Journey Towards Packaging-Free Fresh Produce

Journey Towards Packaging-Free Fresh Produce

Amanda TengFeb 24, '21

Some of you may have noticed that our organic produce aisle has been looking rather bare lately 😥 We strongly believe that a healthy diet should be rooted in whole foods and not being able to offer a full range of fresh organic produce has been a big source of frustration for us 😥

During the first few months of running Everyday Vegan Grocer, we did a lot of research and development on figuring out a way to store our fresh produce without any packaging. We would order micro-batches of fresh produce and have them delivered to us in a consolidated bunch inside single boxes. We would receive the fresh produce, sort and separate them and then store all of it inside storage containers and keep it inside the open chiller. We even learned that some vegetables prefer moist environments and would have to keep inside sealed containers 🤔💡

Ever since our physical store has been open, we have been using an open chiller (the ones you find at the local grocery store) to display and store our produce. It turns out that fresh produce cannot last long in Singapore’s humidity, even inside the open chiller. Then, we bought the “White Magic - Stay Fresh Mat”. For those of you who don’t know, these special mats are designed to preserve the freshness of the fruit and vegetables in the fridge. This mat is specifically designed to encourage air circulation under the fruits and vegetables to prevent mould and absorb excess liquids 👍

However, it didn’t work as well as we thought 😔 During the first day, our leafy vegetables had already started to turn brown. By the second and third day, all of our hardy vegetables - carrots and cucumbers and the like - had started to dry. By the fourth day, all of the vegetables were completely brown, wilted and had to be taken off the shelves 😧 😧

Don’t worry, we didn’t dispose of these vegetables! Instead, we froze and stored them for our own consumption 😇 We even managed to make a super-rich, yummy vegetable stock to make delicious soups and noodles and kept it in our fridge for the entire week, which gave me some great inspiration 💡 for the content of the next blog post: what to do with fruits and vegetables that are going bad 👍 We definitely have a lot of experience there! 😂😂

For a short period of time, we packed the organic produce in recycled paper bags, but we discovered that, although they extended the lifespan of vegetables by one or two days, they couldn’t be reused after a single use, so it still promoting waste 🤔

However, in the last month, we have had success in bringing back fresh produce to our aisles! Hooray 🙌 ✔️ Now, we are using both brown paper and plastic containers for storage. Although it is not the most visually pleasing for our grocery store, we believe that the benefit of eliminating plastic and paper packaging waste far outweighs the disadvantages 💚🌎

Lately, we have also been using fresh organic produce to develop our café menu. For example, our quesadillas are a yummy mix of organic tomatoes, mushrooms, coriander and capsicums 😋 This way, there will be minimal wastage, as the vegetables will be put to use for our café before they can turn bad! 🙌✔️

These days, we keep our purchasing cycles fast and order our organic produce in small batches to minimize wastage✔️ Therefore, to ensure consistent availability of fresh produce for you, we will be looking into setting up vegetable subscriptions fairly soon! How exciting! 🤩🤩 If we know your needs, we will be able to work with Totally Natural Farm to get the freshest produce at the right time for you. With this, we can continue minimizing wastage and serving you the freshest vegetables! 💚

 

As always, my friends, thank you very much for being a part of the Everyday Vegan journey.  🙏

 

Love, 💕

Amanda

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