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Did you know that a lot of wonky-shaped, too-small, or too-big produce gets tossed everyday just because of how it looks? Here we are trying to teach our children not to judge a book by its cover and we’re throwing out perfectly good food because it is smaller or bigger than its fellow produce. Imperfect Produce is here to put an end to this madness.
What Is Food Waste?
Each year, an estimated 20 BILLION pounds of food are going to waste from our farms. Imperfect Produce aims to address this huge portion of food waste. (You and I can help address other parts by using the food we have wisely, and storing it properly so it stays fresh as long as possible.)
When we think of our farms, let’s think about everything that goes into planting, growing, and harvesting our food:
When we throw away food; we’re also throwing all of that away, too. On top of that, we’re basically lighting our own money on fire. I am blessed to live in an area where there are 5 different grocery stores right by me, but many aren’t as lucky. When we throw away perfectly food food, we are making it even harder for hungry people to access healthy foods. <steps off soap box>
Imperfect Produce has done all the research, so to read more about food waste and how they are combating this national problem, visit their website.
What Does it Mean to Eat Imperfect Produce?
When I heard about Imperfect Produce a few years ago, I thought the concept was brilliant! I don’t need my food to look perfect, and I always like to save a buck, so I was intrigued.
Giving it a try was a no brainer, but I was a little skeptical of what would actually arrive in my box. Would it be so mangled and weird that I would have to cut most of it out and throw it away?
When your produce box arrives, you don’t have to worry about rotting, mangled fruit and veggies gracing your doorstep. Imperfect Produce isn’t like that at all. In fact, the majority of their foods are rejected because they are bigger or smaller than their fruit and veggie counterparts or have minor cosmetic differences. I only noticed a few, very small things about our box:
- Some of our onions were much smaller than the normal onion, so they got tossed into the “you suck” pile at the farm. (Why am I wanting to write a children’s book about this?!)
- One of our plums had a brown spot on the skin that didn’t impact the taste at all.
- One of our tomatoes was a little unsphere-like, but totally fine otherwise.
You Can Get Discounts on Pantry Items, Too
Hold the phone — not only can I get the hookup on produce, I can get other items, too. Yeah, girl.
Sometimes a company will change their packaging or order too many of a certain product so they have a big surplus. Imperfect Produce scoops up those items and passes the savings along to the consumer. I was able to select a box of chickpea pasta for $.01 because the company’s branding changed. Their loss; this mama’s gain.
In my last box, I added a few fun items like honey caramels, fruit-infused water boxes, and some sea salt pepitas. The water boxes were a huge hit and we ended up getting more at Target! (They were $2.99 in my box and on sale for $2.50 at Target, so a little more expensive from Imperfect Produce.)
How Imperfect Produce Works
I found the entire process quick, easy, and affordable. Here’s how it works:
- Enter your zip code to see if they deliver to your area. (fingers crossed)
- Pick between all veggie, all fruit, mixed, or organic. (We chose the mixed fruit and veggie medium box for our family of 4.)
- Choose how often you want to receive your box.
- Tell them how often you want that Imperfect Produce in your life (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.)
A few days before your box is set to arrive, you’ll get an email telling you it’s time to customize your box! (This was very exciting! Welcome to your mid 30s.) You can scroll through the 30-40 items available and pick whatever you want in your box. Many items are pre-selected, but you can unselect them and add whatever you want. I did want to add like 3 different kinds of canned cold brew coffee, but decided against it because #budget.
Fun Fact: I discovered that my kids like plums because of this box! Who knew!?
It’s Like an Uber for Your Produce!
On the arrival day, they give you a window of time to expect your box. A lovely person in a van will deliver your box right to your front door. About 30 minutes before they arrive, you’ll get a text with tracking so you can see where your produce is at any given time!
I tried not to make it weird, but I totally opened the door before my guy was even up our steps, but whatever. I. Was. Pumped. He handed me 2 boxes – one with refrigerated stuff, and one with non-refrigerated stuff. My items were cold, but there were no ice packs, so this is something to keep in mind if you live on the surface of the sun like we do.
They’ll Even Tell You How to Store Your Imperfect Produce
A lot of food is wasted because it is not stored properly…just ask the 8 ears of corn that are sitting on my counter. In your box, you’ll get a really nice laminated produce storage guide that tells where to put what. (Do not refrigerate your precious tomatoes!)
There will also help you come up with recipe ideas for your new produce babies! A recipe card was included, plus there are more receipts on their site.
Ready to Give it a Try?
I totally think you should try it. We’ve already decided that it’s good for the planet, good for your wallet, and what’s better than getting food delivered to you. You don’t have to worry about your neighbor seeing you looking like a hot mess at the grocery store. Here, they’ll even give you $10 off your first box!