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Greenwashing by the Supermarkets

Greenwashing is a phrase I’ve because increasingly aware of in the last month or so. I my mind it is a cynical consequence of the interaction of big business and ecological concerns. I visit various Supermarkets on occasions often to check our prices are competitive. I’ve seen quite a few examples of Greenwashing. This is just one. I’ll not name the Supermarket as that would be underhanded and counterproductive. But they are all in on the act.

Mixed Peppers are a relatively light weight product used frequently in our recipes. They are commercially grown throughout the country with YFS (Yorkshire Farm Salads) near Selby being the nearest grower to my knowledge. In the Supermarket in question a plastic packed selection of three mixed Pepper is £1 while an individual unpacked Pepper taken from the cardboard delivery try is £0.55. So you are paying £0.65 extra for the privileged of not having plastic packaging. I can see no logistics reason why it would be so much more costly for them to handle trays of Pepper without the packaging as opposed to trays which have been packaged. Indeed there must be a cost element in running them through the packing process. So why are they so much more expensive?

I gut instinct is that the additional cost is simply because there is a growing demand for unpackaged goods and the big supermarkets are just cashing in. In my experience the wholesale cost is about 10% higher for the packaged version, so in this case I don’t think I am unnecessarily creating conspiracy theories. I’m not a great fan of the Supermarkets but we all use them on occasions I guess. So perhaps a little consumer pressure may do the trick. I have heard of a lady who unpacks everything she can at the checkout and leaves the plastic for the cashier to deal with. Perhaps a little extreme, but it will certainly slow things down and make a very visible point. I’m not advocating such direct action but I’m pretty sure if public pressure is directed at the Supermarkets this underhanded practise will cease given time.




The Veg Box

We have sourced a local Wholesaler in York to help us provide low cost home delivered Veg Boxes.

Delivered by bicycle to prevent adding to our "Carbon Footprint" initially to the area within the A64 / A1237 Ring Road

The Veg Boxes comprise a selection of locally sourced vegetables suitable for individuals and families including staples such as - (Depending on the season):-

Super Box:- £10

Potatoes - Jackets and Washed whites - (Approx 1kg)
Carrots - (Approx 1kg)
Parsnips - (Approx 300g)
Cabbage - (1 Jumbo Head)
Cauliflower - (1 Jumbo Head)
Onions - (approx 1kg)
Swede / Turnips - (1 or 2 depending on size & season)

Buster Box:- £15

Potatoes - Jackets and Washed whites - (Approx 1kg)
Carrots - (Approx 1kg)
Parsnips - (Approx 300g)
Cabbage - (1 Jumbo Head)
Cauliflower - (1 Jumbo Head)
Onions - (approx 1kg)
Swede / Turnips - (1 or 2 depending on size & season)
Courgettes - (3 or 4 depending on size)
Leeks - (3 or 4 depending on size)
Tomatoes - (6)
Mixed Peppers-  (3 mixed)
Broccoli - (1 Jumbo Head)
Spring Onions- (1 Jumbo bunch)

By buying in bulk from a York based wholesalers we are able to obtain the discounts usually only available to the hospitality trade. This means that a Banana sized box of vegetables will be prices starting from £10 including free delivery to your door.

We don’t expect you to buy large quantities in one go, we would rather deliver to you regularly to prevent or at least reduce food wastage.

To order add your details below or call Sue & Tony on 07598 382309 – Deliveries available 6 days a week at a time to suit you. Cash on delivery.

“Universal credit is likely to be the main cause of the explosion in food bank use, the government has admitted, after years of denying the link.
Delays that meant people “had difficulty accessing their money early enough” could be to blame for claimants seeking emergency food aid, Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, told MPs.” - Full article here  
The truth is a bit more complex than they are actually admitting, but an attempt at honesty in Politics is a rare event and one which should celebrated.
There are three main failing in Universal Credit which we are aware of. (There are doubtlessly many more)
(1) Late initial Payments. Although we did have some money to survive the initial 5 week waiting period it was literally less than £100 when we initiated our claim. Yes they do offer you an Advance. But as with anything you borrow it needs to be repaid. Taking 10 monthly repayments from a sum which is impossible to live on in the first place is hardly assistance in the long run.
(2) The “Housing Element” The cost of housing is simply not reflected in the capped limits imposed on an area by area basis. We unfortunately spent six month's in a Homeless Hostel after two very damaging contracts cost us everything we had. It soon became clear that even in a Homeless Hostel we had to add £120 per month from the money which we were supposed to feed and cloth ourselves with, just in order to make up the rent and service charges and keep ahead. If you default when you are in a Hostel there really is nowhere else for you to go. This left us with the princely sum of £4 a day for two adults to live on.
(3) Couples are discriminated against. If you live together or did when you initially make a claim, your payment is some 42% lower than two individual single people making separate claims. The Conservative party once proclaimed themselves The Party of Family Values?
Clearly there will always be an element of society who want a free ride. But personally I can't imagine anybody making an unnecessary Universal Credit claim. Once you are “In the system” you are effectively trapped in poverty. If for example you can not afford to cloth yourself appropriately for an interview, you are clearly at a massive disadvantage. The threat of being “Sanctioned” hangs over your head constantly. But unlike “Job Centres” in the past they do not offer any assistance in finding work and a way out. 

Universal Credit & Employment Agencies!

I appreciate that the Job Centre Plus staff have a very difficult job to do. I also appreciate that they have internal rules and guidance to follow.
However if they have information and documents which might assist those looking for work I would have thought that it was their duty to share these with their clients. It would seem this is not the case. Here is an example:-
“Having had several appointments over the last few months and also having made it clear that I was happy to do anything in my power to find employment, I asked on the off-chance if they had a list of Employment Agencies in the York area. Strangely the agent reached into a desk tidy to her left and plucked a copy from a stack in the top shelf which contains names and contact details for 25 Agencies which are active in the area. Many of these are not easily located using Google as they have head offices in other locations.”
Not a great service from a failing system really is it?
If you are willing to work for an Employment Agency in the York area here is the list as a .PDF. (11.46Mb) You can also click on the picture above in you are using a mobile phone, because we like our services and articles to be accessible to all! It's possibly not the greatest quality but if you call in and ask they are more than willing to give you a copy.
But which should you have to ask in the first place?
50 Recipes for £4 or less – Charity Ebook -  Eat Well on a Very Restricted Budget.
We would like to thank everybody who has bought our recipe Ebook and donated this week. We've had a amazing response, especially as we are only using Facebook to promote it at present (It's free so doesn't take from the proceeds for the charities). Next wee I'm to be interviewed by YO1 Radio which I hope will get the word out so we can help the Charities and Groups helping the Homeless and these in need even more.
Meals on a very restricted budget don't need to be boring!
We've created this Ebook in support of the following local Charities and Groups:-
The Salvation Army
Church Action on Poverty
Doncaster Street Hub
York Secret Helpers
Sleep Safe Selby
OR A Charity of your choosing
“In January 2018 we found ourselves in a Homeless Hostel and some six months later had to resort to living in a tent in order to save our much loved dog Buster from any further separation. On a budget of £4 a day to feed ourselves and Buster via Universal Credit, we spent much of our time sourcing ingredients and fresh water just to survive. Probably to keep ourselves sane we kept a record of our recipes. Many of the recipes in the book were created and cooked beside our tent on a single burner camp stove. We were fortunate to be helped by several charities and now have a flat in York. The remainder of these recipes have been created and cooked here on the same very limited budget.”
This is our way of giving something back to the charities who helped us and are continuing to help the homeless and those in need. We hope you find them inspiring and more to the point tasty and frugal.
The Ebook costs £4 with all proceeds going directly to your chosen charity or cause.

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