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New Internationalist

Not so supermarkets

What's on the world's supermarket shelves...

Whether you're shopping in England or India, supermarkets are appearing on every horizon. The bigger they get, the greater is the break-down of community culture. Huge box-store shopping developments spring up on town-outskirts drawing petrol guzzling people-movers in like a magnet from suburbs that have long ago lost their local economies. They have a lot of issues on display. Profit hungry superstores sourcing the cheapest produce are squeezing out small local farmers and retailers from the market. Quality is compromised as food is grown further and further away, then driven or flown ridiculously long distances. To stop it from rotting en route, food regulators look the other way as science offers weird ways to increase food life. Indian environmentalist-extraordinaire Dr Vandana Shiva joins Chris Richards on a trip to the supermarket to take a close look at what's now on the shelves - and the movements for retail democracy building around the world in response.

  • Andrew Simms - author of Tescopoly: How one shop came out on top and why it matters - gives a profile of the British retail giant, Tesco, which takes around one in eight of every retail pound spent and has stores in all but four postcodes. Far from the fields of fresh veggies and fruit, supermarket products are increasingly jumping out of test-tubes onto the shelves.
  • Georgia Miller - coordinator of the Friends of the Earth Nanotechnology Project - has identified 104 big name products utilizing nanotechnology that don't need to be labelled and have unknown effects on human health.
  • Every time people in Rich World countries sit down at the dinner table, they could be eating the fruits of Morocco's illegal invasion of Western Sahara. Kamal Fadel from Polisario - the independence advocates for the Saharawi (Western Saharan) people - explains why.

Today's CD is called Mahima - an  extraordinary melting pot of music by two of the world's best slide guitarists: Debashish Bhattacharya from India and Bob Brozman, bringing in his signatures strains from the Pacific. 

Listen directly online (flash 128kbps stream)

Download the program to your computer or music player (Right click on the link and choose where
you would like to save the program to - 128kbps mp3 55.7MB)

Subscribe to the podcast

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