There are several options
Buy fresh loose at a shop or supermarket.
Vegetable/Fruit Box – where seasonal produce is delivered to your door
Visit a pick you own farm
Things to do with fruit
BUT when you commit to buy unpackaged, your choice may (will!) be reduced. Often soft fruits like strawberries are almost impossible to find unpackaged and you have to wait till Summer and pick your own. Organic produce is very often packed in plastic to make sure no one tries to pass it off as cheaper non-organic. Sometimes you may have to choose between packaged, fair-trade or unpackaged, not. You have to decide which criteria are more important to you.
Bearing in mind all the above, It is possible to have a varied diet – but you may not be able to have what you want whenever you want. If you choose to buy local fruit in season you will find it tastes better, is more likely to come unpackaged and, in the case of fruit, less likely to be waxed. In short be flexible, buy local(ish), see what is on offer and think what you can with that.
N.B. YOU WILL NEED TO TAKE YOUR OWN PACKAGING. Check out the plastic-free shopping kit here.
Fruit & Veg Boxes
A vegetable box scheme is an operation that delivers fresh fruit and vegetables to your door. Their are plenty of schemes produce to choose from. Some are small scale organisations but there are a few nationwide operators, many guarantee locally grown produce, others concentrate on organic. Generally you pay a fixed monthly sum and get what is in season, some offer a limited choice. But there are new suppliers popping up all the time with different options.
Packaging is often reduced but there will be some. Do check before you choose a scheme.
This Indépendant article on the 7 best schemes is useful read. You can also ask the Plastic Is Rubbish group for tips.
Pick Your Own
Go to the farm and pick your own. Most of them do fruit- usually soft fruit, but some also do vegetable. Find one near you with this great farm finder website.
Its easy and fun. You can start with basil in a pot perhaps a few lettuces in a window box or get yourself and allotment. However big or small your project nothing beats home grown fresh food.
Check out mother natures bounty – nettles, elderberries and blackberries are free, wild and so almost certainly organic.
Sometimes whats on offer is so boring you might want to turn to dried fruit. There are a few places you can buy dried fruit loose and unpackaged. Try the loose food list
Wax is added to fruit to make it last longer and /or look better. Coatings manufacturers guard their trade secrets and are tight-lipped about their ingredients. There is a big science in wax coatings. Fruit wax can be either natural, like carnuba wax, or they can be petroleum based. Some are also coated in shellac resin which is secreted by the female lac beetle. A lot of vegans are very vocal about this, as it is an animal based product being sprayed on produce. Read more here….
Soft Fruits Huddersfield
Summer, a time for soft fruit strawberries raspberries and blackcurrants. Hurrah….but of course they all pre-packed in plastic tubs. We are lucky – we do have an allotment and do grow our own. But what with the slugs and the greedy guests we never quite have enough to see us through so we on a hot, sunny weekend we drive off to our local pick you own farm Bently Grange
Find one near you with this great farm finder website.
Urban Harvest, Leeds: This group harvests unwanted apples and juices them. You can join in or just buy the juice. More details here
Abundance, York is a similar urban harvesting project but it gives the fruit to community groups.
It “identifies fruit growing that would otherwise go to waste, and redistributes it to charities or community groups that will make good use of it.
Fantastic Things To Do With Fruit
Got a glut? Over picked at the farm? Storing seasonal fruit for the hard times ahead? Here are some things you can do:
- Juice it
- Jam it
- Make sweet mince meat
- Ferment it into booze!
- Make syrups & cordials for refreshing summer drinks.