By Nutritionist, Melissa Fine.
Ever thought about how much food you end up throwing out on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis?
The average Australian household generates 1.5 tonnes of waste annually according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This adds up to 12.4 million tonnes overall, with organic waste (which includes food) comprising 47%, and paper, 23% of waste generated. If you’re tired of throwing out half-full bags of slimy spinach, weevil-infested flour and boxes of stale cereal, you may want to look into buying your groceries from a bulk food store.
With several new bulk food stores popping up in Australia, here’s a breakdown of what you and the environment can reap from buying in bulk:
1. You’ll cut down on the amount of food you waste. One principle of bulk food stores is to purchase as much or as little as you need for the week, explains Brazilian-born Caique Ponzoni, owner and founder of Naked Foods which sells bulk organic and health food in Bondi Junction. “I always had a dream to open a bulk food shop”, he says.
Growing up in Brazil, Ponzoni watched his grandmother incorporate ingredients from the vegetable patch in the back garden, and farmers markets, into her daily cooking. Ponzoni, who starts his mornings with a green juice and makes sure to eat a salad every day, does much the same.
2. It’s more eco-friendly Especially when considering the ABS statistic that between 2009 and 2010, 6.6 million tonnes of organic waste ended up in landfill; also disposed to landfill were 1.9 million tonnes and 0.5 million tonnes of glass and paper respectively.
Nothing is pre-packaged at a bulk food store. At Naked Foods, customers dispense each bulk-binned food product into a brown paper bag, “the most sustainable way to go”, says Caique. He laughs, “I wish we didn’t have to use any packaging so we could be 100% naked!”
3. You’ll eat foods at their freshest “When you buy in bulk you get as fresh as you can possibly get”, Caique says. “When you get packaged food, you have no idea how long the product’s been sitting on the shelf”. Naked Foods has a turnover of about six tonnes of product each month.
4. You’ll save money As long as you’re organised, have some recipes in mind, stick to your shopping list for the week ahead, and never walk into a bulk food store hungry! You know that new recipe you want to try that calls for a quarter cup of this and half a cup of that? Well you can get just that at bulk food store, so you won’t waste money on that leftover kilo of almond meal collecting dust in the pantry.
5. You’ll be purchasing real food Walk into a bulk food store and the majority of what you see will be wholesome, natural and minimally processed ingredients. Think organic raw nut and seed mixes, sundried fruit and every legume and wholegrain you can think of. There’s no junk food isle here.
Naked Foods is an online store, a retailer and a wholesaler of certified organic foods and natural foods. At Naked Foods they believe foods should be consumed as close as possible to the way they are produced in nature. Visit www.nakedfoods.com.au