BrambleRamble – Future of purchasing your food? Farm Shop or Robot?

How do you see the future of purchasing your food? Are you to be found in a Farm Shop at weekends carefully selecting each piece of fruit and veg, talking to the butcher about cooking techniques or are you a ‘click and get it delivered’ sort? Did you know that if we don’t make active choices to buy handmade food directly from farm shops/butchers/bakers/greengrocers the Robots are coming to get us! I’m not joking, never mind worrying about the amount of plastic everything is wrapped in, the much longer-term view of grocery shopping is already happening when you shop online with Ocado, their warehouse is all done with Robots selecting the food items in super-quick time. Amazon have grocery deliveries arriving on the same day in some cities already. Meanwhile the packaging companies have the plans in place for ‘Intelligent’ food packaging that will know when you have finished it and can automatically reorder itself and arrive the same day at your door, potentially by driverless vehicle and of course paid for automatically online. While that might sound very tempting on a wet day in January and you have just finished the biscuits, is it really the future you want for your food and your children’s food education? I think humans will continue to want to talk about food, its our national obsession in the UK! We will want to continue to choose our raw ingredients, smell the different fresh fruits at the greengrocers, squeeze a loaf of bread to check its fresh at the bakery, and talk to the owner of the Farm Shop about the gossip of the day. I would suggest that shopping for our food is actually much more important to our national psyche than maybe we realise, don’t let the future catch up with you, take action, find our nearest Farm Shop/Independent Deli/HomeBakery/Butcher/Greengrocer grab a basket and go! You will save money, support your local economy, save plastic bags, get exercise and enjoy the chat.

Future of Shopping

2 Responses to “BrambleRamble – Future of purchasing your food? Farm Shop or Robot?”

  1. This is very thought provoking. We moved 18 months ago to a small Lake District town . There are a lot of independent shops,2 butchers 2 bakery’s green grocer who also sell loose baking ingredients etc. The nearest supermarket is an hours drive. I now buy the majority of food locally, have found a milkman at last who will deliver milk in glass bottles. It has been a huge lifestyle change for me . Where we lived before there were 5 major supermarkets 15 mins away & I’m ashamed to say it was not unheard of that I would drive to 2 in 1 day !
    I am learning how to plan weekly meals & use all I buy minimsing food waste . It’s like going back in time to when I was a child in the late 1950s before supermarkets.
    My point is , unless you are forced to change your shopping habits you will just carry on as you do . Supermarkets will grow & automated as you say . Loneliness is a growing problem especially in rural areas. My husband works away we are extremely remote. No neighbours & I can go for days not speaking face to face, to a soul , local shopkeepers are at least a human to talk to .
    Your post will hopefully make people think twice about what we really value.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and I’m glad it resonates with you, we must value this before we loose it. It has been a personal mission of mine to challenge myself to avoid the big stores and shop local no matter where I have lived, I remember going to a farmshop in North London over 20 years ago, this is not a new thing for me. I appreciate it so much that now I have returned to live near where I grew up and many of the shop keepers I grew up with are still there, often with the next generation now running the shop. The village I live in has no shops at all so I have to make an effort to purchase food and I refuse to just click for it, I know that sometimes when your at home with kids that chat with a shopkeeper or post office can be the only conversation you hold with another adult all day. I have gained so much, and met so many people by making this conscious decision to support my local small shops, from the pet shop, to the greengrocer, to the farmer who puts bags of potatoes at the farm gate, and now I sell my homemade jams through independent food shops and cafes so I see the businesses from both sides. We need to look after ourselves, our communities and make these positive choices and stop telling ourselves we are “too busy”.

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