Grocery Outlet ethical bargains

This is a non-profit project

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

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.

NotMilk – sustainability and ethical review

NotMilk is a brand of pea-based, vegan milk that’s produced by the Chilean company, NotCo. Like Ripple milk, this is based mainly on pea protein and sunflower oil. I tested both products in tea, coffee and cereal. NotMilk gets 3.5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact, with one easy way to improve to 4.5 stars.

Brave Robot ice cream – ethical review

Brave Robot vegan ice cream uses whey protein that’s produced in a fungus by Perfect Day. The vegan whey offers significant advantages from a sustainability perspective but Brave Robot falls short on some of the other ingredients. Room for improvement a score of 3/5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Grocery Outlet wine sale notice, Nov 3-9, 2021

Grocery Outlet Wine Sale, Fall 2021

The Fall 2021 Grocery Outlet Wine Sale runs for a week starting from Wednesday, November 3, 2021. All wines are discounted an extra 20% off the already low prices. In this post, I’ll take a look at some possible wine purchases, with an eye on sustainability.

Ripple vegan chocolate ice cream – ethical review

Ripple Foods’ ice cream is the best vegan ice cream that I’ve bought in a store. The texture is similar to conventional dairy ice cream and it tastes better than the more elaborately engineered vegan ice creams from Brave Robot. Ripple Foods vegan chocolate ice cream gets 4/5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Nature's Path Pumpkin Raisin Crunch - ethical score for social and environmental impact. The image shows a box of Nature's Path Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch cereal and underneath it is a graphic showing a score of 5/5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

Nature’s Path Pumpkin Raisin Crunch cereal

I bought a box of Nature’s Path Pumpkin Raisin Crunch cereal at the Grocery Outlet. I’m not in the market for nutritionally poor cereals, whether flakes, puffs, charms, loops, or Os. This cereal, comprised of organic whole grains and seeds, is more substantial and nutritious than most. 5/5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact!

Blue Evolution seaweed pasta

This week’s post is about a new seaweed pasta product from Blue Evolution. I’m a fan for three main reasons: flavor, nutrition, and sustainability. Sustainability is the key here – we should all be eating seaweed to heal this planet. Blue Evolution is a forerunner in bringing sustainable seaweed aquaculture to US shores. 4.5 Green Stars for social and environmental impact.

An image of various kinds of processed food, derived from a Guardian article, titled, Revealed: the true extent of America’s food monopolies, and who pays the price.

The impact of processed food

An article came out in the Guardian today: Revealed: the true extent of America’s food monopolies, and who pays the price. It’s a good reminder for me to point out that we should minimize our processed food intake as much as possible. Ethical Bargains aims to highlight the most ethical processed food choices, but any ethical diet should consist of mostly fresh veggies and fruit.

Is Earth Balance ethical?

This is the second of two products made from palm oil that I’m evaluating for ethics and sustainability. Earth Balance is now owned by Conagra, which rates poorly on palm oil sourcing. I’m scoring it 1 Green Star for social and environmental impact.


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