Tag Archives: food for all

Junk Free January – the first three days

3 days into our challenge of making it through the month without packaging, and I’m settling into new ways of shopping and cooking.

After a cupboard clear out, I set about stocking up on food that came loose. Finding Food For All in Stoke Newington was a great start – they provided rice, lentils, and teas (rose buds, lemon verbena and chamomile so far), along with some clay that I’m hoping to use for a face mask at some point.

Finding oil was the most difficult part. After just 2 days I was getting a bit glum about the prospect of a month of boiled/ steamed/ baked food, but lo! Mother Earth in Newington Green, which I just found today, have very nice olive oil from a barrel, and let you use your own bottle. They also sell lots of loose whole foods including red lentils, so I can make dhal, and powders such as cocoa ­čÖé

It’s funny how important herbs and spices have become – after 2┬ádays of plain rice & lentils.

In the bathroom, Lush’s solid shampoo and conditioner are doing a good job so far,┬áand┬ánormal sewing thread is just about cutting it as dental floss. Now I’ve got olive oil I might try using that as a night moisturiser if my skin gets really dry. I also have a stack of lush pots, a mission for next week is to see if I can get anything like moisturiser from them as a refill.

I’ve had to cheat on toothpaste, using the next best option of Lush’s pill-shaped ‘toothy tabs’ which come in a small cardboard box, and loo roll, but the very helpful assistant at Mother Earth pointed me to a market which might sell loose bicarb of soda, and loo roll too.

This set of toothpaste recipes┬áon the Mass Report site look brilliant (not convinced about the dangers of fluoride but still the article is useful)… and then there’s a chocolate toothpaste recipe on the living traditionally site. Both use coconut oil – I wonder if I can get hold of loose coconut oil too.

Food for All is an amazing whole foods refill shop

Tomorrow, we start our challenge – making it through January without buying anything with packaging, be it plastic or paper. Yesterday, I tried finding ‘refill shops’ – shops that sell loose goods, in North London.

There were some disappointments. Unpackaged, a shop dedicated to package-free goods, is currently closed down. Borough Wines, which I’d heard sold olive oil refills,┬áno longer does this – apparently their supplier put up the price. The┬áperson I spoke to didn’t rule out stocking it again, I hope they do… but it might be too late for our challenge. Whole Foods Market in Stoke Newington only provides refills for Ecover products, and you have to ask at the till for this – pretty poor, given its name.

The hero of the day was Food for All, on Cazenove Road next to┬áStoke Newington railway station. The last shop on my search, I was pretty glum by the time I got here, but cheered up right away. This small independent shop has a friendly atmosphere, good ethics, good prices, and a huge range of loose goods – all the herbs, spices and teas you can think of and more, meusli, different kinds of rice, lentils, etc. I’ll pretty much be shopping here during January and beyond ­čÖé