Shopping for organic foods online offers a cost-effective, environmentally friendly option to traditional grocery stores. But which place is right for you?
Whether it’s time, money, or availability of items depending on where you live, buying organic or environmentally friendly goods can be challenging. The good news is that many of these constraints can be alleviated by shopping online.
There are several eco-friendly alternatives to buying goods from big online retailers like Amazon. Sustainability-focused stores like Public Goods make buying organic foods online and other household items an ethical, easy, and environmentally conscious choice.
On our list of places for buying organic online, you’ll notice some stores specialize in certain types of goods, like farmer-direct produce, while others carry a range of household items from cleaning supplies to pantry essentials. Whether you’re looking for a little inspiration or a new place to order tree-free toilet paper, we hope this guide helps you find what you’re looking for.
Benefits of Buying Organic Foods Online
No matter whether you’re a daily commuter with a tight schedule, a busy parent, or just someone looking to save time and money on groceries each month, there are quite a few benefits to buying organic foods online.
It’s simple, convenient, helps keep your pantry stocked without leaving your home, and can save you considerable money. While many membership-based online food stores come with an annual fee to shop, that cost is quickly offset by the savings per product (especially if you’re a frequent shopper with a household full of mouths to feed).
The best online organic food stores also incorporate charitable and sustainability-focused efforts into their business models. Imperfect Foods, for example, sells items (produce, cosmetics, etc.) that would normally be thrown out by traditional retailers for minor reasons.
And at Public Goods, we plant a tree for every order placed by partnering with Eden Reforestation Projects. Practicing sustainability, combating climate change, and contributing to the social good while offering low prices and high-quality organic products makes buying organic foods online a great choice for many people in today’s changing world.
Tips for Online Grocery Shopping
Buying anything online adds an extra layer of anxiety compared to in-person purchasing. You can’t see or touch the product you’re buying. How do you know you’re getting the highest quality? Or that the food will taste good?
Transparency is one of the distinguishing factors among the best online grocery stores. In the same way you can check ingredient labels in-store, online you can look at lists of ingredients, where items come from, specific environmental or humanitarian initiatives (as mentioned), and access more brand-related resources than in the aisles of a Whole Foods or other physical retailers.
Here are a few quick tips for getting the most out of buying organic foods online:
- Pay attention to delivery dates! It’s a good idea to be home when packages arrive, especially when ordering perishable foods that need to be refrigerated within a certain time frame.
- Plan ahead! Despite fast shipping opportunities, you’ll still have to wait for your groceries to arrive. If you’re preparing for a holiday gathering or cooking for a party, make sure you allow enough time for items to arrive so you’re not caught off guard.
- Look for free shipping! And any other free gift items, promotions, discount codes, etc. These add up quickly and help you save money every time you shop.
- Try free trials! It can feel like a big commitment to purchase a year-long membership. Free trials let you test out products without locking into anything long-term, while also giving you time to learn more about the particular food store, its programs, processes, and so on.
Our Picks – The 7 Best Organic Food Stores Online
Are you looking for a quick solution to save time each week by getting groceries delivered right to your door? Or for a store involved with partnerships like working with local farmers? Maybe you’d like the best of both worlds! We’ve collected some options for you.
1. Public Goods
At Public Goods, we’re committed to making healthy and sustainable everyday essentials accessible to everyone. Rather than stocking our shelves full of other brands, we created our own line of goods in order to keep prices low and the quality exceptional. From grocery items and pantry staples to household and personal care products, everything we offer is made with eco-conscious materials, healthy ingredients, and a beautiful design.
That means no parabens, no sulfates, no GMOs, and no toxic chemicals or additives. We choose biodegradable alternatives to single-use plastic, like bottles made from sugarcane.
While you’ll need a membership to shop, it allows us to deliver the highest quality products at a minimal margin. Members get access to hundreds of healthy, sustainable goods at direct-to-consumer prices. Shipping is free on orders over $45, you can cancel your membership at any time. And, if you’re still unconvinced, you can try us out for a free 14 days.
2. Direct Eats
Direct Eats makes it easy to shop with food allergies and sensitivities, with a product line that’s entirely gluten-free. Founded by people with a close familiarity to dietary restrictions, at Direct Eats you can sort and shop by allergy, omitting certain ingredients like nuts or dairy. Their range of products includes baking goods, pastas, and other pantry foods like protein bars and raw cashew butter from well-known brands.
With a commitment to stocking the best, delicious and allergy-friendly foods, Direct Eats prices are a little bit higher than other online retailers. Though this is to be expected with specialty foods, and with no membership requirement or fee, making it easy to select gluten-free options as often as you need them.
3. Imperfect Foods
Imperfect Foods is a one-stop-shop for sustainable, affordable grocery delivery. Per their name, Imperfect Foods sells grocery items thrown out by other retailers for reasons ranging from cosmetic imperfections to surplus supply, discontinuation, or mislabeling. Their mission is to eliminate food waste and build a better food system for everyone.
Choose from a variety of pantry staples, proteins, snacks, seasonal produce, and plant-based products all priced, on average, 30% lower than a traditional grocery store. It’s free to sign up, with no membership fees and free deliveries on orders over $60. You can also create a grocery plan to get exactly what you need and help eliminate waste.
Sunbasket is a San Francisco-based meal delivery service shipping people fresh, organic ingredients and recipes each week. With organic, high-quality produce and an emphasis on health, each meal kit can be tailored to fit your exact needs from any allergies and diet preferences to the number of meals each week. You can choose from meal kits you can cook or ready-to-heat meals for busier schedules.
Sunbasket also engages in a variety of sustainability-focused initiatives, from donations to local food banks and programs providing nutritious meals to those in need, to cutting back on waste with nearly 100% of their packaging being recyclable or compostable.
5. Farmbox Direct
Farmbox Direct delivers farm-fresh organic fruits and vegetables to your door each week. Dissatisfied with the produce quality and cost of your local grocery stores? Farmbox offers a great alternative with top-quality ingredients and a variety of subscription box sizes customizable for each week’s delivery.
There are no membership fees, delivery is offered throughout the continental United States, and you can skip or cancel whenever you want with no long-term commitment required. Their blog also features a variety of recipes and tips on health, wellness, lifestyle, and meal-prepping. All deliveries are packaged with biodegradable and recyclable materials.
Butcherbox delivers humanely raised meats right to your door. They offer 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, wild-caught seafood, and crate-free pork in a variety of cuts. You can choose from flexible box sizes, custom or curated, and set the delivery frequency best for your schedule.
While the meats are shipped frozen to preserve freshness, all of their products are premium quality — part of Butcherbox’s mission is to improve the livelihoods of farmers while caring for animals and the planet through ethical sourcing. Oh, and shipping is always free, with each order packed in an eco-friendly box. Prices are a bit higher than at the supermarket, though this is to be expected when shopping for ethical meats.
7. Hungry Harvest
Hungry Harvest is an online grocery delivery service providing organic produce and sustainably sourced groceries. With a mission to end food waste and hunger, they rescue farm-fresh fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be wasted. Each delivery saves at least 10 lbs of produce, helps close food access gaps, and reduces environmental impact all while bringing fresh, healthy produce right to your door.
Note that you can’t buy individual items, but can sign up for a produce box with prices starting at around $15 per box. For people looking to experiment with new or unique vegetables and fruits, this is a great choice. While the delivery range is limited to areas along the east coast, Hungry Harvest is consistently expanding and has saved, since its founding in 2014, over 27 million pounds of produce.
Choose the Organic Food Store That’s Right for You
No matter who you are or what you do, buying organic foods online shouldn’t be something reserved for the privileged. At Public Goods, we’ve got you covered when it comes to sustainability, savings, and simplicity. We partner with the best vendors around the world to bring you exceptional quality, from grocery essentials to healthy kibble for your pets. Sign up today for a free 14-day trial!
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