Oh my. A tricky one… Supermarkets, despite their best efforts, are not exactly sustainable. Here are just some of the issues involved: excessive food miles, imported products, rows and rows of packaged and processed foods, energy use, plastic bags, marketing tactics to encourage you to buy more than you need. The list goes on and on, and I anticipate a few other suggestions in the comments (go on, let rip!).
In Australia, we are in the unique situation of having just two supermarket chains control up to 85 percent of the grocery market. (Other countries have at least four competing for your trolley dollars). The danger of this duopoly is that consumers are at the mercy of prices fixed by these two giants, local businesses/producers suffer – or completely disappear – and that we are trusting two corporations with our most precious commodity: food.
It should be a no-brainer – if you’re at all concerned about the environment, community and sustainability then you should avoid supermarkets, right?