Updated: Mar 4, 2021
Zero waste cooking oils now available on refill
I’m excited to share some details about the latest addition to the shelves here at Earthian. We are now able to offer two fantastic oils on refill - these are Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Rapeseed Oil. They were the most popular options chosen by customers, closely followed by Organic Sunflower Oil, which I hope I’ll be able to add to the range later this year.
I spent some time researching what was available and although there are some amazing companies out there with sustainability and ethics at their core, the keystone when it came to settling on the right supply for the shop was the packaging. It’s important to me that as I build the range and the business up that the supply is as low waste as possible, which is why I love these closed-loop oils!
I’ve talked about this in previous posts about cleaning liquids and coffee here at the shop. As much as possible I’m opting for closed-loop supply systems, also known as circular supply, before looking at any single-use or recyclable packaging at the shop. In essence, a closed-loop supply means that the packaging that goods are delivered to us in, will be kept, sanitized and reused for as long as possible.
These two cooking and eating oils are delivered by SESI, a small family run social enterprise in Oxford that also makes half of the cleaning products that we have here at the shop. They use their own fleet of vans to deliver goods so that they can collect all our empty containers at the same time. The containers are returned to the warehouse where they are cleaned, sanitized, refilled and delivered to a new zero waste shop somewhere in the UK.
This is how our new oils are delivered to the shop. The tubs will be kept and returned to be used again and again. The oil at the shop will fill your bottles from home and the cycle of reuse will continue!
Honest Toil Olive Oil
I’m so happy to have discovered Honest Toil Olive Oil. They produce extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil and have a focus on sustainability as well as ethical practices on the production side. The olives are not grown intensively, and instead they are supplied by a network of locally owned and family run groves, each with a few hundred trees. Along the line to production and delivery, they use small-scale businesses helping to support the whole community and ensure that profits remain within the region.
The olive oil itself is marvellous. It is not filtered or blended at all, so the oil you taste is 100% pure pressed koroneiki olives. Many extra virgin olive oils found generally in supermarkets are still blended with inferior oils during production. The olives that Honest Toil use are also pressed on the day of picking so that the oil has an incredibly low acidity level of 0.2 – 0.3%. The benefits not just to taste but to health are enormous as the sediment from the olives remains in the oil.
The result is a thick, opaque oil that is actually green! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed decanting it into the steel drum and seeing that gorgeous colour filling up. It is very versatile and can be eaten raw as a drizzle or dressing, as well as being used in cooking to add a rich flavour to your dishes.
Cotswold Gold Rapeseed Oil
Cotswold Gold is a wonderful company based here in the UK. They grow, harvest, press and bottle their amazing oil on the family farm down in the Cotswolds (hence the name!) They use a traditional cold press method to ensure that the oil retains its wonderful health benefits. Rapeseed oil is low in cholesterol, high in vitamin E and in omegas 3, 6 and 9.
The business itself is also run with sustainability and zero waste practices at heart. They collect used cooking oil from pubs and restaurants that they supply, which they filter before it is taken to be used as bio-fuel. They also run their offices off of waste oil. The rapeseed ‘cake’, which is the left over husk after pressing the oil out of it, is sold on as cattle feed and even after pressing the husk still contains important nutrients that will benefit the livestock.
The oil is nutty in flavour and a lovely golden colour. It has a high flash point so it can be used for frying, but is also versatile enough to be a replacement for butters and oils in most recipes.
I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback about these new oils. Remember to bring your empty bottles or jars from home to refill!