New Beginnings Therapy

January 2022: Mental Health and Nutrition: What are the links?

New Beginnings Therapy's Keyword for January 2022 = Collaboration

January 2022 is about collaboration so two interviews/articles with prominent experts in the field of nutrition and mental health

In alphabetical order and link in article's title:

Article with Dana Knight Nutritionist and Homeotoxicologist

Article with Natascha Van Zyl Behaviour Change Practitioner/Naturopath/Academic/Motivational Speaker

I will aim to present results of a short survey on main UK supermarkets including Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsburys on sustainable food practices - information is going to be collected in store and from available printed information.

It is second of the month (2nd of January 2022) and after a thorough research on above names' corporate websites and sustainability pledges, it is quite clear that Marks & Spencer (or M&S as it is known), states that they do not self-identify as a supermarket - not even as a high-end supermarket. M&S self-identify as a food specialist:


We are a food specialist, not a supermarket. Our products are made exclusively for M&S and this unique position means they are not comparable with the rest of the market. However, we don’t own any farms or factories or make the products that are sold in our stores. Our reputation for quality, innovation and sustainability is built on excellent long term relationships with our suppliers .

 (Supporting our Food Supply Chain, 2022) Marks & Spencer, 2021

As such, I cannot refer to a comparable survey or promote a chain of food specialist (M&S) and comment on sustainable food practices where would be  very little to absolutely nothing that M&S can do as a direct impact on factors of sustainability /what I was intending to research. Perhaps there is a way to make further reference to M&S in a future blog where I will, in fact, discuss London's Main Food Markets (local sustenance) and food suppliers. It is asserted (and published) by M&S coupled with practices observed in M&S stores, that there is only an indirect contribution and outstanding limits on several aspects of what sustainability really involves for M&S.

However, not to disappoint, there is an interesting article on sustainability and high-end supermarkets* by Jones and Wilson (2021) in Metro from October 2021 and it can be found here.

Time to Shelve: How M&S compares to Waitrose when it comes to going green  2021)

Excluding M&S from my intended brief survey/research it is not necessarily a problem, however, my preliminary findings are quite extraordinary in itself and I do not need to do/survey anything more on this topic. My findings clearly indicate that each of the above named supermarkets (excluding M&S) have clearly defined mission statements related to ethical and sustainability practices and a detailed recognition and preoccupation with sustainable forms of delivery of services. The element of surprise is that there is almost a tacit collaboration between all above named rather than a competitive market strategy (except for M&S), on that each individual supermarket highlights a specific goal in sustainability -  that at first read may differ from what all other supermarkets target (main aim), but, in the very fact, are all very much related. Below: 

WAITROSE - There is so much that Waitrose & Partners are working on, but are (for purpose of this article) clear standout initiatives:

1. Emphasis on plastic reduction and enabling/encouraging collaboration with their customers though bring your own and reducing packaging for products in store (unpacking);

2. Moving timeline of reducing plastic with two years from 2025 to 2023 - there is much hope that such progress coupled with strategic practices may, in fact, reduce this timeline even further during 2022. (Waitrose & Partners, n.d.)

A full detailed report on sustainability from WAITROSE here

TESCO - Has a long standing framework known as "Every little helps" and it is based on 4Ps - People, Product, Planet and Places.

Tesco's framework reads as a mission statement - encompassing aspects beyond a main target point - and without simplifying such a framework, what stands out (for me, for the purpose of this article in comparable targeted areas of sustainability) is the following:

1. Tesco aims for an all-electric home delivery fleet. Their mission statement can be found here - my hope is that TESCO can bring forward their timeline on net zero from 2028 with a significant number - to perhaps 2023 - and extend such an all-electric home delivery fleet to all areas of delivery; if Glasgow was a pilot people/product/planet/places - this needs to, now, be rolled on everywhere - like it states here

Tesco's framework can be read here


Sainsburys' sustainability plan of BETTER FOR YOU, what stands out is an attempt of engagement with the customer in recommending sustainable and healthier options  - and the combination of the two terms may feel almost a recommended incentive - but it comes from a place of good (if indeed the focus is on what it's presented):

"Key achievements

1st ranking in the Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI)

10% of protein and dairy tonnage sold in 2019/20 was from plant-based choices

Over 20% reduction of the amount of sugar across soft drinks, ice cream, cereals and more since 2015

97% of our own-brand products meet Public Health England's salt reduction target." ( n.d.)

A full sustainability programme for Sainsburys can be read  here

The emphasis on health and its format of raising awareness, are rather helpful statements. My only point of wonder is timeline presented by Sainsburys -  indicates a potential achievement for all by 2040 - it is not pessimism that questions such a vastly period of time.

There are two crucial aspects that I have not mentioned in relation to my selection of named supermarkets - accessibility and affordability  - in terms of products and value (price) combined with quality and location. This is not an oversight/lack of awareness: I am absolutely aware of such differences, as I am aware of a cultural understanding - consumer attachment* to a specific brand i.e. its name and roots within the community; Another factor necessary to mention is that, my order of presenting Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsburys is completely random and not a 1,2,3 preference. If anything, the readers are more likely to remember 1 and 3 and not 2 in any reading order. So my presentation is completely random, hence my choice of different aspects of sustainability of each supermarket are the only criteria worth noting.

At any rate, all in all, we hope the above is an interesting summary of printed published information of selected supermarkets* - and please do account that all are only brief preliminary findings and should not be conceived beyond a point of raising awareness and/or curiosity. 


Jones, H. and Wilson, C., 2021. Time To Shelve: How M&S compares to Waitrose when it comes to going green. [online] Metro. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 December 2021].

Pastötter, B. and Bäuml, K., 2014. Retrieval practice enhances new learning: the forward effect of testing. Frontiers in Psychology, [online] 5. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 January 2022].

Roberts, G., n.d. Tesco selects EO Charging to power its fleet of electric vans. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 December 2021].

Simundic, A., 2013. Bias in research. Biochemia Medica, pp.12-15.

Supporting our Food Supply Chain. 2022. Supporting our Food Supply Chain. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 December 2021].

Sainsburys ( n.d. )Healthy diets. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 December 2021].

Taherdoost, Hamed, Sampling Methods in Research Methodology; How to Choose a Sampling Technique for Research (April 10, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Tesco Plc., n.d. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 December 2021].

Tesco Plc, n.d. Little Helps Plan. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 December 2021]. n.d. Waitrose & Partners. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 30 December 2021].