Go co-op for bulk organic in Dublin

Zero waste came to the fore in 2018, with more and more options to buy loose wholefoods by weight. In many instances, though, these were only well-suited to people wanting relatively small amounts of the available products. For those wanting bulk quantities – such as organic flour for home-baking – the cost per kilo of this approach was its biggest draw-back. Buying several kilos of something ought to bring both an economic and environmental saving – less cost, less overall packaging. Yet ‘wholesale’ bulk purchasing is generally off-limits for ordinary households… although two food co-ops in the city are addressing this.

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Buying with minimal waste

Tomorrow, I’ll be setting out with an assortment of bags and containers to fill with organic wholefoods – nuts, seeds, pulses, rice and more. Yet, my destination won’t be a zero waste shop or stall, but rather a low-key warehouse in Dublin’s North Inner City. There, a ‘pop-up’ co-op will spring into action to allocate pre-ordered deliveries.

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Joining the zero waste club?

As today’s Irish Times highlights, a wave of Zero Waste shops and initiatives have sprouted around Ireland and Britain over the past two years, helped by popular campaigns against single-use plastics and a healthy media appetite for the topic. While many of the new initiatives have taken the form of small retail outlets, the bulk buying club model has also been adopted by those looking to go packaging-free, as with London’s Naked Larder.

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The problem with health food shops

I’m always glad that there are small, independent shops that sell wholefoods. The best of them steer clear of the temptation to pack their shelves with high-profit vitamins and supplements, with owners genuinely believing that good wholesome food is the best medicine.

But there’s a problem, still – one that the bulk buying club approach can fix. Continue reading “The problem with health food shops”