Our top ten tips for delicious low waste eating hacks - all the taste and none of the waste

by Evelin Földvári
So, we fantasised about summer through all the long winter months and - while the weather isn’t exactly playing along - we are grabbing the sunny moments to indulge in our favourite summer food and drinks. Who hasn’t craved a Sunday afternoon BBQ with friends, having a delicious drink on a terrace, or just enjoying a home-made picnic with the family while sipping on a cool lemonade? After all, good food always leads to a good mood. 
It can be hard to find food and drink that’s both great quality and low waste. In a lot of supermarkets, meals are pre-made and pre-packed in plastic, vegetables and fruits are treated with GMOs and pesticides, not to mention all the waste and the pollution that originates from unsustainable agriculture. So – what are the alternatives?

Luckily, Dutch consumers are more and more motivated to buy organic food and to shop consciously because of the benefits to the environment, animal welfare and their health. (1) Moreover, the Netherlands is a leading country in the vegan food industry. (2) Therefore, more and more solutions are popping up to satisfy this demand.

That’s why we have selected and put a list together of our top 10 places in the Netherlands where you can consciously order food, do your groceries at or eat-in. 

1. Instock

source: www.instock.nl, Photo by: Instock

Did you know that one-third (circa 1.3 billion tonnes) of global food production is wasted every year? Most of this waste comes from consumers (42%) and producers (39%) because of overproduction, expectations of quality or looks and poor interpretation of expiration dates.

Instock is a restaurant on Czaar Peterstraat that is actively tackling this problem by rescuing food surplus from different food growers and producers, packaging companies, restaurants, cafés and supermarkets. So far, they have saved ca. 1,053,000 kg of food from being dumped.

Their chefs only work with the fresh ingredients that they have in stock so their menu can change on a daily basis. The result is super creative and delicious meals. They prefer to serve smaller portions thus also avoiding wasting food. Are you ready to save the environment while enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner? Head to their website to book a table.

2. De Ceuvel

source: www.iamsterdam.com, Photo by: De Ceuvel

Whether you live in the Netherlands or are just visiting for a few days, De Ceuvel should be on your “must-visit list”. De Ceuvel is one of the most sustainable and unique urban developments in Europe. It is an award-winning, sustainably planned workplace for creative and social enterprises on a reclaimed former shipyard in Amsterdam Noord. Besides workspaces, you can also find a floating hotel and a restaurant, where they work with products that have been produced without polluting or degrading the environment and as much as possible is locally sourced.

In Café de Ceuvel they make their own sodas, all of their liquors are locally brewed in Holland except the rum which comes on a sailing clipper from the Caribbean), the grapes in their wines are organically grown, the vegetables they work with are locally and sustainably sourced, their menu is 100% vegetarian, and their interior design is made of upcycled furniture. 

De Ceuvel also pays attention to take good care of the end destination of their foods by completely closing the loop and being circular. If you want to know more check out their website or even better, go for a visit - trust us, you won’t regret it.

3. Crisp

source: www.foodandagribusiness.nl, Photo by: Crisp

Crisp delivers super fresh and delicious groceries to your home in an affordable way. They work directly with local food makers and growers in order to provide the highest quality. They only buy from the growers when you order, thus minimising food waste and making sure that they only deliver the freshest products.

The ordering process is super simple - if you order before 22:00 pm, your items can be delivered the next day. You can get fruits and vegetables, dairy products, different types of meat and drinks. You can also get freshly prepared meals, like soups and stews and they work hard to minimise the amount of plastic packaging.

Download the app now and save €15 on your first order!

4. Vegan Junk Food Bar (VJFB)

source: www.mytravelboektje.com, Photo by: The Vegan Junk Food Bar and @indvdu_photo

We all get junk food cravings – however at the VJFB you can slake them in a healthy way. Their menu encourages a sustainable plant-based lifestyle for the benefit of our planet and our health. Not a vegan? Don’t worry, their food does not compromise on quality, taste and texture so you will definitely find something you would like to try.

You can find the VJFB at 4 locations in Amsterdam. They like to lead with authenticity and innovation and their focus is on providing an extraordinary experience at their restaurant. Their pink burgers and green hot-dogs, their signature interiors with colourful street art and carefully selected tunes can all prove this. It really is more than just grabbing food - it is a unique experience you want to go back to.

5. Pieter Pot

source: www.pieterpot.nl, Photo by: Pieter Pot

“Every household in the Netherlands throws away about 3,300 plastic packaging every year. That's 26 billion in total.” - Pieter Pot, a popular Rotterdam based start-up is fixing this by delivering packaging-free groceries to your home throughout the Netherlands, including Amsterdam.

You can choose from their great selection of dry foods and snacks, herbs and teas, sauces and syrups and household and personal care items, all packaged in lovely looking glass containers. These glass pots are returned once you are finished with the products, so Pieter Pot can collect, wash and then reuse them for upcoming deliveries. Hence, the packaging is kept in circulation and packaging waste is reduced. 

The service is very popular, and they have a big waiting list, so we suggest you sign up now!

6. Little Plant Pantry

source: www.sonjavogel.com, Photo by: Sonja Vogel

Amsterdam’s first plastic-free shop, Little Plant Pantry, was established back in 2018. The founders, Maria and Winter, came here from Ireland with the intention to inspire people to live a healthier lifestyle and to show that our dependence on single-use packaging is not that essential, after all.

Their beautiful store is in Amsterdam-West, near Leidseplein, where they offer local wholefoods, vegan and natural products in bulk. You can also find some pre-packed items in the store – all in environmentally friendly packaging. Moreover, their collaboration with small artisan producers means you can buy natural cosmetics, plastic free cleaning and hygiene products too.

If you visit the store, you can also enjoy their cute vegan cafe and freshly made lunch or dinner, nutritious hot dishes and desserts.

If you prefer to order online from their store, now you can do that - since January they deliver orders in Amsterdam on an electric bike. Just like we do! Cool, huh?

7. Willicroft
source: www.parool.nl, Photo by: Anna Salhany

Wine and cheese - the perfect combination for a picnic or a date. Lucky that both items can be found in Willicroft’s lovely store. However, this is not just a regular cheese store - Willicroft provides a selection of plant-based cheeses from all across the Netherlands and Europe. Find the tastiest vegan versions of your favourite cheeses in all shapes and sizes.

What makes their wine selection natural is that they contain no additives, no pesticides and no, or minimum sulphites. The wines are from small and local farms and the organic and/or biodynamic grapes have been hand-picked. Start heating your fondue up, get some glasses and let the date night begin!

8. Avallen

source: www.naturalproducts.com, Photo by: Jim Manson

Want to take your tastebuds on holiday to France? Well, it might be tricky to travel these days, however you can bring the joy of a delicious Calvados into your home. Calvados is a spirit typically made from apples in Normandy, France. Avallen is produced entirely in the West of Normandy – of 40 different varieties of apples from 300 different orchards, where keeping biodiversity protected is a priority. Even their labels are made of apples!

In this versatile and delicious drink, there are no added sugars, it is made with minimal processing and they only use 1.2L of water for a bottle’s production. Moreover, every bottle that is made removes 2.73 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere, without external offsetting (apple trees lock up CO2 in their wood and roots).

For the founders, Tim Etherington-Judge and Stephanie Jordan, a local Amsterdammer, Avallen is not just a drink – this is their fight for a cleaner and healthier environment. They donate 1% of every bottle sold to different organisations around the world that are focusing on the protection of bees, restoration of the habitats and the ban of harmful neonicotinoids. On top of their climate positive actions, you can keep track of their transparent business practices as well.

Visit their website for super drink recipes, subscribe for climate positive stories and order your apple-licious spirit today. You can also find Avallen sold in some of the best bars in Amsterdam, such as Bar the Tailor, Rijks or Duke of Tokyo. Enjoy!

9. Farmed Today

source: www.farmedtoday.com, Photo by: Farmed Today

With Farmed Today you can have high quality, fresh and sustainable herbs and spices, coffee and tea delivered to your home all over the Netherlands and Germany.

Demba Lehrer formed the company with the intention to provide fair margins to food producers, access to sustainable food for consumers and to reduce food waste in Europe. Today they source their products from local and sustainable farmers while also keeping their supply chain as sustainable as possible by taking transparency and environmental impact into consideration.

Order your premium spices, herbs, coffees and teas through their website and earn loyalty points for further discounts.

“Eat local, Sustain Global.” – Farmed Today.

10. Vegan Fresco

source: www.veganamsterdam.org, Photo by: Vegan Amsterdam

If you feel like cooking, rather than eating out, and you’re on a vegan diet or just want to try something new, then you should take a look at the new Vegan Fresco store on Jan Evertsenstraat.

Vegan Fresco is the Netherlands' first ever 100% vegan supermarket. Just like more and more of us, Vegan Fresco are worried about climate change, and they are dedicated to inspiring everyone to embrace a vegan and plant-based diet in order to reduce the burden on the environment. They offer a wide range of products both from Holland and abroad. Check out their store, they are open 7 days a week!

  1. https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2020/05/eating-green-dutch-are-more-inclined-to-go-organic-research/
  2. https://www.livekindly.co/netherlands-leading-vegan-food-industry/