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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 critical environmental problems like habitat loss and climate change.

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 or compost if possible. All of these practices save, rather than cost money.

The products described here, 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 0 to 5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact. It will involve the evaluation of new trends in the food tech industry and particularly in plant-based (vegan and vegetarian) food.

Latest from the Blog

Lightlife tempeh strips – sustainability, review

I picked up some Lightlife Tempeh (smoky bacon strips) at the Grocery Outlet for $3 (normally around $5) and was surprised at how good it was. Organic, vegan, carbon neutral – 4.5 Green Stars.

JUST vegan egg bites – sustainability, review

JUST, the San Francisco plant-based food company mostly known for its vegan egg products has brought out a series of sous-vide vegan egg bites. 4.5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

A picture of wine shelves at the Grocery Outlet. Grocery Outlet wine sale, Spring 2022, April 6-12.

Grocery Outlet wine sale, Spring 2022

From April 6-12, the Grocery Outlet will be holding its biannual wine sale – all wine will be discounted a further 20%. My top pick: Trois Moulins, 2018 – a Bordeaux blend from Chateau Lacaussade Saint-Martin.

Tony’s Chocoloney – sustainability, review

Tony’s Chocoloney has been on a mission to change the chocolate industry – specifically to eliminate slavery and child labor in West Africa. Right now, you can buy a lovely Rainbow tasting pack of Tony’s Chocoloney bars at the Grocery Outlet for just $5 (normally around $13).

Modern Kitchen cream cheese – sustainability, review

Modern Kitchen cream cheese is made with vegan whey protein produced by food-tech company, Perfect Day. I’ll review two varieties on sale at the Grocery Outlet and also profile the brand for sustainability – 3.5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Good Planet cheese – sustainability, review

A few kinds of Good Planet cheese can be found at the Grocery Outlet. I’ve tried the shredded mozzarella and hot pepper cheese slices – both decent. Good Planet cheese deserves 4 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Luke’s Organic chips – sustainability, review

You can find Luke’s Organic chips regularly at the Grocery Outlet, and I’ve tried several varieties at this point. I’ll review the White Truffle & Sea Salt and the Ketchup with Mustard & Pickle varieties here. I think that Luke’s Organic deserves 4 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Oatly ice cream – sustainability, review

You can find Oatly ice cream at the Grocery Outlet, for only $1.99 – it has a good texture, although the chocolate chips need improvement. I consider several factors (sustainability, packaging, Blackstone funding, ingredient sourcing, etc.) and think that Oatly deserves 3.5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Miyoko’s cheese wheels – review and sustainability

You may find Miyoko’s cheese wheels at the Grocery Outlet, if you’re lucky. I liked the Smoked English Farmhouse but preferred the Black Ash – they exhibit a level of sophistication that has been lacking in vegan cheese. Miyoko’s Creamery gets 5/5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Miyoko’s vegan butter– review & ethical rating

Miyoko’s European Style Cultured Vegan Butter raised the bar in the vegan dairy space. In terms of taste and texture, it’s my favorite vegan butter. Miyoko’s Creamery gets a perfect score of 5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Explore Cuisine pasta – sustainability and ethical review

Explore Cuisine makes a range of high-protein pastas from organic legumes and other sustainable ingredients like Spirulina. The three that I tried all had a great texture and flavor and I’d recommend them for anyone looking for sustainable protein sources and/or alternatives to wheat-based pasta. 4.5 stars for social and environmental impact.

Gardein turk’y roast – sustainability and ethical review

Gardein is a brand of vegan meat substitutes that is owned by Conagra Brands. I’ve previously evaluated Earth Balance, also owned by Conagra and it scored very poorly for sustainability. Gardein is better and although there’s room for improvement, it gets 3.5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

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