Category Archives: groceries

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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More on Tetra Paks

I was thinking more about my complaints of the tetra pak being less recyclable with the little plastic spout because Tetra pack recycling is a bit of a joke anyhow. I knew that I guess my selective amnesia kicked in to allow me the convenience of buying juice and rice milk. Perhaps my next action should be petitioning the companies to put their products in glass, and even better to have a deposit return system like Harmony Organic Dairy, Organic Meadow or Pine Hedge Farms. Or I could go back to making my own (in my spare time-ha ha ha).

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Happy for no reason- just in happy

The title is a quote from some “English” stationary I got in Korea. I do have a reason for being in happy though- free chocolate and peaches!
I get Mama Earth Organic delivery and have been really happy with them. They try really hard to avoid packaging and the service (and food) is great. I always tip the driver and if I can’t, I leave baking in the box for her. I also use reused envelopes or Aurora’s drawings to put the money in and sometimes I include little notes or pamphlets about projects I’m working on.
This week, along with our delivery was a complimentary (compostable) bag of peaches and apricots and an amazing organic chocolate bar. They left a little note saying thanks for being a good customer and for doing this blog and for the goodies and tips. Awwww. I actually cried. Aurora immediately grabbed and ate one of the peaches.I loooove chocolate-in fact most of you probably know I am totally addicted to it. It was such a nice touch. I also love peaches and wish they were in season for longer.
PS If you are in the Toronto area and decide to sign up with Mama Earth, drop my name and I will get a discount.

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Home Grown Revolution

There’s a line in a Modest Mouse song that is something like ” I sound the same when I’m happy and I’m sad” that’s always really resonated with me. I just watched Home Grown Revolution and cried with joy. I would love to meet this family. The one thing I noticed was that they do wrap their veggies in plastic, but it’s not a criticism at all because they are doing so many amazing things. I can’t express my excitement. Just watch or go to the website. Oh I love these people! WHEEEEEEE!

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Filed under alternative housing, environmental news, gardening, groceries, inspiration

The chocolate lover’s delimma

I’ve been reading the The Omnivore’s Dilemma for way too long now- it’s amazing how hard is has been to find time to read. I’ve been really enjoying it and would recommend it to everyone. It’s really gotten me thinking even more about food. I don’t agree with his chapter on animal rights- it’s a bit strange, but he has a lot of other good points.
Today I was in the bulk food store about to buy bulk Skor bars with my own bag, when I found myself wondering, “is it better to buy package free chocolate made with cocoa grown by underpaid workers in horrible conditions, grown with pesticides, and profiting a company who has done countless terrible things to people and animals; or to buy organic fair trade chocolate in a wrapper? The other problem is the organic fair trade chocolate (Green and Blacks) is owned by Nestle, who is the worst of the worst as far as morals go.
I bought the Green and Blacks but afterward, wished I had the bulk skors. The best thing to do would be to by organic (not factory organic, but the old sense of the word), fair trade local chocolate, which does exist. Chocosol is at the Wychwood farmers market and Dufferin grove and they are an amazing couple of young lads who work with families in Mexico, growing the cocoa and roasting it with solar and bicycle power. The problem is that I like their chocolate in theory but I always crave the bad stuff. It’s somehow too wholesome- not quite sweet enough. I like the samples, but when I buy a whole bar (wheel actually), it sits in my freezer as I run to the store for Skor. Perhaps I should try to buy cocoa from them and experiment with making my own.
OK so I just tried to research the wrong doings of Hershey, assuming they would be similar to NESTLE, and the first thing I found is this. If there is any truth to it, I should definitely go for the bulk SKors! I also found these articles which explain why I thought they had done wrong- they had but are trying to clean up their act. I think the best is to try and find something at Chocsol that I like or can make into something I like because I can talk directly to the owners of the company and trust that they are telling me the truth, where as I can’t be sure about a huge corporation.

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More food please!

Actually I have lots of gorgeous food-everything yummy seems to be in season here right now. I just wanted to post about food again and couldn’t think of a clever title.
We haven’t bought salad dressings in years, since we learned how easy it was to make them-and since we moved away from Loblaws. For some reason every time I go in there I come out with sauces and dressings-they make them look so good. Anyhow, we have recently become hooked on a do-it yourself (trash free) dressing from THE COMPLETE BOOK OF RAW FOOD.
Ceasar dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
We add water to make it a bit smoother and “Creamier”
I would suggest making at least a double batch. It is so yummy that I eat it on toast!
I also wanted to update about Mother Earth organic delivery. I am more than pleased with them. It is a family run business and they are very sweet. I haven’t received any packaging other than one paper bag. Oh and the delivery driver was so blown away that I had left a tip that he left a nice little thank you note! The only thing that would make it better is if it was all delivered on bicycles-anyone need a business idea?

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What’s happening in TO.

It’s Harvest Season! MMMMMMMM. There are two Harvest festivals in Toronto I think you should know about. I probably won’t make it to either, as we are awaiting the arrival of the baby and they fall exactly on the due date, but I think they will be good enviro fun!

The first is at Colborne Lodge in High Park. You can buy old fashioned preserves, and do all sorts of activities or watch people in the old house (19th century) do all sorts of activities, many of which are cooking that you can taste the product of. That’s on September 29th.

The second is at Greenest City. I think I’ve talked about them before. They are an awesome organization that trains young people how to involve the community and start various environmental programs. One of their projects was the HOPE community garden. Here’s the invite to their festival.

Dear all,

As the summer winds down with every wistful sunset — the snap of a breeze getting chillier everyday — and the looming fall peers from within every tree, we here at Greenest City would like to invite you to an occasion of great merriness and gratitude. As you are aware, our beautiful HOPE Community Garden has been resoundingly successful from the bounties upon bounties of lush produce that we have managed to procure. On Sunday, Sept. 30, we will be hosting a festival that celebrates not only the arrival of the harvesting season, but also the memories, joys and the connections that this garden has fostered. And we would like to invite you as well, in celebrating and thanking the garden and all the people involved; through music, food, games and entertainment for all ages.

What: Parkdale HOPE Community Garden Harvest Festival
When: Sunday, Sept. 30 from noon till 3pm
Where: Masaryk Park, beside the garden, on 220 Cowan Avenue.
For: Everyone!

I will try to update Trashless Toronto tonight to include the Linux Cafe on Harbord St. They are trying to Green their cafe so they are charging a 25% take out fee on disposables. They are also open to suggestions on Greening their cafe, so feel free to send them along.

In my own life, everything is about the baby. He/she hasn’t arrived yet, but could any day now. Today I took some gift money to Grass Roots and bought Bamboozle diapers as well as Sage Mama Hermit diapers, some Wipe Solution and a few organic cloth wipes. We are almost ready. Oh! I just discovered I could have saved money if I had ordered the Sage Mama diapers from the internet, but Grass Roots is a good company to support so I don’t mind too much.

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