Grocery Delivery

I’ve been working on a Trashless Kingston page and wondering whether or not to include organic grocery delivery services. There are many.  Some try to be mostly local and all claim to be making a smaller impact on the earth.  Even David Suzuki talks  about the benefit.  I agree to some extent. If everyone usually drives to the grocery store alone, a delivery truck doing a whole route would be better. Plus the food is better for you and for the environment. But if you are someone who already walks or rides a bike to the farmers market to get your groceries-it may not be the best solution except in the winter.

My main beef (uhh carrot?) with these services  is they are not conducive to being Trash Free (neither is David Suzuki though- his daughter is constantly pestering him about using Styrofoam coffee cups” bring a reusable mug Dad, come on!”) For the winter in Toronto, we had Front Door Organics. We liked them a lot at first and then it just ended up being too much surprise packaging (onion bags, carrot bags, sprouts in plastic clam shells )and they changed from being a friendly little company to a big mean company who left threatening emails if you forgot to put your box out, so we stopped. Then we went to Mama Earth organics who we loved even more. They were all the sweetest people on earth and the food was good. They tried really hard to be garbage free, and they gave me free chocolate and goodies because I left baking and notes in the box. I was sad to move away from them…. but there was still garbage created now and then.

Now we are in Kingston and we have started getting Desert Lake Gardens delivery. We got Styrofoam in the first batch, and this time the crackers I ordered come in a plastic wrap over cardboard and then inside that each 6 crackers is in plastic. I wish they had to say on the website exactly what the packaging was. On that note I wish packages is the store had to say on the package what the packing is (how much you can’t see, what the materials are etc. And again on that note (laaaaaa) why can manufacturers get away with labels like <natural butter flavour, and spices” What is that exactly? And why is there no label on grocery store bakery bread? I am very suspicious of it and wish we could make our own bread all the time. We have been trying but sometimes, like tonight, we just run out of time, so I pick up a loaf (in a plastic bag) and wonder, what the heck are we eating?
Getting back to the discussion (rant?) about grocery delivery services,
I realize It’s really hard to run a low impact business. If you look at it as a whole, they are doing really well. The soil and air are better for having grown organic. Our bodies are better for eating it. There is less packaging than you would have in a grocery store situation. They are focusing on local farmers as much as possible and cutting down carbon emissions by driving less. BUT if you focus on just garbage like we did for this project, delivery services fall short (so does focusing on just one thing, I admit). They are just not garbage free. I think the best bet would be a CSA but most of those don’t happen in the winter and that’s when we would need it. In the spring summer and fall, I can walk to the farmer’s market. It’s an enjoyable ritual for Aurora and I We can always see exactly what we are getting and talk to the farmers about it. Plus we can play in the fountain and buy a cookie. I think this year will be especially fun because now Aurora likes to ask what things are “this is?”

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8 Comments

Filed under groceries, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Grocery Delivery

  1. Kate

    Ooh, Trashless Kingston page – I love it – Tell me more about this idea! So often I set out and am so excited to find something, or frustrated NOT to find something, and I think sometimes I’m certainly reinventing the wheel, and sometimes wish I could share the info/product/organization I’ve found, so someone else doesn’t have to do the legwork… Let me know if there’s anything I can do to contribute – I’m a good collaborator. Maybe we’d could get together and talk trash. Life is a bit calmer these days, although I’m working a bit in January, and we seem to be brewing some stomach flu right now… But it will pass…

  2. YES I would love a collaborator. It would be a list of businesses/sellers of all items with out garbage or even those who are willing to bend rules for you a bit. I would love to have a map, like the Trashless Toronto one. Call me so we can get together soon. PS Are you a winter cyclist? I thought maybe I saw you the other day.

  3. Kate

    Damn, I thought I signed up so I’d get an email when someone responded here… Just saw this. So, maybe we’ll see you tomorrow at Robert Meek, but let’s try to plan a sit-down sometime soon over tea/coffee/what-have-you. I hardly work at all, but the stars have aligned to bring me a four-day work week next week. Maybe the week after? What do you and Aurora do with your days? Maybe a daytime thing? Actually this coming week, Leo and I could do Wed. or Fri. morning. After that, Thursday, Feb. 4th (health-willing) both kids are in school, so I’m uber-free, and Leo and I are free Wed. Feb. 3rd in the morning, and Fri. Feb. 5th in the afternoon. There’s a starting point, anyway – any of these times work for you?

    I wish I could say I’m a winter cyclist, but I’m not. I have been known to hit the spin bikes at the gym, but I’m not quite hardy enough to bike outside in the cold/ice/snow.

  4. Hello. It’s been ages since I popped by but it’s great to see the blog still going after all this time. I had my groceries delivered for the first time in ages this week and I was completely aghast at the number of plastic bags they delivered.

  5. natalia

    what about a good food box (GFB)?
    where u pick up the box from somewhere in your neighbourhood. one recently started up close to me in toronto where the other nearest one would have been extremely difficult to bike to in the winter as a single mom of a toddler. now i just haul over with our wagon and get great, mostly local, organic produce every other week!

    to be honest, there is a fair amount of packaging… do u have any experience? what is your opinion? i guess ill have to write an email to foodshare right now!
    love the blog xo

    • I did that in Regina, but I have been trying really hard to do organic and local and I thought the GFB wasn’t. Now I know better-I’ll check into it here. Thanks, Natalia

      • natalia

        hey there!
        to be honest, this week there was very little waste compared to what i have found in the past. there was the standard (plastic) bagged carrots and 3 paper bags for the potatoes, sweet potatoes and pears. it seems a waste of resources to use these brown paper bags but i suppose they dont go in the trash but can be vermibinned or composted.
        i get a small organic box for 22$, every two weeks, and it makes going organic much easier!
        i hope u find something!

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