While big supermarket chains tend to provide the ultimate convenience—avocados year-round, for example, and many thousands of other individually packaged treats at your fingertips and all under the one roof—their eco-friendly credentials can be a weight on your conscience.
We live in a time when little changes do make a difference and the great news is, Sydney has a whole lot of supermarket alternatives that’ll have you trimming your carbon footprint in favour of more sustainable (and more flavourful) food.
Grab your jars, paper bags and reusable shoppers—here are Sydney’s very best bulk buy food stores.
These guys are true heroes of the environment, championing ethical, organic, locally produced, cruelty-free and minimal waste food from their Newtown shop since 1981. Alfalfa House is a not-for-profit food cooperative, but you don’t have to be a member to shop (if you do decide to join, you’ll get a 10% discount on your groceries, and 25% discount if you volunteer). Head here for a solid selection of carefully sourced groceries, farmer direct organic, biodynamic and spray-free fruit and vegetables. You’ll also find planet-friendly personal and household products.
University Of Sydney Food Co-Op
While the University of Sydney Food Co-Op is run by uni students, membership is open to anyone (you just have to join the student-run USU) and anyone can pop in and shop. You’ll be able to grab low-cost ethically-produced and packaged wholefoods, cruelty-free, vegan and organic food, and genetically modified free foods. The co-op also offers a weekly fruit and veg box at a super affordable price (the small box is $16 for non-members) and you can throw in a loaf of super tasty sprouted bread from Pure Life Bakery for $8.
Flame Tree Community Co-Op
Located in one of the prettiest coastal spots in NSW, Flame Tree Community Co-Op sources fruit and veg from local farmers with as little packaging as possible. You’ll find organic milke from Country Valley in nearby Picton, Randall organic rice from Griffith in Central NSW, honey and beeswax from Rockley, vanilla essence from Port Douglas, apples and stone fruit from Glenbernie Orchard in Darkes Forest and organic seasonal fruit and vegetables from Moonacres Farm in Fitzroy Falls.
Honest To Goodness
Honest To Goodness is an online wholefoods retailer—but Sydney is extra lucky with access to their BYO box showroom in Alexandria. Head here for over 120 foods in bulk bins and a range of jars to purchase too. In store, you'll also find Southern Highlands organic eggs, organic kombucha and fresh organic sourdough from the Bread And Butter Project on Fridays and Saturdays.
And while visiting bulk food stores might be essential right now, show your support to Sydney's hospitality industry by ordering home delivery or take out from this list.
Image credit: Alexandr Podvalny