For those who want to scrub their own beets and only grill grass-fed beef, we’ve rounded up our favourite forward-thinking vendors. Many are cutting back on packaging and keeping additives off their shelves.
Opened in February, this grocery store at Dundas and Dovercourt encourages customers to bring their own reusable containers for their groceries. Unboxed Market has a zero-waste ethos – produce, meat from the butcher and dry goods are all sold without packaging. Their ready-made meals are served without single-use plastics and customers bring their own reusable mugs for coffee. Even liquids like soap and shampoo are sold in returnable glass bottles.
With three locations across Toronto and two more on the outskirts of the city, Organic Garage specializes in healthy, organic and all-natural food products. Their “Dump It List” names specific ingredients you won’t find in their store like certain artificial sweeteners, flavour enhancers and preservatives. The health food store has also made a commitment to sustainability with biodegradable plastic bags and partnerships that see produce and meat by-products recycled or reused.
This pop-up has body and household products sans single-use packaging. Reusable or recyclable vessels are used in some cases and a container-lending programme covers everything else. Bare Market’s lineup will soon include food and both an online store and permanent location are in the works.
Fresh City Farms
At Downsview Park, Fresh City Farms grows organic produce on two acres of land and in a 3,000-square-foot, solar-powered greenhouse,which uses a rain-catching system for irrigation. They have two stores in the west end and deliver their groceries, meal kits and prepared foods to your door.
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Plant-based protein is the name of the game at this 100 per cent vegan butcher shop. From prepared meals and grocery products to butcher shop items like burgers, sausages and schnitzel, everything offered at Yam Chops is vegan. They also support sustainable living with a collection of reusable sandwich bags, glass straws and eco-friendly household wares.
With grocery items, pre-seasoned meat and ready-made meals, Rowe Farms is committed to local, organic and minimally processed food. Their animals are raised in humane conditions with a low-stress environment, a vegetarian diet and open access to food and water.