strategy highlights the proposed policy to restrict new hot food takeways within 400m of schools in the London Plan.
What do you think? Are there too many fast food takeways in your local area, or the right amount? Should there be limits on how close they can be to schools?
We don't have a car, and was such a drag going to Angel and dragging everything back on the bus from Sainsburys, so we decided about a decade ago to buy everything from the local shops in Highbury Barn. The local shops are ok, and they seem to be well supported by people in the area. There's a greengrocer (we're largely vegetarian) and a deli, a Spar, a butcher, wine shop etc. There's also good Turkish delis on Green Lanes or Blackstock Road that are cheaper if we're trying to save money that month.
We do most food shoppig at Lidl, Peckham and Sansbury's, Dog Kennel Hill (East Dulwich). Occasionally use Sainsbury's Local and Co-op on Lordship Lane. In addition, there is an M&S Food Hall, plus several indepenedent green grocers, specialist shops (butcher, fishmonger, chesse x 2), and a host of restaurants and bars on Lordship Lane...
Mainly use supermarkets - there is a large Sainsbury quite close by. There used to be a butcher, a green grocer and a baker on the local parade but sadly they have long since gone, but the convenience shop sells potatoes, onions, milk ie basics at quite reasonable prices and open long hours so that is quite helpful.
The nearest market in Surrey Street, Croydon in my opinion, is not as good as it was as the stalls are mainly similar these days and selling mainly the same sort of veg from bowls but there are some good fruit stalls. There was a particular stall where I used o buy Jersey Royal potatoes but is no longer there. It's a shame that the market has changed after many years, and some stallholders are no longer there but it is still quite busy.
Forgot to mention there are a few chain restaurants in the nearby complex which has cinemas, shops etc and some restaurants mainly towards South Croydon as well as various restaurants and cafes in Wimbledon which is easily accessed by the tram service. (There's a good Persian restaurant there). If I want something cheap and cheerful and meeting a friend, I might go to Nando's or Wetherspoons. There are also some Chinese and Indian restaurants. Generally quite a variation, but, in my opinion, too many takeaways and therefore too much plastic and polystyrene containers strewn around at times.