“Wow, so much food!” Floris marvels when we enter the large Carrefour supermarket in Tahiti. After seven months of mini-markets on small island communities, this oversized branch of the French multinational makes quite an impression on us. There is a wide selection of cheeses, meats, wines, and countless other delicacies. “Tahiti is indeed the land of plenty,” Ivar grins, referring to the immense offer of food that the largest and most important island in French Polynesia boasts.
We can’t resist the temptation and buy French cheese, American nacho chips, and a large jar of organic chocolate spread (free of rainforest-destroying palm oil). In the produce department we find locally grown pineapples, cucumber, carrots, and eggplant. Sadly, almost the entire product range in the rest of the store is imported. As Tahiti is a long way from everywhere, getting these products here causes significant transport emissions. We also wonder what the social consequences are of our purchasing these goodies. We decide to investigate.