The participation guidelines are (deliberately) not very specific about where and how to get food. The aim to get organic food can contradict the aim to get local food in many places. Every year the group has to decide themselves what they want to prioritise.
In 2015, we came up with a list of priorities. If food wasn’t available from a higher-priority source, we would look for it at a lower-priority source:
- Dumpster-diving, foraging (picking fruit, nuts, mushrooms etc.), asking for leftover food at shops, farmer’s markets, bakeries, etc.
- Buying at local farms, small shops, organic shops
- Buying at big supermarkets. While big supermarkets also often sell organic food, we decided to go for the cheapest option instead, as the organic standards for supermarkets are not very high and it is rather a way for them to make profit out of middle-class people’s conscience.
There is usually no consensus during the tour on the topic of whether stealing from supermarkets is acceptable. It is important to understand that stealing from a big supermarket is not the same as stealing from a small shop or farm or from a random person. Many people consider the food that supermarkets sell already stolen (from the workers who produced it but got very little money for it compared to the profit that the supermarket is making, and from the people whose land was stolen to grow it), so stealing it is actually stealing it back. Also, big capitalist companies like supermarkets are very destructive for society and the environment, and paying them supports this destruction. On the other hand, stealing if you don’t really have to might make the supermarket increase surveillance, which might as a consequence make stealing more difficult for those who have no other choice. Also, some people argue that stealing makes items more expensive for everyone or makes supermarkets pay less to producers. It is up to each Biketour to decide on whether they are okay with individuals stealing food and other items for communal consumption.