A trip to Community Natural Foods

Once a week, or once every two weeks depending on how many nights we're home for dinner, we go on grocery shopping trips to buy perishables. Usually this consists of fruit for week-day breakfasts and lunches, greens and vegetables for dinners, milk, and cheese. I used to pick up yogurt as well, but now that I'm making my own, I just buy extra milk.

It doesn't seem to matter what grocery store you go to, plastic is everywhere. Pretty much everything processed (cookies, crackers, candy, hot dogs, pasta, cereal) is wrapped in plastic, or in plastic inside a cardboard box. You might as well avoid the whole inside portion of the grocery store if you're trying to avoid waste. Incidentally, you will also avoid a lot of processed food that way.

You'd think you could get by pretty easily in the produce and bakery sections, but there's huge amount of packaging there too. Bagged carrots, lettuce, apples, and tomatoes. Even though most grocery stores have their own bakeries, it is still really hard to find a loaf of bread that isn't wrapped in a plastic bag. Anyways, you get the point.

So on a trip to Community Natural Foods, I made a point of picking up only un-wrapped foods. Because I don't really like putting my wet lettuce on the check-out conveyor belt, I put it in some cotton bulk bags. Here's what I left with.

Ok, so the pepper mill didn't come from CNF, that was a garage-sale gift from my sister-in-law (cool huh?). I was pretty happy with these purchases, although I had two issues with the bulk pasta. First of all, $1.10/100grams for dried pasta is just a little too much for our pasta habits. I fully support buying organic where every possible, and I don't mean that in the smug way of people who actually don't care about organics at all. But our household eats quite a bit of pasta, so it's just not going to work for us. The second issue, especially for something as expensive as this pasta, is that these bulk bags are too heavy. At this price, the weight of the bags themselves is costing me roughly $0.22.

Stayed tuned for a follow-up post on that in the future!

Do you try to avoid those plastic produce bags? What do you use instead?


  1. Have you ever tried shopping from SPUD? They are organic and as local as you can get and your food comes in a big bin that they pick up at your next delivery. Most produce comes in a paper bag if wrapped at all. Delivery is free over 25$.

    1. Yeah, I've used SPUD before. Not to my home but to a business location. We've debated on and off about using it at home. The only thing that stops us really are some of the prices. It's a very attractive idea though.


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