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I am so discouraged. I found this bulk foods store that I was super excited about. I made myself some sweet cotton bulk bags and headed out to check out the store. They had tons of great things, so I bought a few things with plans to go back. When I got home, my chocolate covered pretzels were stale, and my popcorn kernels had bugs in it. Live bugs and casings. I am totally turned off and grossed out by the whole experience. I called the store and talked to the manager, but I had a hard time understanding him. I don’t really want to go back. I’m also really frustrated that bulk bin shopping is more expensive than buying packaged. Even within Whole Foods, comparing the prices of products in the bulk bins to their packaged counterparts, the bulk bins are more. Why is that? It is hard to pay 4 times the price for fill-your-own olive oil versus Costco’s giant plastic bottle. Even the glass 365 bottle at Whole Foods is half the price of the fill-your-own. Almonds are $4.50/lb at Costco, $9/lb at W.F. bulk bin, and somewhere in between for W.F. packaged. I just don’t get it. Sometimes this seems like a losing battle, and then I think about the fact that these purchases that I’m fretting over are just a tiny drop in the bucket of the masses of plastic that most people buy and don’t even think about.
You need to find a food co-op. I belong to a student Eco food co-op and honestly, although things are slightly more expensive than the shops, it’s got a huge turn over (so no stale or old things) plus I honestly can’t buy it much cheaper even straight from the supplier. Plus they source as many things locally as possible.
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