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Out and about / Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Question: Do you think where to shop is an ethical matter?

Example—

Store A sells a dozen eggs for 99 cents.

Store B sells an identical dozen for $1.49.

Should I consider any factor besides price and proximity when I make my purchase?

What do you think?

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Marie
9 years ago

Brandon has always told me it’s more about the wife’s sanity than it is about the price of eggs. Does the price you mention include mileage? .40 cents a mile. We tend to use vehicles like housewives (time and mileage don’t count). So glad your back!

Loila Zook
9 years ago

When I was first married, I went shopping with all my coupons clipped, going into at least four stores each week and getting each of their bargains. As we added children to the mixture of grocery shopping I started eliminating one after another until I stopped at one store for all the groceries. Since I started my own home grown business, and know how important local buying is, I have become more conscious about buying made in USA products. I watched the documentary you linked to at one time, and it did something in my heart and I have made a great effort to avoid helping those get ahead that are hurting others in the process of their getting ahead!

Rachel S
9 years ago

For me, quality of food wins, hands down. Now that said, I don’t have time for food snobbery. But I am realizing with my family, that you will either pay for GOOD high quality food (and wince at the price when you compare it to the cheaper version) or you end up paying the doctor bills because they weren’t healthy. So yes, I do travel the extra miles for farm grown eggs and raw milk because they are keeping me out of the doctors office!

9 years ago
Reply to  Rachel S

Good point! Quality matters.

But these two dozens are identical–same source, same brand.

Rachel S
9 years ago
Reply to  Shari Zook

True…missed the “identical” dozen!

Treva
9 years ago

I must admit I don’t think a lot about ethics when I go shopping. Price and proximity are the main factors in my decisions. I am sure if I really researched what the stores and manufacturers do to get food into our hands and make money, I would be outraged. (I remember seeing an article lately on the inhumane treatment of animals raised for meat.) I am sure if I found out my favorite store supported something I am extremely opposed to and my money was contributing, I would go to a different store… since I have some choices. Some don’t have the choices I do, though.

For now I am blissfully ignorant, but willing to be educated. 🙂 I have a question to add, though. What if a person simply can’t afford the food at the store with better ethics?

Marlene Stoltzfus
9 years ago

Well, now. I hate (OK, strongly dislike) grocery shopping. I absolutely do hate feeling bombarded by consumerism and materialism when I shop, so I avoid places that put me in sensory overload with a myriad of options. I don’t want my children to grow up feeling so much urgency to buy and possess. I wonder if the supermarket meltdowns are partly because children’s sensitive nature can’t block as well as we can; if it is so disruptive to them, I want to pay attention to what it does to me. Thus, the peaceful atmosphere of Valesky’s and the simplicity of Aldi’s win me over every time.

Priorities still shift, though. Sometimes my sanity or a tight budget means that I let go of the bigger goal.

rosanna
9 years ago

sometimes basic food items are sold at cost or below cost as leaders. the store figures that if you choose to buy eggs there because they are the cheapest place in town you will buy other items as well. You might remember the price of eggs, but not the price of less frequently purchased items.
In choosing between stores for ethical reasons I would consider how are their employees treated and how do they relate to their suppliers? Those who use low prices to gain advantage over their competitors tend to be hesitant to pay a fair price for the goods they purchase to sell to you and to pay fair wages to those they employ to sell the goods to you.

Esther Yutzy
9 years ago

Better yet, get a few chickens. =)