Food Chain

New grocery stores help reduce waste

Young people are paying close attention to their consumption footprint, considering it their personal responsibility to make the world a better place. They’re trying to reverse the trend of consumerism that they’re seeing among their peers and older counterparts both by buying less and by reducing waste. New grocery store concepts are aiding them in that mission by encouraging consumers to rethink the way they buy food.


This Brooklyn-based packaging-free grocery store is a bulk food emporium that feels anything but dull. Using their own containers and bags or those on offer at the store, customers of the Fillery can stock up on products ranging from grains and nuts to butters and oils, buying whatever amount they choose rather than being forced to buy pre-packaged weights and sizes. In this way, shoppers are able to reduce personal waste. Not only are they employing reusable containers and bags, they’re also able to cut down on throwing out food because, by buying just what they need, they don’t have to worry about overstock going bad. 


Boston residents can also reduce food waste by doing their grocery shopping at the Pantry. The store, which opened recently in Brookline, sells pre-packaged recipe kits with exact amounts of each ingredient. Unlike similar delivery options, such as Plated and Blue Apron, the Pantry doesn’t require purchase of a certain number of meals per week or a delivery window. Sample menus from the Pantry include lamb and English pea orecchiette with spring onions, lemon, and mint and Moroccan chicken with cauliflower “couscous.” Along with meals, the store also sells sommelier-paired wine and beer for each dish, as well as cooking tools and supplies. 


Launched by the former President of Trader Joe’s, the Daily Table seeks to address both food waste and the health of low-income shoppers. Located in Dorchester, MA, the nonprofit store leverages a network of food growers, manufacturers and distributors to acquire food via donation or at severely reduced cost. In some cases, food that may have gone to waste is turned into healthy, tasty meals in the in-store kitchen. This allows Daily Table to sell its goods and meals at extraordinarily low prices, thereby providing a nutritious, cost-effective, timesaving option for shoppers who don’t have as much to spend on groceries.