I’ve tried several of the meal delivery services, and they are fun, but between the huge amount of packaging and the cost they’re just not something I can reasonably fit into my budget/conscience. But I do love getting packages, and I love puzzles, and you know I love groceries. After seeing the Imperfect Produce ad on Facebook about a million times, I decided to give it a go.
Imperfect Produce is a weekly delivery of a box of produce to your door. The day depends on your zip code, but they seem to cover the entire Austin area. You can choose the box size, and whether you want organic or conventional produce. I’ve been scheduled for a medium organic box for the past two months.
Their hook is that they’re selling the produce that for one reason or another isn’t acceptable to grocery store buyers. This sounds like a bad plan, but most of us don’t work within the specific parameters that stores do. I’m happy with a apple that is small, or a pear that has an odd line on the skin. A sweet potato that’s weirdly knobby, or a beet that is oddly huge, is fine eating in my kitchen. The hope is that getting this produce sold will help farmers, save resources and reduce waste. My account has an ongoing tally of the ways these purchases help.
One of the things I really like is that it is completely customizable. I can remove items that were assigned to my box, and can choose from organic or conventional produce to add during the ‘customization phase’ which is four days long. The price for each addition/removal changes the total as I go. If I want to skip a week, it’s a simple click. I really enjoy customizing, completely forgetting what I’ve ordered, and then wondering what I’ll cook with my cool box of veggie loot.
This is a look at the average costs, from their website. For a medium box, the cost is about $2/lb for organic produce, which is a price point that pushed me to give it a try. I do try to stick to the dirty dozen for produce, and I’ll scan the conventional list to see if their prices have deals.
Here are some photos of one of the boxes I got, some detailing the ‘flaws’.
The flaws here were: surplus, scarring, spotting. Every time you order you can see why it’s not ‘acceptable’ for purchase, as well as the source of the item. It’s great for people trying to source within the USA, but it’s not a service that’s providing local produce so don’t expect that.
I’m really happy with this service. I am in stores less, which helps me save. I’m buying more organic options of the Dirty Dozen than I would, which is better for my family. And I usually get some random thing that gives me a project–a 1.5lb daikon radish for example (look for a post on that soon)! I’ve skipped weeks, but overall I’m really happy when my box arrives. I open it up and start plotting how I can get all these veggies eaten, and I love that kind of puzzle.
NOTE: This was not compensated in any way. I haven’t received anything from Imperfect Produce at all, I just tried it and wanted to share.