Where can I go for zero-waste groceries in Philly?



Living a sustainable lifestyle can be a daunting undertaking, especially if you don’t know where to begin. Welcome to the first edition of Philly Low-Waste Living. I’m Emily Rodia, the founder of Good Buy Supply—Philly’s one-stop-shop for sustainable home goods. We specialize in all areas of the home from kitchen, bathroom to laundry but I can also help you navigate the sustainable world within city limits. Follow along for tips, tricks and hidden sustainable gems of Philadelphia.

As avid home cooks, my fiancé Jason and I are always on the lookout for package-free foods and fresh, local produce. Not only are these great ways to help reduce waste in the kitchen, but you’ll also make healthier choices for your meals. We find it’s helpful to prioritize simple, raw ingredients that can be used across a variety of meals and have a longer shelf life. Here are a few of our favorite places we go to stock our pantry:

food in cloth and mesh bags
Photographs courtesy of Jason Rusnock of Good Buy Supply.

1. PRODUCE: Reading Terminal Market is home to an array of produce vendors that have a wide range of items traditional groceries normally wrap in plastic. We love stopping by Iovine Brother’s Produce for seasonal vegetables, herbs, and fruits. For local mushrooms, we head over to Kennett Square Specialties.

When in season farmer’s markets are also a great resource for sustainable and local produce. The markets here in PA are regulated to only have products grown within the state so you won’t find something imported with a heavy carbon footprint.

2. DRY GOODS: Your local Co-Op! We adore our neighborhood South Philly Food Co-Op and are always impressed by their selection of dried pantry staples like rice, beans and nuts. Check out the bulk bins and don’t forget you can bring your own cloth bags. Just don’t forget to have them weighed by staff before filling. Other city favorites are Weaver’s Way and Mariposa Co-Op! Honorable mention for bulk foods when we can’t find it at a smaller shop: Mom’s Organic Market and Sprouts. They both have large selections of dried bulk foods and are a great resource if you are just beginning.

3. BREADS: Bread and Pastries are easier to find without packaging than you might think! Your local bakery is making fresh bread daily and usually packages its goods in paper or will allow you to bring your own clean cloth bag. We find some of our favorites at Mighty Bread and Artisan Boulanger right in our neighborhood.

Emily Rodia is the founder of Good Buy Supply, located in South Philly at 1737 E. Passyunk Avenue.

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