A lot of people are concerned that a varied and balanced raw food diet is hard and expensive to shop for. These kind of thoughts can be enough to stop you at ‘salad and fruit’ and before you know it you’re bored and eating a lot of cooked food again. Raw food shopping isn’t hard, it’s about having the knowledge of where, when and how to shop for organics, superfoods, sprouts, affordable nuts, equipment etc. My weekly shop is now cheaper and quicker than when I ate cooked food – it’s all about having the knowledge! If you’re just starting out with raw food and aren’t sure if it’s for you long term, shopping is easy (see Easy Shopping below) . Once you know you want to eat like this long term, you can make a little more effort and find ways to buy raw foods more ethically and more cost effectively.
It’s now much easier to get organic foods in your local supermarket. If they don’t stock what you want, ask them to stock it. The same goes for your local veg shop and health food shop. If they don’t sell organic, ask them if they’d be prepared to try selling it. When I first went raw I was out in the sticks in Devon and the nearest stockist of organic was one of those giant out-of-town supermarkets – I bought all my food from there and ate a varied and delicious raw food diet (more about the packaging below!).
For equipment, your local kitchen shop, amazon.com or ukjuicers.com (in the UK) will sell everything you want or need for your raw kitchen.
Superfoods are easiest to buy in your local health food shop or online. Google ‘buy superfoods’ to find a good range of online suppliers.
Sprouting is best and cheapest done yourself, but in the UK you can also get them (as well as trays of wheatgrass, sunflower greens etc.) from Aconbury Sprouts at wheatgrass-uk.com. Aconbury Sprouts also sell all the kit for growing your own wheatgrass and microgreens.
I used to do most of my shopping in the supermarket, when I first went raw. I was always disturbed by the amount of plastic packaging I was throwing away each week, so I started to research organic wholesalers in our area. And bingo! I discovered that our local fruit and vegetable wholesale market had an organic section. Since then my fresh fruit and veg bill has dropped dramatically and my only packaging is paper bags and cardboard which I re-use. We’re also eating more ethically because our wholesaler doesn’t fly anything in and knows all the little local organic growers. He also supplies fruit and veg that’s come in by truck or ship, so there’s still a good selection and he’s happy to sell small amounts. (If you live in Bristol and would like to know more, drop me an email).
So, how do you find your local organic wholesaler? I found mine by google-ing ‘wholesale fruit market Bristol’. You can also ask your local council or a friendly restaurant where to buy wholesale. Once you’ve located the market, ring them up and ask if anyone does organic.
Farmers markets are also a great place to find local, organic produce.
Google ‘wholesale wholefoods’ and get in touch with the wholesale companies that come up. Ask them how to set up an account. You may want to do this with friends to split large quantities of nuts/seeds/pulses/herbs/herbal teas/oils etc. Since I set up my wholesale trading account I get organic nuts/seeds etc. for the same amount or less than non-organic ones in supermarkets.