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Enviro Warrior - Wake up and smell the Homus ... then tread lightly upon the planet.



No More Supermarkets!


For those of you who have known me since the beginning, you already know how much I loathe having to shop in supermarkets because of all that they stand for; I much prefer walking nature trails, helping men forget their preoccupation with beer.

Why? Because in supermarkets I am acutely aware of the psychology that is being used against me to make me spend more : both blatant and subliminal stuff everywhere that I am almost defenceless to guard against it,like a Jedi with no light sabre.

For those of you who dont know how that feels, you can follow the link to read a comical post I wrote about it called the Metropolitan Mecca : A story of Packaging..

Now many of you know, I have been married 20 years now (and no,fidelity isnt easy, its like having to write without hyphens and dashes, very rewarding if you can pull it off long enough)...and I have shopped every week for those 20 years, making a grand total of 1,040 visits to the supermarket. Of course, I also shopped when single before that; making it closer to 3,000 shops ... or 2,999 wonky trolleys.

Supermarkets are to me, a place of ignorance at its highest level on all frontiers, due to the mass advertising and subtle forces of subliminal psychology bombarding you, causing extreme comatose stupors and zombielike symptoms. Something changes in the biochemical brain signals of people in these places. Just look around next time you are there... Now, look closer and monitor your own thinking whilst within this finest of modern consumer traps and you will also soon see what I am talking about.

Not to mention young check-out teenagers who repeatedly have to ask me to identify every kind of fruit and vegetable they cannot recognise because it doesnt come served on pizza, or between a hot sesame seeded, sugar soaked, bun. But I wasnt going to mention that, well apart from this one time when things got horribly complicated (to my amusement), because the actual managerial staff who checked the veggies into the computer, did so as something other than what it really is, making it totally unidentified on the grid ~ something todays youngsters do understand because it contains a screen, the former a problem as I had told her it was something else.

Anyeeway, this incident I am relating is about Eggplant, or for those who have delved a little further into the culinary world of delights, Aubergine. So here I am at the checkout this time last week, watching the poor girl try to find this strange and exotic thing. It took a very long time to find it, with staff running around everywhere, calls going out over the loudspeaker for the Fruit and Veggie manager, because the person marking it in had tagged it, Eggfruit!

It all ended terribly agro, with the poor girl on the checkout in tears, as the person behind me got so irate at having to wait 10 minutes, she launched into a tirade and tore strips off the poor girl, giving me sideways glances of pure hate, like I had planned it all to annoy her directly? This made everyone feel terrible. I smoothed it over as best I could short of telling Mrs Agro, point blank to stick an Aubergene in it, (realising I probably would have wasted the subtlety), but it left me shaken because she was a big bogan woman who looked like she could have squashed me flat with the flab on her left arm alone!

.. and so it goes ... left wondering what has happened to community again?

The point is, I NO LONGER HAVE TO GO THERE! I am freed of this slavery. I sit before you as a liberated woman. A miracle has taken place and I, Envirowarriorwoman am now able to walk amongst the Fre(wo)men (rather bad Dune reference there, sorry) .. um .. because I have signed up and registered to the wonderful world of on-line shopping with Coles, who finally deliver to my door ...
out here (up an Emus bum)!

It is amazingly easy to become an online customer.

Shopping is a breeze even if unlike me, you dont have the order of goods and the psychology of the isles so firmly printed in your brain, you can tell which isle No: each is in from memory *twitch* The listing of the produce on/line is just so logical. The specials are listed too and you dont miss the bargains either. But the most amazing benefit is the lack of impulse buying, because its not calling you from a billboard from across the aisle, or on a specials display stuck right in your path to navigate around with the trolley from hell. The best feature is a running total on the right hand side of the screen, showing you exactly how much you are spending.

I had delivery today of my first shop and just love it. Shopping all done and I saved $50 on non-essentials. I only forgot one thing too, not bad for my first run!

The only drawback as far as I can see is not being able to use those recycle bags and a little too many plastic bags, although I use any I get as garbage liners. Otherwise the bulk of the stuff came in Plastic crates, which you unstack as the delivery guy goes to find the refrigerated stuff. It was great to get all the veggies and fruit chilled.

I am off now to phone customer care and find a way to minimise those plastic bags, perhaps with boxes?

The only other thing, is that you have to shop a little ahead of time, in order to be able to reserve/book your delivery date (check the postcode to see which days they deliver to your suburb). It varies, for example, I have to shop 10 days in advance, but once the momentum is going, this is no different to shopping every week, not where essentials are concerned.

For those of you trying to balance home, career and/or family life, or old age/ reclusive hermitism, this news, couldnt be better. Even if I was single I wouldnt hesitate to grab this life raft, but then if you read Metropolitan Mecca (above) you already know how I loathe modern supermarkets and the unbelievable brain/washed packaging nightmare of actually going there.

Recommended reading about Industrial Psychology and how it is used against you; The Waste Makers by Vance Packard (try second hand dealers first like

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31 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]
1. November 15th 2008 @ 10:47. Mister Smith Says:
Hi Lillla
I used to merchandise at supermarkets for a supplier so I know about the tricks they pull. Positioning is very well thought out, suppliers have to basically negotiate constantly for shelf-space and products of one brand are allowed to run out so that the competing brand can sell, and on and on. I, too, loathe supermarkets. I use a small local one and when I MUST go to the big Coles I practically run to get out of there as quickly as possible.
The sales people can be unbearably dismissive in their attitude, if not downright rude but they are probably under quite a bit of pressure since staff are so reduced. It was a few years ago that i did this job but I remember one of the staff at a Safeway store told me that some sort of a system had been introduced, actually on the cash register, so that it kept track of how fast they worked.
2. November 15th 2008 @ 10:49. Morgan Bell Says:
thats a good idea for anyone who tends to grab a handful of chocolates and some trashy mags when they are waiting in line at the checkout!

Woolies has this brilliant marketing technique where they put big brightly coloured "BUY ME! BUY ME NOW" shelf labels on products that arent even discounted, they are "everyday low prices" haha cheeky buggers
3. November 15th 2008 @ 11:45. Lady Henrietta Muddling Says:

Do you have to order Eggfruit?

A book that might interest you if you haven't already read it is Don DeLillo's White Noise.

Here's a brief rundown of it. (Link included).

Sarcasm and Displacement of the Supermarkets in White Noise

Throughout the novel White Noise, Don DeLillo uses dark and biting humor and subtle displacement to contrast the harsh reality of his characters lives. The sarcasm exists in the idea that the supermarkets help the characters cope with the world around them. The displacement that DeLillo implies is the disillusion and disconnection of characters to each other. The disconnectedness of Jack, his family, and Wilder help set the unique theme and understanding of the novel throughout the supermarket scenes. ... From cover to cover, DeLillo uses irony and displacement, through the supermarket, to juxtapose the anxieties that surround his characters.

Television, drugs, relationships, tabloids and supermarkets are icons of postmodern life that help subdue the reality around Jack and his friends and family. All these aspects offer a sense of control and immorality in a world full of fears and chaos. Of these, supermarkets are inevitably essential to understanding the novel as a whole.
4. November 15th 2008 @ 13:43. Wilson Pon Says:
Hmm..., Lilia. I thought the Eggfruit is supposed to be "Eggplant" or whatever lol

5. November 15th 2008 @ 13:44. Ash Says:
ahhhhh they finally have this here Lilla?

I was doing online shopping in London six or seven years back now. Its very good news for the smaller convenience stores and independants because people will be more inclined to pop in there for their essentials which they have forgotten. A lot of these smaller companies do, on a lot of items, provide a very good comparative price.

Good news all around it seems! Having not had to grocery shop for quite some time now I can feel your joy at not having to join the hustle and bustle!

6. November 15th 2008 @ 15:12. Janet Collins Says:
I am rather lazy when it comes to shopping for groceries so supermarkets suit me very well. I am aware of their tricks though but I just rush in, pick up what I want and rush out. No dilly dallying is done so the marketing is a bit lost on me.

Lady H - What don't you have in that library head of yours? For God's sake, where do you get all this?
7. November 15th 2008 @ 20:01. Lady Henrietta Muddling Says:

I blame my ex girlfriend. She was an avid reader, who studied literature at Adelaide Uni, and introduced me to a lot of novels I normally wouldn't have read.

She had to study White Noise. Therefore I had to read it. When it comes to the barter system in a relationship, girlfriends usually make you watch chick flicks. I had to read uni books.

We were both predisposed to be anti-supermarkets, so I didn't mind the read. It's one of those books where you'll probably see your own thoughts about supermarkets in print.
8. November 15th 2008 @ 21:00. Tracy Says:
Congrats on your shopping emancipation, Lilla.

9. November 16th 2008 @ 05:36. Damo Says:
and no,fidelity isnt easy, its like having to write without hyphens and dashes, very rewarding if you can pull it off long enough

Classic-line- if - ever - I - read - one
10. November 16th 2008 @ 13:34. damian Says:
Good to see someone still supports the Wesfarmers executives. They've had a tough week of it, the poor dears, with their pay being voted down by the shareholders and all!
12. November 16th 2008 @ 23:36. Lilla Says:
Hello Mr Smith,


negotiate constantly for shelf-space and products of one brand are allowed to run out so that the competing brand can sell, and on and on.

Oh this is one of the other constant things that drove me nuts. Youd find a good, no/nonsense priced product that worked (cheaper than all the others which do the same thing), and it would disappear. Often completely for weeks on end until all the other dear, useless stuff sold out... AND it would get placed along the middle of the self at eye height : forcing you to stretch or bend to get the cheaper products (if they were there)...

Well no shelves now : Whoopie !! Just nice little alphabetically ordered pages with the pictures of the products besides them. Sooo civilised I feel like I have finally stepped into the future I dreamed of as a child, where the miracle of technology is finally put to another good use (not just bombs, missiles and state of the art defence equipment and God knows what else is available for espionage).

The sales people can be unbearably dismissive in their attitude, if not downright rude but they are probably under quite a bit of pressure since staff are so reduced

I have to laugh because this fles in direct contrast to moving products around. Cuting staff at the checkouts to do so. Further outlining the terrible imbalance that greed causes. Hiring people at night to move the products around for competing conglonerates, sucking off third world poverty to produce their 101 versions of packaged crap. A complete travesty.

I have been served by so many who were so desperate to go to the toilet, or rest their legs that I could feel their pain. Awful. Why not give them a chair like in Aldis, whats the big idea making them stand? Not a place to work with a weak bladder thats for sure! I cannot believe that they have to stand there for so long with only a 10 minute break. Slave labour alright and when i have managed to strike up some conversation with the poor things, I have indeed witnessed their fear to talk, as if on some peace work rate.

Me, I would prefer congenial conversation and a pleasant experience rather than a dismissive teenagers who tuts and glares because they haven’t got a clue what Eggfruit is when its at home! Or better still check myself out like at Big W these days.

Lets face it, they are not interested, its just pocket money to offset uni fees. Menial work to pay for car loans, outings and often simply a drug habit of choice (as one does when one is young and full of it; energy I mean).

It sounds like you gave it up Mr Smith? By the sounds of it, ultimately, a decision of moral conscience. Good for you.

Thanks for your interesting comment.

Lilla ...
13. November 16th 2008 @ 23:49. Lilla Says:
Hi Morgan,

You got it, those chckouts are the last chance to grab your money from your wallet. They cater to every vice you can imagine. Lust, greed, gluttony, avarice ... you name it which I do sometimes leaf through, but never buy). About the only good thengs there are the new environmentally green bags, which can save the planet from choking in plastic.

What gets me is how this unscrupulous trap is primarily also setfor mothers with young children. I have seen so many innocent children yanked, spanked and beaten at this last ditch, chicaned point of sale, as to make me weep. I let my kids do what they wanted at this point and never apologised in not buying any of it if it was damaged. How dare they try and make my children my enemies, and stress me further than being there already does?!

Outrageous cheek, indeed!

Lilla ...
14. November 16th 2008 @ 23:56. Lilla Says:

That is such a good question. The answer is (with great relief) no. The person creating the web pages actually must have an education of sorts and knows the difference. are aware (unlike me this morning who cannot string two words together in sequence?)

You have mentioned this book before and now that I have read the brief excerpt, I think this would be a classic in making me laugh. I will make a note of getting it, thanks.

All these aspects offer a sense of control and immorality in a world full of fears and chaos. Of these, supermarkets are inevitably essential to understanding the novel as a whole.

We certainly sound like we are on the same page where this is concerned, dont we?

Lilla ...
15. November 17th 2008 @ 00:01. Lilla Says:
Hi Wilson,

You got it! I wasnt game to actually say Aubergene in case I caused a walk out! *lol*

Lilla ...
16. November 17th 2008 @ 00:20. Lilla Says:

Its very good news for the smaller convenience stores and independants because people will be more inclined to pop in there for their essentials which they have forgotten. A lot of these smaller companies do, on a lot of items, provide a very good comparative price.
So true. Exactly what the doctor ordered and the satisfaction of sticking it to *the man.* I have some great friends who own these types of smaller stores and they deserve everything they get for their hard work... and their staff are friendlier and even know what an Augergene is.

The bottom line is that the service is more friendly too, not so high pressured and the shelves are organised in order of logic, not profitability.

How about that storm last night, hence my delay in responding ..

Oh you wouldnt believe it, but we drove back from Marrochy (from meditation retreat) into it just on dark, coming down from the mountains again (having cut inland to avoid the Sunday arvo highway coast crawl .. OMG it was filthy and one of the most arduous stroms and trips I have driven through (and there have been a few hair tingling episodes). My town was completely in a balckout out when we got back, traffic lights and all! cars, rain and trees on the road everywhere. They say it hit with the force of a bomb! My garden survived the worst of it, but there are things broken and hanging off everywhere. The fish are fine.

It was lovely reading by candlelight before bed last night. Absolutely lovely. I slept like a log.

Our power went back on at 3am. It was out for an amazing 9 hours!

Yes, no more hustle and bustle... ooh I am so relaxed. With last nights blackout to add ambience to it all, I really feel like a fringe dwelling recluse I am now, officially : but a high tech one (almost defies logic doesnt it?

Lilla ...
17. November 17th 2008 @ 00:37. Lilla Says:
Hi Janet,

Aah, your comment reminded me of my singledom. Quick snip in and out again and no harm done. Pure magic! If you have a choice, stick with it.

For me, it changed when I had young children and family meals to organise. It was when the supermarket trap first bit ... and it bit harder each year as the children grew, needing outing snacks/ lunches and what not. Admittedly I am pedantic about their diets being wholesome, which is kind of seen today (by some), as making a of rod for my back, but to me good diet is important and it shows in my childrens faces and attitude to life.

We tend to give our children what we never had and I had lost half my liver and stomache by 25 as a result of no diet at all, but thats another story. Luckily livers grown back with good food, exercise and meditation.

Lots of planning needed for good meals and because you are already a captive audience (of sorts) harder and harder as time wears on .. and all the ingredients changed to chemicals and no ingredients at all? I like to choose my poison. *chuckle* The truth is, I feel I was saved just before my resolve weakened completely. Amen.

Enjoy it while you can and thanks for popping in

Lilla ...
18. November 17th 2008 @ 00:42. Lilla Says:
Thanks Tracy,

There really are too few words (or language is too restricted to explain), the joy I feel about this. You know part of me still gets down here and there unobserved, until I remember I dont have to go again, then its whoppie all over again.

I spose it will see/saw for a while until a new routine settles in, albeit a much healthier one for me. (perhaps more meditation time)...

Nice to see you back from pleasure jaunt, looking forward to your tales

Lilla ...

19. November 17th 2008 @ 00:44. Lilla Says:
hahahaha Damo, am I right, or am I right?
20. November 17th 2008 @ 00:49. Lilla Says:

I get your point and that is still a problem, n*est pas?

So what to do besides erase the entire monetary system and try a new renewable energy, resource based way of doing things, as in the Venus Project?

Would welcome your suggestions.

Lilla ...
21. November 17th 2008 @ 00:50. Lilla Says:
Thanks Moonglow, nice to know I have liberated another soul today, too!

See you online I guess?

Lilla ...
22. November 17th 2008 @ 04:40. Ash Says:
Hi Lilla

Yes it`s time to start spreading the wealth. The supermarket chains have had their chance and are in danger of taking over the whole market now. Look at the businesses that they are taking over - groceries, fruit and veg, bottlestores and petrol stations - soon they will control the market in all of these things, shutting down all competition and then they control us, demanding whatever price they want. It`s a scary idea!

That storm was sooo powerful wasn`t it? Before I even stepped outside I felt it and I took one look at the sky and thought...this is going to be a bad one.

I had to go in to work just as it was arriving and I was watching it approach in the review mirror as I was driving up the main road. The sky ahead was totally clear and behind you could see it bearing down, like this monster ready to consume anything and everything in it`s path.

Then on my way home the lightning came.. OH MY WORD!!! so NOT a fan! The bolts out toward your way were thick and frequent too! My sister got caught on the highway going back toward Brisbane and it took them forever to get home... I`m happy to hear you all had angels on your journeys,

We watched as this thick, silver bolt came right out from the darkness above and struck something behind the houses opposite us. It had this massive red fire ball at the end of it and crackling fireworking sparks branching off the whole streak. It was like watching something in slow motion and lit the whole night up right across the river. Makes you realise how little and at the mercy of Mother Nature we are!

Today is beautiful though, wet and blustery, breathing life into everything. Gotta love days like today.

23. November 18th 2008 @ 07:12. Michaelie Says:
I am probably one of those entranced people wandering about the aisles. I actually like going to the supermarket most of the time. I get sucked in by every new chocolate bar product. But maybe it's just my fondness of shopping of any kind.

24. November 19th 2008 @ 09:13. Lilla Says:
Hi Michaelie,

All I can say to you is : You dont know how lucky you are. Oh for the luxury of all that time and the ability to block out the madness of the system itself...

You are a lucky one alright!


great to see you back btw ... hope alls well.

Lilla ...
25. November 27th 2008 @ 13:25. Mrs M Says:
Hi Lilla,

I used to do online shopping...then I realised that just about every item was a few cents more expensive than if I bought it off the shelf....but now that I've said that out loud it makes no sense because they get it off the same shelf....Hmmmmm.

Anyway, my friend saw an episode of Catalyst which stated that Australia has the most supermarkets per capita.

In any case, I still can't stand the man.

Love & stuff
Mrs M
26. November 28th 2008 @ 03:58. Lilla Says:
Hi Mrs M,

Yep, with you all the way on sticking it to the man.

I don’t mind the few extra dollars as they have given a lovely old fella a job, a delivery job ... and he is really grateful, helpful and friendly.

It feels like 1980 again, when things had value and I am intact, not having fought off the insipid wastemakers and their BS psychology.

Talking about the old days, I just came in from watching Australia, it was great ...and its nice to see you again too, hope the littlies are keeping you fit

Lilla ...
27. November 28th 2008 @ 08:52. Mrs M Says:
Oh waist line has never looked so good. My mother warns me though that when they grow and I get to finally sit down I'll grow some love handles. My mother likes to give it to me straight.

Actually I'm researching an article on homework and it's value...or lack thereof.

One argument to abolish is it is that it is detrimental to family harmony. The fights it causes does do anyone any good.

We could apply that logic to supermarkets and abolish them too...or at least the chocolate at the checkout.

Love & stuff
Mrs M
28. November 28th 2008 @ 23:51. Lilla Says:
Mrs M,

What a great topic. I have some strong views on the uselessness of homework myself, family harmony a classic example... they puch these kids hard enough as it is, these days ...

I look forward to being able to comment on such a great topic.

hahaha your mother is correct ... so you end up at the gym instead *lol*

Talk again soon.

Lilla ...
29. July 2nd 2009 @ 11:58. Elisabeth Fraser Says:
I just saw this post

How is the Coles Online shopping going? We can't have Coles Online here. We live in the country and its 35 km each way to the only town for shopping, they have a Woolies and a small Coles.

We had a large IGA - it was fantastic until Woolies drove them out with some underhand shenanigans in Council.

The IGA had been there nearly 50 years, supporting kids' sports and such. Lovely people*sigh*

I can't get my favourite shampoo, etc., and the vegies seem like the rejects from Sydney.

We shop once a week on a Friday and when I go to get some staple from Woolies and it isn't there, I get told 'it didn't come up on the truck'. Next truck, maybe, in two days. The prices are jacked up to the skies because of the trucking. IGA's weren't and they were cheaper as they came in from SA or Q'Land.

Coles is very small and were thinking of leaving, but the rural community asked them to please stay as competition to Woolies

Can you imagine what would happen if Woolies was the only Supermarket for hundreds of kms? EEK!!

Our other nearest shopping centre is 130kms each way.

I did so want Coles Online! I could cry. Talk about Highway robbery!


30. July 4th 2009 @ 23:03. Lilla Says:
Hi Lis,

Nice to hear from you and . . no good about the lack of delivery up your way.

I also used to live out in the sticks before moving to Queensland a few years ago. Our town only had one pub and a general store that was closed down for three, out of the four years, we lived there. The doctor only came on Wednesday*s, so you just didn*t get sick inbetween either ((laughs)) and the one time our one horse drunk did fall off his Clydesdale on Anzac day (roaring druink as usual), it was cause for great excitment rather than concern, becuase it meant another helicopter rescue! A time when all the people of the village (approx 300 out of a total of 400 of us) would congregate on the sports field in our pyjamas and dressing gowns to watch the helicopter land and take off and talk to people we otherwise ignored or hated!

Our village was miles away there too, about a hour and I also only went in once a week. I hated the supermarket then too, thinking a more normal one would suffice. I tried Aldi*s for a while, but the products are inferior from a chemical additive / health perspective. Our IGA couldn*t compete and was also pushed out the door.

I have boycotted Woolies for years, not that Coles is FAR superior, but just that it is not Woolies. I remember that when I lived in Sydney I used to always shop at Franklins and also Jewels, before I realised all the money from Franklins went to Hong Kong and Jewels was also pushed out the door, or taken over, or whatever they do to kill off the more honest, wholesome (local) competition.

I was spoiled in the organic (home grown) night markets of India and Europe for too many years to ever take to the super sterile, airport *clean,* super terminal velcoity of ease, of todays supermarket, full stop. At least Coles has smaller isles and a less organised air about it, the produce isn*t rotten in the middle like the *Fresh Food People* (and I use the term very lightly) *chuckle* that apple logo should have a worm coming out of it, not a leaf on top!

The only thing I can suggest is that you go about the place and get all your friends and rural community on board and get signatuires from them in a petition, saying that they would all shop with Coles online, if there was a regular delivery run. If there are enough of you on a regular route, you never know. . . Coles may just go for it!?!

Good Luck with it and thanks again for your great comment.

Lilla ..
31. March 29th 2010 @ 21:23. Swan Says:
I've been thinking more about shopping online, however, I must admit that I enjoy slowly walking the aisles creating meals in my imagination. I have learned to not buy compulsory items, and besides, most of it is crap anyway and I choose to nourish my body and mind with good (non-processed) food as much as possible. And the only thing I ever buy at the checkout counter is lint rollers, which I am constantly in need of thanks to my cats.

On another note, Green bags have been in existence for a long while.
'there are the new environmentally green bags, which can save the planet from choking in plastic.
Its just that now its a trend for which the population of the world is becoming fascinated. It is the same with composting, recycling, bike-riding, etc which are now all becoming trendy but have been available forever.

I have a canvas bag which my mother began using for shopping (or the beach or the park or whatever..) when I was young (3-4 years old probably) which I still use today for the same purpose (I am now 26). Plus, before the advent of greed and stupidity en masse, cultures have re-used their belongings for as long as they could. How we lost this ideology for so long is beyond me.

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