Friday, January 15, 2010

More bulk bin options in NYC

Most Americans have gotten the idea that they should have and use re-usable grocery bags. The next step is a big one-- getting everyone to seek out food with less packaging. I checked out the new Whole Foods store on the Upper West Side last week and was encouraged to see that it has a bulk section. I think it is the first Whole Foods in NYC to have one- does anyone know if others in the area do? They even had a big sign encouraging customers to bring in their own containers, which is awesome!

Most natural or organic food stores have bulk sections. A couple examples are Westerly Natural Market and Integral Yoga's food store.

The biggest and most heavily used bulk section I've seen is still upstairs at the Upper West Side Fairway (do the Harlem or Redhook Fairways have bulk sections?) Although the UWS Whole Foods might give it some competition.

My new favorite came about from a commenter on this blog! 4th Street Food Co-op. It is a pretty tiny place, with most of the space dedicated to bulk food items. They have phased out plastic bags entirely, in favor of cloth and biobags. And they have bulk items not found other places, like pasta, oils, vinegars, soaps and shampoos, and spices. I haven't joined as a member yet, but I'm thinking about it.

Do you buy food items from bulk sections to avoid packaging? Do you bring your own bags and containers? Where do you do your shopping?


The Green Cat said...

You know I just realized that I'll cart my plastics all the way to Park Slope for recycling but I was going to say the 4th St Coop is "too far" for me to go shopping. Yea--I just smacked myself in the head over that. I need to start buying bulk. Since I'm nearly out of pasta, I thin that will be my first bulk buy. Thanks for the round up on options!

Yvo said...

Whole Foods in TriBeCa was the first to have the bulk bins (they also have bulk salt and even sugar, I think - different kinds). I was going there a lot right before the UWS opened, for my quinoa...
(I found this post by Googling to find out if the UWS location has bulk bins, thanks!)

Anonymous said...

Fairways in the Bronx has bulk at the entrance. Don't remember seeing that in Harlem. If you can make it to WF in Yonkers, they have an extensive bulk section. In NYC East Village, 165 1st Ave, 'Commodities' has bulk. Try also Kalustany's and Little India in general.
I am looking for good and affordable sources like the 4th Ave co-op in Westchester, NY