Back to basics with Bulk Market


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This blog entry today is about a local shop in London. One of my friends, Ingrid,  has opened the Bulk Market shop in Hackney.  The ethos of the shop is to promote the idea of zero waste life style.  This is not a life style that is new; well perhaps is new to the “millenials”. Zero waste was a way of living for decades; where we bought only those items that we needed; or we used everything in our fridge; without wasting the leftovers; when we used to go to the market and buy enough for us to use for that week.



This shopping experience; with taking your own tub and measuring out the flour; the rice; the oil – was very familiar to our parents and grand parents.cof

It may also be familiar to our parents the concept of fresh fruits and vegetables which are a bit out of shape; and do not all look the same; but are juicy and flavoursome. All produce comes from the local allotments or local producers; supporting community farming.

Not even 10 years ago bread had only the basic ingredients: yeast, flour, water, salt – waking up to fresh bread and fresh butter was an every day experience. Bread was either made at home; or bought from your local bakery. Ingrid – does just that – she is sourcing all her pastries and bread form a local baker. Cakes come from Luminary Bakery which provides training for vulnerable women.

Of course in the past honey was locally sourced from the local beehives – Ingrid once again sources her honey from the local bee keepers. Ingrid also hopes that when she has her permanent shop – she will be able to have her own bee hives at the back – so that she can teach about bee keeping and the importance of bees to the environment.

Of course such endeavours do require some help. As this venture for Ingrid is a social enterprise; she has also asked members of the public to make it a reality.

Ingrid has a crowdfunding page for an enhanced Zero waste market where she will be able to keep a hive that people can see in action. A shop where she can demonstrate how composting can be done (without the characteristic smells) and can run workshops for school children on a plastic free lifestyle. I am hoping that perhaps some of you readers may be able to help out. I sure have done (within my means).

Ingrid has already caught the eye of some magazines locally but also internationally; you can read about her story here:

French magazine talking about the Bulk MarketGreen Planet website features the Bulk MarketThe Metro – in London also featured the Bulk MarketThe independent also featured Ingrid and her shop

I know that this lifestyle in some parts of the world continues to be an every day experience; and we also know that in those countries people seems to live a longer more fulfilling life. In the UK we seem to have lost that contact with the earth; we seem to be dissociated from where our food comes from. I know that when I took groups of young people to the local farm to get their produce for our cookery project – some young people did not know how to pull a carrot out of the ground; could not work out which berries were ripe- ready for picking; and most certainly did not know when corn is ready to be harvested, all this was an alien concept. When we were on a residential and they were feeding the pigs; the idea that those pigs will become bacon at some point really upset them.

I also know that some of my readers may be vegans or vegetarians – reality is that some of my readers will continue enjoying the taste of bacon – so please do not be offended by this entry.

What i am trying to get across to you my reader; regardless of the food choice you have; is that the new generation is so dissociated from the food they are eating that Bulk Market is a new invention.

What would be lovely to see is that our young people become familiar with their food; they understand that things do not come in tins; or in plastic containers; and not all tomatoes look the same; that an apple that has some minor specs on it is still edible.It would be nice if they understood that eggs may come in other colours than  brown. That food can be an amazing experience; with real taste; low in sugar; low in salt; and still amazing to have. That food can be bought locally and food does not have to go around the world to get to us; that our local farmers deserve real pay for their produce; and that perhaps we do not need to exhaust our fish stock in the sea; that we do not have to generate so much waste – that in fact we can feed the world and no man woman or child has to go to sleep hungry.

Check out the pop-up shop in Hackney; and travel with Ingrid on this journey to wherever she may open her permanent shop. Help her out if you have a few ££ or $$ and let’s look after our planet one helper at a time. We can all contribute to a greener planet.





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