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Why the UK Has Such Cheap Food

In the News

Why the UK has such cheap food

Perhaps we all moan too much.

Here’s a few facts that may surprise you!

  • In relative terms, the British grocery shop remains one of the cheapest in the world.
  • Britons spend an average of 8% of their total household expenditure on food to eat at home. This is less than any other country except the USA and Singapore
  • Food in the UK is also the cheapest in Western Europe - costing 8% less than the EU average
  • The proportion of household income spent on food has more than halved over the past 60 years

If you want to know why the UK has such cheap food – read this BBC article:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45559594

Johnny
2 years ago
What do you think of this?
hspexy
hspexy2 years ago

since the influx of discounter stores in the past decade or so, I have been quite happy woth the price of groceries - and I buy reduced items a lot, so that saves me even more money

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AgnesFaludi
AgnesFaludi2 years ago

This is not true...the food is much more cheaper in Eastern Europe than here, but people earn less there than here.

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Johnny
Johnny
Original Poster
2 years ago

So what part do you think is not true?

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AgnesFaludi
AgnesFaludi2 years ago

Johnny the grocery is not cheap...vegetables cost 4 times more even some fruit cost 3 times more.

but to be honest it says in Western Europe, so not East in the article.

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Johnny
Johnny
Original Poster
2 years ago

AgnesFaludi so you now agree it is in fact true

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1
JandE86
JandE862 years ago

i agree with you when I and my husband went for a holiday and tried their open market esp for fresh produced veggies; seafoods and fruits.. I can't help but wish it would be like that here in the UK

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AgnesFaludi
AgnesFaludi2 years ago

Johnny these cheaper vegetables taste much worst than in the other countries....XD I think they made to be cheaper...just think about the tomatoes...they are so plastic and taste nothing in the UK

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Johnny
Johnny
Original Poster
2 years ago

AgnesFaludi most of the tomatoes eaten in the UK come from ‘other countries’ like Spain and The Netherlands! 😂

But I agree, a properly-grown, raw fruit, served as nature intended fresh off the vine and still warm from the sun is delicious, but rather hard to find in the UK. And of course the British tend to store their tomatoes in the fridge which will kill the flavour after a few days anyway.

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zerocenturyzero
zerocenturyzero2 years ago

Don't trust the news.

A organic cucumber cost me £0.90 last week.

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Johnny
Johnny
Original Poster
2 years ago

Why did you buy it?

There is no extra nutritional benefit from eating organic food

Organic food costs 10% to 50% more than non-organic

If you can’t afford it, don’t waste your money on it.

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zerocenturyzero
zerocenturyzero2 years ago

Johnny Organic fruit and vegetables have higher nutritional value. I brought the cucumber from Lidl

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Johnny
Johnny
Original Poster
2 years ago

“Organic fruit and vegetables have higher nutritional value”

No. They don’t. It’s a myth. As an evaluation by Stanford University of over 250 studies has shown.

If that’s your reason for buying organic, I suggest you read this before spending any more money on it.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/organic-food-no-more-nutritious-than-conventionally-grown-food-201209055264

Conclusion:

Should you buy organic?

That’s a decision only you can make based on your family’s needs and wants, and your budget. If you’re buying organic solely for better nutrition, based on this review there’s no evidence you’re gaining any real advantages

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zerocenturyzero
zerocenturyzero2 years ago

Johnny https://www.thealternativedaily.com/truth-about-organic-non-organic/

IVL Swiss Environmental Research Institute facilitated the study, titled Human Exposure to Pesticides from Food, and measured the concentration of pesticides in each family member’s urine sample. They found that after eating organic food for only two weeks, there was a significant drop in pesticide residue in the urine samples. Imagine if you always ate organic. We agree with the mom, who doesn’t like the pesticides in her kids’ bodies.

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Johnny
Johnny
Original Poster
2 years ago

zerocenturyzero Thanks, but that has nothing to do with nutritional value.

Pesticide levels in both organic and non-organic foods are within allowable safety limits, so will also make little to no difference to your health.

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zerocenturyzero
zerocenturyzero2 years ago
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zerocenturyzero
zerocenturyzero2 years ago

zerocenturyzero How are Pesticides Harmful?

There are numerous health hazards linked to the use of pesticides. Pesticides can have grave effects on the health of anybody consuming fruits or vegetables highly contaminated with pesticides.

Several reports suggest that high levels of pesticides in food can lead to the development of diseases such as cancer, kidney and lung ailments. Children have developing organs, prone to catching infections and diseases. Any exposure to these high chemical residues can lead to childhood cancers, mental health problems such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

If a pregnant woman eats a fruit containing pesticides residue, the fetus might get affected and she may face birth complications. Some other health risks associated with these harmful chemicals include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramp, dizziness and anxiety.

https://www.onlymyhealth.com/harmful-effects-of-pesticides-in-fruits-and-vegetables-1533913494

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zerocenturyzero
zerocenturyzero2 years ago

Johnny Milk is a lot worse and meat so it all adds up inside our bodies

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Johnny
Johnny
Original Poster
2 years ago

zerocenturyzero

OK, so having debunked the myth that organic food has any extra nutritional benefit (it doesn't), let’s look at the residual pesticide issue.

  • Organic does not mean pesticide free; it just means grown under the organic regulations and using only approved pesticides. (In the EU, 28 different pesticides are approved for use in organic agriculture).
  • ALL produce - organic or not - must have any remaining pesticide residue tested under the food safety limits set.

Many pesticides are oil based. That’s so they don’t wash off easily in the rain or when crops are watered. And being oil based they are difficult to remove, even more so if the produce has been treated with a food wax. You can feel it sometimes on grapes and apples for example.

If you’re bothered about residual pesticides, an easy solution is simply to peel the cucumber, the carrot, or the apple, but obviously you can’t peel all fruit and veg.

Another easy solution is to use white vinegar to remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables.

Here’s how:

1. Fill a large bowl with 4 parts water to 1 part plain white vinegar.

2. Soak the fruit or vegetables in the mixture for 15 minutes.

3. Rinse the fruit or vegetables well with water under the tap

Some people worry that washing in vinegar will affect the taste of the fruit (such as strawberries) – don’t worry, it doesn’t.

Indeed, the ‘Harmful Effects of Pesticides in Fruits and Vegetables' article that you quoted above, states:

'(Washing in..) Vinegar helps remove 98 percent of the pesticides residue and the insecticides from the fruit. This is an easy and effective way of removing pesticides from fruits and vegetables.'

Obviously it’s much much cheaper to give fruit and veg a decent wash in diluted vinegar than it is to pay the extra 10-50% (or more!) that organic fruit and veg costs.

It’s also worth remembering being organic doesn’t stop bugs, birds, field mice etc, from visiting and adding a little of themselves on the fruit and veg. So organic or not, you should give it a decent wash anyway.

Most people who buy organic cite one of three main reasons for doing so:

  1. They’re healthier (i.e. more nutritious) – This has been widely proven to be NOT true.
  2. They’re safer. (i.e. have less residual pesticides). Maybe a little bit safer, but peeling or washing non-organic fruit and veg with vinegar fixes that, and organic does not mean pesticide free.
  3. They’re kinder to the environment. This is partly true, and the only reason that really stands up to much scrutiny.

Lastly a quick word about organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are fertilizers derived from animal matter, animal excreta (manure), human excreta, and vegetable matter. Naturally occurring organic fertilizers include animal wastes from meat processing, peat, manure, slurry, and guano (the excrement of seabirds and bats, used as fertilizer).

My advice is if you’re rich and can afford it, go for organic if you want to.

But be very careful what you believe about the benefits of organic food. There’s loads of nonsense spouted about.

Don’t be misled by the organic food industry and the supermarkets. They happily profit from charging you much higher prices for organic food that has little to no real added benefit.

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zerocenturyzero
zerocenturyzero2 years ago

Johnny Glyphosate Linked to Gut Disturbances, Breathing Problems

Concerns over glyphosate's toxicity have been mounting since the International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC) 2015 determination that glyphosate is a "probable carcinogen." But that's not the only problem. Glyphosate is toxic to many microbes as well as to most plants, and one likely effect of chronic low-dose oral exposure to glyphosate is a disruption of the balance among gut microbes toward an overrepresentation of pathogens.

A 2018 study published in Toxicology Reports revealed that long-term exposure to Roundup led to alterations in the gut microbes of rats, specifically altering the firmicutes to bacteroidetes ratio in female rats, such that firmicutes were decreased and bacteroidetes increased.12 This could have implications for how glyphosate contributes to disease, since separate research has found, for instance, that diabetics tend to have fewer firmicutes and more plentiful amounts of bacteroidetes compared to nondiabetics.13

A positive correlation for the ratios of bacteroidetes to firmicutes and reduced glucose tolerance has also been found. Further, other research has linked exposure to pesticides at work with an increased risk of breathing problems, chronic bronchitis and "symptoms that are consistent with airflow obstruction." In fact, people exposed to pesticides at work had a 22 percent increased risk of developing chronic lung disease.14

It's estimated that up to 20,000 farmworkers are poisoned by pesticides each year, although the actual number is likely far higher, as many of the workers may not seek medical care or may be misdiagnosed if they do seek treatment.15 While the FDA drags their feet on getting pertinent information on glyphosate levels in food out to the public, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has revealed that nearly 30 percent of the more than 3,000 foods they tested contain glyphosate.16

This included nearly 37 percent of grain products, 47 percent of bean/pea/lentil products and more than 30 percent of infant food and cereal. Even 7 percent of fresh fruits and vegetables contained the residues.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. researchers tested urine levels of glyphosate and its metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) among 100 people living in Southern California over a period of 23 years — from 1993 to 2016.17 At the start of the study, very few of the participants had detectable levels of glyphosate in their urine, but by 2016, 70 percent of them did.

The prevalence of human exposure to glyphosate increased by 500 percent during the study period while actual levels of the chemical, in ug/ml, increased by a shocking 1,208 percent. If you'd like to know your personal glyphosate levels, you can now find out. The Health Research Institute (HRI) in Iowa developed the glyphosate urine test kit, which will allow you to determine your own exposure to this toxic herbicide, while also participating in a worldwide study on environmental glyphosate exposures.

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/01/16/pesticide-residues-in-fresh-produce.aspx

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zerocenturyzero
zerocenturyzero2 years ago

Johnny Going Organic Can Reduce Your Pesticide Exposure

Eating nonorganic GE foods (the prime candidates for Roundup spraying) is associated with higher glyphosate levels in your body.18 A study of close to 4,500 people in the U.S. also found that those who "often or always" ate organic had about 65 percent lower levels of pesticide residues compared to those who ate the least amount of organic produce.19

So choosing organic foods as much as possible is an important way to lower your exposure to pesticides and, in fact, avoiding pesticides is the No. 1 reason why people go organic.20 Not only do these chemicals pose a direct risk to human health, including to developing babies,21 but they also threaten the Earth as we know it. Glyphosate residues of 653 parts per billion (ppb) have even been detected in some honey samples — an amount that's more than 10 times the European limit of 50 ppb.22

Bees, as pollinators, travel from plant to plant. With grasslands being increasingly converted into GE corn and soybean fields where glyphosate and other pesticides are amply sprayed, it's easy for them to become contaminated and then transfer that contamination to their honey. Research published in the journal Nature Communications has similarly revealed that pollen collected next to corn fields is contaminated with up to 32 different pesticides.23

At this point, the effects of these chemical exposures on bees and other pollinators is unknown, but common sense would indicate that they can't be good. So remember that you are actually "voting" for less pesticides and herbicides with every organic and grass fed food and consumer product you buy. In addition, it doesn't have to be "all or nothing" — going 100 percent organic is ideal, but every organic purchase you make helps.

If you must choose between which products to purchase organic, I recommend prioritizing organic animal foods and then using the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) "Dirty Dozen" list for produce, which are among the most heavily contaminated with pesticides and therefore the most important plant foods to buy organic.

Pesticides can absorb into the flesh of vegetables and fruits

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zerocenturyzero
zerocenturyzero2 years ago
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Johnny
Johnny
Original Poster
2 years ago

zerocenturyzero There you go. Some of these pesticides in the article above are amongst the 28 approved for use in organic agriculture by the EU.

Like I said, buying Organic does NOT mean your food is pesticide free.

That’s the second organic food myth debunked.

I rest my case.

The obvious question now is:

Do you know what pesticides were used to keep the beetles and other bugs off your 90p organic cucumber from Lidl?

There's a lot to be said for growing your own veg and picking the snails and slugs off by torchlight at night!

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zerocenturyzero
zerocenturyzero2 years ago

Johnny Unfortunately organic pesticides and fertilizers are used on organic fruits and vegetables I am sure they are better ways to grow fruits and vegetables.

In Lidl the only cucumber that they was organic and should be a lot cheaper but the government and supermarkets have very little interest in looking out of anyone health instead focuses on profit and benefits from people getting ill.

The dangerous pesticides can get into the flesh of the fruit and vegetables. Pesticides and fertilizers are sprayed on wheat, oats and corn as well as animals being injected with several chemicals to make then grown more than twice and size at the faster rate.

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AlexS
AlexS2 years ago

If there is something that I would moan is the bills,the food never been expensive compare to earnings and you always have offers to choose from but this might change soon because of the brexit

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PhilipMarc
PhilipMarc2 years ago

Food at least sold in Central London is pretty crap, thus it's no wonder why it's cheap. But despite that, you can buy vegetables, fruit and meat/fish so it's not all doom and gloom.

BBC articles are to be taken with a grain of salt as their claims and statistics are usually wrong or made up. Just like that comment that food is cheaper than in another European country. A lot of people seem to think Europe is somehow a country and they think it's easy to assume the best prices, and all.

There's even a video on YouTube titled "USA vs Europe culture" I don't even need to explain how moronic that title is.

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Johnny
Johnny
Original Poster
2 years ago

Food at least sold in Central London is pretty crap

That totally depends on where you shop! And to a lesser degree how much you're willing to pay.

Here's a few ideas to help you.

https://www.timeout.com/london/shopping/the-best-ways-to-get-your-groceries-delivered-in-london

And there's always Borough Market right in the middle of London that has some of the best food in town!

Slow Food London Best Baker

2017 Winner Bread Ahead, Borough Market

Runner-up Gails (London Wide)

Slow Food London Best Butcher

2017 Winner C Lidgate, Holland Park

Runner-up Ginger Pig (London Wide)

Slow Food London Best Cheesemonger

2017 Winner Bianca e Mora, Borough Market

Runner-up La Fromagerie, Marylebone & Highbury

Slow Food London Best Deli/Grocer

2017 Winner Bianca e Mora, Borough Market

Runner-up La Fromagerie, Marylebone & Highbury

Slow Food London Best Fishmonger

2017 Winner Sussex Fish, Borough Market

Runner-up Steve Hatt, Highbury

Slow Food London Best Greengrocer

2017 Winner Chegworth Valley, Borough, Notting Hill and Markets London-wide

Runner-up Ted's Veg, Borough Market

Slow Food London Best Market

2017 Winner Borough Market, Borough

Runner-up Alexandra Palace Market

Slow Food London Best Slow Food Restaurant/Eatery

2017 Winner Gourmet Goat, Borough Market

Runner-up St John Bread & Wine, Spitalfields

Slow Food London Supreme Champion Product

2017 Winner Red Cow Parmesan Bianca e Mora, Borough Market

Runner-up Charcutier Ltd Chorizo, Borough Market & throughout Wales

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