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The challenge of buying what is going to be consumed - Granadaimedia

María Martínez, in her bulk business in the Magdalena neighborhood.Photos: Lucía Rivas

A tremendous fact to start: each Spaniard threw 31 kilos of food without consuming throughout the year 2020.If one takes into account that the country's population exceeds 47 million inhabitants, it is only a matter of making a simple calculation to verify that the result is a barbarity.

So the challenge falls by its weight: we should adjust our point of view and try to buy only what we foresee that we are going to consume.Those gigantic containers that we buy for reasons as convincing as we pay two and take three, are quite likely to spoil in the pantry or the refrigerator.As the grandparents said, you don't have to fill the eye before the gut.

Magdalena bulk is an establishment that opened at the end of 2019 in the center of Granada (specifically on Darrillo de Magdalena Street, almost arriving in Alhóndiga) to help those who accept that challenge.Its strategy is bulk sale, as was done many years ago.There are all kinds of legumes, many varieties of pasta, rice, coffee, dehydrated fruit, spices ... a quite complete assortment.

The system is simple: the client asks what he wants and the shopkeeper approaches the packages and with a palette draws the requested amount.The weighing, the cobra and the user takes the requested home.Wrapped in paper, never in plastic.There that would be very frowned upon.

Easy and ... without plastics

"It is prohibited!" Jokes the owner of the premises, María Martínez, a young woman born in Burgos and raised in Torrevieja who arrived in Granada in 2019.Shortly after he set up the business because he thought he could work.He had no experience in that field, but confesses that he was always interested "related to ecological food and natural remedies".He knew that in other places that model worked successfully and threw himself thinking that it was "the dream he pursued".

In the bulk of the Magdalena, the products are in fabric bags, there the plastic is left.

As it has been clear, respect for the environment and ultranza defense of recycling are two basic business standards.The store makes paper available to the client, but these can also carry their own containers.«The pale we use here is reusable and we advise those who come to make use of such material.At the end of your useful life you can recycle, but as a last resort and after using it, ”he highlights.

He believes that the philosophy that governs between those four walls is adopting more and more people and prediction that will increase.Not only to consume less plastic, which could even be a less pressing problem "because many bags are already made with material that can be composed", but because, and we return to the initial point, theirs is to buy what is necessary."The food waste is tremendous,".

Another detail of the central bulk sales store.

El reto de comprar lo que se va a consumir - GranadaiMedia

Things are doing well.During the confinement, which arrived when the store only had been running for a few months, the billing went down even though, selling essential products, it never closed its doors."But it was a period in which many bought online or bet on large surfaces".To buy from Mansalva, by the way, although she doesn't say it.The clientele from nearby towns also diminished for a while, but now the situation has "recovered" and the future can be addressed with relative optimism.

Let's go from ecological stores

Not far from there, on Socrates Street, a stone shot by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón, is a biosphere.Its owner, Mario González, worked before in an ecological bread oven in Quentar and there the bug entered the ecological products.

It is absolutely in favor of "the philosophy that consists in buying what you need" and that the client takes it "on paper or in compostable bags".There are also bulk products, although less.To compensate, offers, sausages, dairy products, chocolates ... All that tries to reach the establishment "packaged in containers that do not contain plastic, although unfortunately it is not always possible".

«A lot of food is thrown in the houses, but especially in the restaurants.There is a barbarity, ”emphasizes the businessman, who is signed up for an initiative aimed at avoiding it to the extent of the possible.It is a mobile application called Too Good to Go (translatable by "too good to throw it"), behind which there is a company that manages the sale of a kind of surprise packages with food close to spoiling and available toa cheaper price.The surprise comes because the package has a heterogeneous content that the seller chooses and the customer takes blind.

Biosphere interior, ecological store near Pedro Antonio de Alarcón.

«I make those packages when I see that things are going to be left over.The rest is easy: people who have that application on the mobile come, ask for one or more packages and take them at a reasonable price.And the result is noticeable, because the truth is that we barely throw anything, ”he says.

For the store, the benefit of this initiative is not much, because the company that operates the app takes a percentage."But taking into account that the other option is to throw, it is worth it," it is comforted.

Working with the modest

Biosphere does not work with the big distribution platforms.He prefers to do so with cooperatives and small businesses that offer recent products from La Huerta, as who says.For example, apples that do not look as bright as those of a large surface but that, he says, are much more tasty.

Because in this it is important not to be fooled by sight.«An apple is bright because it is worsened.It seems out of a story, but in reality it has been in contact with pesticides, herbicides and others.Products that an ecological apple has not even seen, ”he says.

Without being a sense like that of view, there is another factor that leads many consumers to distrust organic products: their price.Mario González grants that "obviously they are more expensive", and they are for many reasons.«If there is a plague in a field, it can be fumigated and ready, but you can also pull resources and natural solutions, and that costs.For example, in natural gardens weed is usually removed by hand ».

On biosphere shelves there are products of all kinds.

There is another inconvenience, a kind of tribute that must be paid to foster the natural.«Our products, to obtain an ecological certification, must pay a certifying company and then pay a periodic fee.All that, not to mention that we work with microenterprises that cannot put prices as low as those that sell you one hundred thousand kilos of whatever, ”he continues.

Suggests as solutions that subsidize the sector and that promotion campaigns for the citizen are designed.«Something is already done, but then there are adverse reactions of some when you bet on the natural.There is nothing more to see the one that has been lied when a minister has talked about macrogranjas and intensive agriculture, ”he concludes.

An aware clientele

In the same sector Romualdo Benítez moves, which runs the Ecosúper of Molinos Street, in El Realejo.There, his clientele leads "almost a rajatabla" that of buying what he needs."They are aware that no more account residues should be generated," he says, and to underline it, he says that he has not even pointed to that of the Too Good to go "because we do not need, because the little we have left over.To users, we distribute it among those of the store or, ultimately, we give it to a client who has chickens ».

Nods when listening to the recommendation to distrust the fruit very bright "because there is something behind" and categorically denies that the ecological fruit is echoed before losing."A professor at the University of Valencia showed that it is the opposite, that it can last up to fifteen or twenty days".

Romualdo Benítez, in the Ecosúper that rules.

Regarding formulas to reduce prices, he believes that the first, and also the most logical, would be to "penalize those who produce with pesticides, apply a tax that would do the most competitive ecological".

Anyway, Romualdo Benítez believes that the natural is on the rise.And to follow that path, it can help not a few farmers «are going on to the ecological because we buy their products at a fair price.I can give them 65 cents for a kilo of oranges, compared to the seven cents given by the giants, which are also those who set prices and do not give rise to negotiations.I, on the other hand, I know that if that little producer sells me more expensive it is because he has to do it, in the same way that, if he has surpluses of something, I know he will sell me cheaper ».

«Farmers,” he adds - will have to diversify their production and make changes, but at least they can live and will not be enslaved.If you want to continue living in the countryside and the countryside, that little transformation is what will allow them to do so, ”he rates.

The establishment has already become a classic in the Realejo neighborhood.

Other bulk sales businesses in the neighborhoods of Granada

We know that in the neighborhoods of Granada there are other businesses that are dedicated to bulk sale.If you know any, tell us name and address in the comments to try to prepare a list or map with all of them.Do you help us?

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