EVERY TIME YOU BUY FOOD (or anything else), YOU ARE CASTING A VOTE.
...a vote that has more power than you may realise.
Voting for positive change is becoming easier all the time, thanks to a growing number of environmentally & ethically conscientious suppliers. While all of the retailers listed below are excellent choices, it is worthwhile spending some extra time exploring the best option(s) for you. Maybe that means doing all of your shopping exclusively with one supplier, or mixing and matching. There is no right or wrong way. Be it dramatic or subtle, you are being a force for positive change!
Organic Grocery Deliveries
Riverford Organic Farmers
Riverford's passion and enthusiasm for organic farming is contagious. For those who like veg or fruit boxes, they offer a great 'build your own box' option. Their range is extensive and there are many excellent resources to help you get the most out of your produce.
Pros: No delivery charge and you can even visit their farm for a walk, cooking class or a delicious organic meal at their restaurant in Devon.
Cons: Delivery slots are not available and your delivery date is determined by location.
Abel & Cole www.abelandcole.co.uk
I have a lot of positive personal experience with this company. Their on-going commitment to ethical and environmental/sustainability concerns is inspirational and they are always very kind and helpful.
Pros: A very thorough range of high-quality products and recipes (which can also be accessed by non-account holders).
Cons: Delivery slots are not available and your delivery date is determined by location.
Planet Organic offers a wide array of groceries, household & beauty products as well as supplements, etc., making it a convenient one-stop solution. The website is also intuitive and easy to navigate.
Pros: One-stop solution with lots of special offers. Next day delivery and delivery slots available (carbon neutral delivery).
Cons: Chilled food delivery is limited to the London area.
Farmdrop delivers fresh, seasonal and local foods sourced ethically right to your door. They are fairly priced and have an expanding range of products.
Pros: Flexible delivery options (for orders over £60), price match promise & unpacking upon delivery to minimize packaging waste.
Cons: Not exclusively organic and delivery is restricted to the London area. Must be in for delivery.
Although this Devon-based company is a relative newcomer to the scene, they offer a good range of products and have won multiple awards for their meat and meat products.
Pros: They have award-winning meat and a nice range of recipes.
Cons: DPD used for delivery with an associated charge. Delivery dates are not selectable.
UK’s no.1 local food website. Helping people find good, safe, accountable food from local sources (including local farmer's markets). BigBarn’s mission is to reconnect consumers with their local producers, direct, or through local retailers, and encourage local trade. Giving farmers a better deal and consumers fresher, cheaper, accountable food.
Local Ethnic Shops
These shops can be treasure-troves of more obscure, yet highly nutritious vegetables, spices & raw fermented products. Don't be shy to ask questions about how to use new products!
Raw Dairy & Organic Meat
While there are many places you can purchase raw dairy, sustainably raised grass-fed beef and free-range poultry in the UK, the following options are excellent services that have a strong online presence and deliver right to your doorstep. You can also lookup raw milk suppliers on the raw milk suppliers' directory. or do a quick internet search to lookup local producers/suppliers.
Award-winning 100% grass-fed, hormone-free, non-GMO meat and organic raw dairy delivered across the UK. Their passion and quality are truly exceptional. I love ordering their cream to make home-made ice cream, raw milk for the kids, and liver and stock bones to boost the family's nutrition. They also have an education centre and a variety of activities if you can make it to the farm.
Pipers Farm www.pipersfarm.com
Devotion to sustainable farming and a passionate belief in producing wholesome natural food that has been grown with respect for nature. Pipers offer multi-award-winning quality meat and a wide range of exceptional products. While their milk is not raw, it is un-homogenized A2 milk. They blast freeze their meat to preserve freshness and all packaging is 100% recyclable.
Hook & Son
Hook & Son's raw milk and dairy products can be purchased online for home delivery or at various farmers' markets, including Borough market (complete list of markets provided on their website). They also provide information relating to raw milk which is interesting and informative.
-a few top highstreet options-
Unhomogenized whole milk is available at Sainsbury's and Waitrose.
Pasture-raised raw butter from France available at Sainbury's and Waitrose.
Note: Both milk and butter can be frozen, so don't be shy to purchase a little extra when you have the opportunity.
Bulk buying is far the most economical way to shop. Purchasing staple items this way can save money and the stress of continuously replenishing everyday essentials. Make sure to shop around though, as retailers tend to have different prices & offers.
Real Food Source www.realfoodsource.com
With outstanding commitment to providing real food at affordable prices, most products are certified organic. They set themselves apart with a no-compromise approach, using only the very best ingredients (never any fillers, unnatural flavourings, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, etc.) to increase margin or shelf life. Their ethos and marketing approach is inspirational and they also offer recipes, ideas, and tips for using their products!
Forest Whole Foods www.forestwholefoods.co.uk
This company specializes exclusively in high quality organic, wholesale products with an emphasis on affordability. Their ethos is to serve people who want to feed themselves and their families with honest, healthy foods that don’t cost the earth. They are environmentally forward-thinking and have an extensive blog and a great range of recipes.
Good Club www.goodclub.co.uk
Good Club operates as a members-only shop for buying high quality wholesome, ethical, and sustainable foods at wholesale prices. The annual membership fee of £30 (free means-tested memberships also available), includes a free monthly (environmentally friendly) delivery. The savings vastly outweigh the membership fee and is an option definitely worth looking into.
Buy Whole Foods Online www.buywholefoodsonline.co.uk
A family business that has gone from strength to strength. They have a very wide range of well established own-brand products, as well as a healthy range of respected natural/organic brands. Their products are also available on Amazon.
Below are some examples of a few greener shopping options. As with all shopping, don't forget to shop around to get the best deal. Remember that while some retailers might not promote themselves as 'green', they may still have excellent products at very competitive prices (such as stoneware and glass tupperware ranges from IKEA, and high-quality kitchenware bargains from TK Maxx.).
Complete Recipes Boxes
Taking advantage of a recipe box service can certainly save time, hassle and be an excellent way to expand your culinary repertoire and make sure there is a freshly cooked meal on the table. Preparing and sharing meals should be enjoyable and a recipe box can certainly be a great way to discover the joy of exploring new cuisine.
Their vast and exciting range of recipes are sure to make you want to start cooking. They also have a great commitment to sustainability. On the downside, similarly to the other services, the serving upper limit of 4 people might be a bit of a challenge if you are cooking for a big family. Nonetheless, it might be worth choosing several recipes you want to try, so you can get the hang of them and start cooking them on your own!
Mindful Chef www.mindfulchef.com
The company has a focus on plant-based recipes (and the use of high-quality meat when included). All recipes are low in refined sugars, as well as 100% dairy and gluten-free. This may be the perfect service for those who follow a predominantly plant-based, gluten-free and/or dairy-free approach to eating.
Hello Fresh www.hellofresh.co.uk
Hello Fresh offers a good range of recipes and an intuitive website. While the recipe information is not as comprehensive as some other services, it can be a very good starting point to try out new meals by choosing recipes that are not too heavy on the refined carbs (watch out for the white bread and pasta).
Simply Cook www.simplycook.com
This service is a different concept altogether. You receive a set of 4 recipes and the flavours (paste/spice/stock etc) in a letter-sized box. You purchase your own ingredients and follow the simple recipe card to create a delicious meal. This is a good option if you are keen to purchase your own ingredients but want some help exploring new recipes.