I’ve been shopping at Organicz4U for over a year, but for some reason it hadn’t occurred to me that they sold food in bulk. Yes, their bins were right in front of my eyes, but I hadn’t looked inside nor had I thought to ask about it until last night. I have also found a number of bulk shops for rice, millets, legumes, but these are not organic shops. It’s great to see these things together as they should be.
Parvez, the shop’s owner, is quite thoughtful about what he sells. He knows his suppliers and tries to do his best to have less packaging. Of course, the challenge is that most companies, even small farmers, have shifted to plastics. The only organic olive oil–or any oil for that matter–that comes in a glass jar now is olive oil. All the other producers have shifted to PET bottles. But here’s the catch: the olive oil comes in thermacoil. So as consumers seeking zero waste solutions, we really do need to think beyond the packaging we see on the shelves.
I also learned that in order to prevent worms from colonising one’s rice and pulses, you need to add curry leaves. Parvez has had success with this strategy so he’s able to keep the bulk products clean. He also stocks small cloth bags for bulk products and produce as well as larger tote bags for the rest of your groceries.
Even better, I found out that there is a Zero Waste Bangalore group on Facebook. There is also an app on Zero Waste Home to help you locate where there are Zero Waste shops are near you. There didn’t seem to be any in India when I logged on today, but I added Organicz4U and hopefully others will soon follow. You can also pitch in if you know where to find bulk items elsewhere in India!