Oh, the Challenges with Access to Organic Produce!
While eating organic fruits and vegetables can have an amazing positive affect on your health and well-being, there are two basic challenges most people face: one is time and the other is money.
I do not have time to shop!!!!!
As much as I LOVE to make a mess in my kitchen, cook, and eat, my practice is so incredibly busy right now that I rarely get to the local health food store to have my produce when I need it. How do you like spending time driving in traffic back and forth and then shopping way too long and spending too much money on compulsive over-buying? And before you know it, you are a few hours and a few hundred dollars short!
Community Supported Agriculture
One way to get regular local and often organic produce is to find a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). You invest in the farmer once a year, before the beginning of the season, which may be around $600 for the whole share (various sizes of shares may be available at various price points). Once you have paid, you will receive weekly produce, depending on what the farmer has available at a time, at pick-up places, usually from April/May into October or so. This is actually very affordable when you think about it. You do not have much choice in the produce and you do have to cook!!!! I remember when I was single, I split a share with a friend—it was too much food for me alone!!!
Here is where you can search for a local CSA: https://www.localharvest.org/csa/
Do Not Have the Budget for Fresh Organics? Try Inexpensive “Ugly” Organic Produce and Change the World in the Process!
The second challenge with eating organic foods is the cost of organic produce. What if you do not have $600 laying around to invest in CSA? What if you want to be able to pick your produce every week as needed?? It is a challenge to eat healthy on a tight budget. It is the junk food that is most readily available, most addictive, and the “cheapest,” in the short run, at least. That’s why it’s so exciting to see that there is a new way to get quality produce for less money.
I was recently introduced to buying “imperfect produce” and I simply LOVE the affordability, convenience, and the good karma that my choice carries! I have been enjoying my produce from Imperfect Produce. Let me share the concept behind this company and a similar company, Misfits Market.
Companies like Imperfect Produce and Misfits Market are changing the produce game and making a difference ecologically at the same time. They sell “ugly” fruits and vegetables that weren’t pretty enough to be sold in stores. Rather than throwing this produce out and adding to the off gassing and global warming, these companies are partnering with local farms to bring these ugly but perfectly normal and fresh foods right to your door. I do not have to drive to get my food. Imperfect Produce brings it to my door. It is worth mentioning that they also pay their employees livable wages. YES.
I talked to Imperfect Produce and while they are currently only in certain parts of the US, I hear that they ARE expanding. The concept is wonderful: we waste 20 billion pounds of produce a year in the US alone, and 21% of fresh water is wasted growing this food. What is the worst, and not popularly known, is that the discarded food lands in LANDFILLS, producing METHANE (yes, you may have thought it composts and does not hurt the environment), which may be contributing more to global warming than C02!!!! Around 800-900 million tons of produce every year is not sold by the farmers globally. Some is due to the produce not meeting the perfect shape and size that consumers expect. Both Imperfect Produce and Misfits Market are deeply committed to cutting down on the global warming and waste by working with farmers to capture perfectly good produce that is not “perfect” for the stores.
While each company operates a bit differently and they each have different delivery areas, their mission is the same: to help consumers save money on produce, to help stop food waste, and to support local farmers.
I was so excited about this, I just had to try it out for myself. We have been getting our Imperfect Produce box for a few weeks, delivered right to our door and we love it. The imperfections on the produce are simply cosmetic, and it has all tasted fresh and wonderful. It was not too much or too little. I am able to just pick some foods and make a meal. This makes my day easy, cooking fast, and I feel so good that I am making a difference for a farmer and the environment. We do eat what we see in front of us. I am grateful I get extra of my all-time favorite finger food: fruits.
I always remind people that we vote with our money—we change the world by what we buy—where our money goes.
The Only Bad Thing So Far…
The only drag is that there are still too many towns and cities where neither of the companies delivers. Both companies are expanding though—the need is big! You can contact each company and engage to make your voice heard and soon enough they may be delivering to your door as well!!!! Misfits Market has a “waiting” list—you can email them where you live so your town is put on that list.
If enough people from your community emails these companies…they may come to you too! Please make your voice heard!
In particular, I was really thrilled to see that Imperfect Produce delivers to Baltimore, MD, where we used to live…
If you are lucky to live in an area where one on these companies deliver, you can make a difference and decrease the toxic load on our planet and have fresh organic produce at your door every single week. You are supporting farmers and the companies that pay their employees a living wage. Take some time to look into these companies today to see if they deliver to your city so you too can eat delicious, nutritious, and affordable produce that makes a positive difference in our world.
Who knew some “ugly” (I am not sure whey they call this produce ugly, really) fruits and vegetables could do so much good?
How does this work?
In general, you can sign up on one of the websites and receive a weekly delivery of imperfect fruit and veggies to your door for up to 30-50% less than what you would pay for the same, prettier produce in the store. Plus, you save gas and time on your shopping trip!
Here’s a quick summary of the differences of each company:
|Imperfect Produce||Misfits Market|
|Frequency of Delivery||Weekly||One-time order available, or save even more for a weekly or every other week subscription.|
|Box Options||Four options: Small (7-9 lbs), Medium (11-13 lbs), Large (17-19 lbs), and Extra Large (23-25 lbs).||Two options: Small (10-12 lbs) or Large (18-20 lbs).|
|Customization Available?||Yes, customization is allowed.||No.|
|Price||Standard prices before customization (depending on size):|
Organic – $15-43
Conventional – $11-27
|One-Time Order: $23.75 (small) or $42.50 (large).|
Subscription: $19.00 (small) or $34.00 (large).
|Delivery Area||Select areas in California, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Texas, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.||All zip codes in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware. Can join a wait list to help get your city in their rotation.|
|Accept SNAP/EBT?||No, but offers a discount to those who qualify for SNAP/EBT.||No.|
Here is a map showing the current (March 2019) delivery areas for Imperfect Produce.
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