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Grocery Outlet ethical bargains

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What is the Grocery Outlet?

The Grocery Outlet is a supermarket based mainly on the west coast of the US that specializes in food and wine bargains. The Grocery Outlet stocks food that would otherwise be in danger of being tossed out because of packaging changes, overstock, imperfections, or looming expiration dates. The Grocery Outlet business model reduces food waste, thus helping to mitigate climate change, habitat loss, and other environmental problems that should be our top priority.

Ethical Finds at the Grocery Outlet

This site focuses on finding ethical products at affordable prices and is a sister site to the Green Stars Project. I’ve chosen the Grocery Outlet (which is not affiliated with this site) as inventory constantly changes and stores often stock new ethical products. As we face the challenges of climate change, habitat destruction and inequality in the face of a pandemic-induced recession, it’s important that we all do what we can to save this planet. And, particularly for those hit hardest by the pandemic, that means ethical consumerism on a budget.

Ethical consumerism on a budget

Ethical consumerism is sometimes claimed to be only for the wealthy but that’s just not true. The central tenets of ethical consumerism are to reduce consumption, reuse or repurpose items whenever possible, repair rather than discard, and if something is really finished with, then recycle, if possible. All of these practices save rather than cost money. The products described here, particularly when on sale at the Grocery Outlet, are generally cheaper than their less ethical counterparts.

Many of the products reviewed here are available globally, or at least in many different stores across the US, so this site is not exclusively for people who shop at the Grocery Outlet. The goal here is to review products and evaluate them ethically – scoring them from 1 to 5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact. It will involve the evaluation of new ethical trends such as the move towards plant-based (vegan and vegetarian) food.

Latest from the Blog

Califia Plant Butter – ethical review

Califia have recently brought out two Plant Butter products, both on sale at the Grocery Outlet: Sea Salt with Avocado Oil and Sea Salt with Olive Oil. The quality of plant butters has improved to the point that they are good substitutes for dairy butter. Overall, I think that Califia plant butter deserves 4 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Endangered Species Oat Milk Dark Chocolate

Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC) has brought out a range of vegan “milk” chocolate bars made with oat milk! I picked up one of them at the Grocery Outlet that’s 55% cacao: Oat Milk + Dark Chocolate. 4.5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.v

Grocert Outlet Wine Sale, Spring 2021. Top wine picks - Cardella Winery Sangiovrese and Ruby Cabernet

Grocery Outlet Wine Sale, Spring 2021

The Grocery Outlet spring 2021 wine sale is happening next week – it starts on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 and runs for a week. My picks: two 2014 reds from Cardella – Ruby Cabernet and Sangiovese.

Fry Family Foods – Smoky BBQ Woodfired Pizza

I picked up a new (to me) vegan pizza at the Grocery Outlet – a Smoky BBQ Woodfired Pizza from Fry Family Foods. It turned out to be the best vegan pizza that I’ve ever had. Fry Family Foods has been making vegan food in South Africa since 1991 and their products have just become available in the US. 4.5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Tom's of Maine Prebiotic soap is shown with an ethical rating graphic of 2.5 out of 5 green stars for social and environmental impact.

Tom’s of Maine Prebiotic soap

I found a new Prebiotic soap from Tom’s of Maine at the Grocery Outlet. The prebiotics are designed to encourage the growth of beneficial bacterial on your skin. Tom’s of Maine is a responsible company but could do a better job on palm oil sourcing policy – 2.5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Sierra Nevada Wanderland nectarine ale

I picked up a six-pack of Sierra Nevada’s latest beer at the Grocery Outlet – the Wanderland nectarine ale. It’s a German-style Kolsch made with nectarines that’s fairly strong (7.5%) but tastes light and deliciously fruity. Serra Nevada brewing has been a longtime leader in sustainability – 4.5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

A pack of two Impossible Burgers, version 2.0 from Impossible Foods, is shown with an ethical score beneath it of 3/5 Green Stars, representing a rating for social and environmental impact.

Impossible Burger 2.0 – review and ethical rating

I bought Impossible Burgers at the Grocery Outlet and compared to them to Beyond Meat burgers, also available on discount at the Grocery Outlet. My feeling is that people who crave meat may like Impossible Burgers but most vegetarians and vegans might prefer Beyond Meat. I’m scoring the Impossible Burger 3/5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

So Delicious vegan ice creams – Peanut Butter and Raspberry and Coconut Macaroon ice creams are shown with an ethical score underneath of 4 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

So Delicious vegan ice creams – ethical review

I bought two kinds of So Delicious ice cream at the Grocery Outlet – Peanut Butter & Raspberry and Coconut Macaroon. They contain zero trans fats (found in most dairy ice cream) and are also vegan and partly organic, earning 4 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Beyond Meat Cookout Classic burgers

I recently found Beyond Meat burgers, the Cookout Classic 10-pack, on sale for $7.99 at the Grocery Outlet. This review looks at ingredients, cooking tips, and sustainability and I also compare the Beyond Meat burger to the Impossible Burger.

Hemp Yeah! Hemp seed bars ethical review. Below an image of a Hemp Yeah! bar is a rating of 4.5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Hemp Yeah! Hemp seed bars review

I bought hemp seed bars from Canadian brand, Hemp Yeah!, at the Grocery Outlet and they’ve become some of my favorite seed-based energy bars. Hemp Yeah! is a line of hemp-based products from Manitoba Harvest, several of which are available on discount at the Grocery Outlet. I’m giving the hemp seed bars 4.5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

So Delicious chocolate chip mousse is pictured with an ethical score underneath of 4 Green Stars, out of 5.

So Delicious Chocolate Chip Mousse

I bought So Delicious chocolate chip mousse at the Grocery Outlet and highly recommend it – it’s a vanilla mouse mixed with delicious flakes of chocolate. It contains much less sugar and fat than normal ice cream, and zero trans fats. It’s also vegan and partly organic, earning 4 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Quorn vegetarian turkey slices – ethical review

I bought Quorn Meatless Turkey-Style Deli Slices at the Grocery Outlet last week and found them to be very similar to real turkey (as I remember it). Quorn Foods is a veteran of the vegetarian movement and although this product (which is vegetarian) doesn’t score as highly as Quorn’s vegan products, it still gets a very solid 4 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

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