Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bulk Shopping

I had a great time shopping for food today. I feel like I am getting closer to my goal of eliminating packaging from what we buy... and it's inspiring! Here is a picture of my youngest posing with all of the stuff that I bought today that required no new packaging:
What you see here: bacon, sugar, shredded coconut, black olives, corn grits, almonds, popcorn, brown rice, cashews, dish soap, canola oil, mushrooms, lettuce, cukes, apples, kiwis, limes, oranges and coffee (in the charlie brown christmas bag). 

And while I'm thinking of it, here is our delicious cheese score from the farmers market yesterday, I can't remember what it's called, but it's a delicious one year old sheep cheese of some sort:

The benefits of buying in bulk are great. You can save money and limit the packaging all at once.
Here are some great facts about bulk buying:

Bulk Food Facts

FACT: Bulk foods provide a savings to the consumer of 30% to 60%. Packaging and promotion can be a significant contributor to food cost.
FACT: Bulk goods require less overall transportation to deliver to consumers. Bulk foods do not require the packaging components that must be produced and transported prior to being filled. And the transportation of bulk product to retailers is efficient because it can be packed more densely on a truck.
FACT: The manufacture of paper and cardboard pulls trees from our forests, dumps contaminated water into our streams and uses enormous amounts of energy resulting in grotesque levels of CO2 emissions pumped into our atmosphere.
FACT: Food packaging may limit a consumer’s ability to buy in quantities desired which can result in food surplus and ultimately waste.
FACT: Although most natural food companies sell their food products in recyclable packaging, there are still some food companies that use non-recyclable materials. And some consumers choose not to recycle which creates additional burden in our country's landfills.
FACT: Packaging often limits a consumer’s ability to actually see the product they are buying.
FACT: In a grocery store, packaged products require more labor to ensure fresh product. Shelves must constantly be rearranged.
FACT: With bulk, product density at the store level can be significantly higher. So stores can provide a wider variety of foods in the same space.

Here  is some more interesting information about food packaging.

One more thing that I can't help but share - I made another fantastic gluten free pizza for us for dinner tonight. This one had fresh mozzarella, sauteed mushrooms, broccoli, black olives and bacon... mmmmm.

The gluten free thing for Lucas has been a bit of a challenge... mostly because of packaging. This delicious millet flax pizza crust is quite fantastic - the only issue is the plastic wrapper that it comes in. I am going to have to start making this crust from scratch if I want to avoid the plastic... but meanwhile, it's part of the very minimal packaged products that I am buying. Almost everything else, however, was purchased without packaging (with exception to the pizza sauce... for now).

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