Having recently joined Misfits Market, a subscription delivery service for what’s called “ugly” produce, I can say without reservations that I’m in love. Above, my first week’s delivery.
Each week, a 10- to 13-pound box of organic fruits and vegetables that are apparently not perfect enough for stores arrives at my doorstep (a larger box is available as well). I’ve gotten four deliveries now, and can unequivocally say that I’m thoroughly impressed with this service and the fresh produce I’ve received.
I’m kind of flabbergasted that some of these fruits and vegetables are deemed not pretty enough for stores. I was expecting to get a lot of weird vegetables, like carrots that look like two legs, but so far there hasn’t been anything like that (not that I’d mind).
And in all of these four deliveries, everything has been fit to eat, other than one pear whose stem end was a little mushy (the rest of it was fine). Not a bad track record for 40+ pounds of produce.
When I first subscribed, each box was a surprise melange of produce, which was fun (other than getting celery four weeks running), but now you can customize your weekly delivery
A discount code for your first order: The Vegan Atlas readers can use the coupon code COOKWME-FY8PED to get 25% off your first order.
Week 2 delivery
What is Misfits Market, exactly?
I’ll let Misfits Market explain, from their website:
“It’s a subscription box of sometimes funny-looking, always delicious produce, designed to break the cycle of food waste. Think of us like an online grocery store, except one that specializes in rescuing food that is unnecessarily thrown away.
We source high-quality organic produce that has a few quirks—onions that are too small, potatoes that are shaped like your favorite celebrity, and carrots that fell in love and got twisted together.
It may sound like a joke, but billions of pounds of this fresh and delicious food is tossed each year because grocery stores only want ‘perfect’ foods on their shelves.
We step in and buy this food from hundreds of farms across the country and bring them to your doorstep, saving you money and helping you save the world.”
Learn lots more about Misfits Market on their FAQ page.
Where does Misfits deliver?
Not everywhere yet, but many areas. Again, from the website:
“We currently deliver to all zip codes in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts (except Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard), Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Ohio, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. We’re growing quickly, so if your state isn’t listed, join our wait list and you’ll be the first to know when we come to your area.
Week 3 delivery
What I like:
Misfits Market is helping to eliminate food waste, which is not only wasteful, obviously, but contributes to climate change.
Consistent e-mail messaging lets me know that my box is being packed, that it has shipped, and even once it has arrived.
- I can add extra items to my box. Each week, there’s a list of extras on the website, which include packaged items, fresh herbs, and even treats. For example, in my last box, I added Bob’s Red Mill Cream of Wheat, and a couple of bars of chocolate. These items were priced lower than they would be in stores.
- You get produce you might not have access to otherwise. I like getting produce that I might not normally pick up at the store (like Jerusalem artichokes), or that may not even be available locally (like purple-tinged Brussels sprouts).
- The produce is organic. And smaller organic farmers gain an extra market for produce that’s not deemed good enough for regular stores.
- Minimal packaging. The outer box just goes straight into the recycling, and the one ice pack is ecologically sound and can be emptied easily once melted.
- It’s economical. The cost, including shipping, is about $26 a week. I would say this can easily cover the produce needs of a couple or a small family. Is there a huge savings over grocery prices? The website states that the savings are 25% to 40% of grocery store cost, and that’ likely the case in some areas; I figured about 15 to 20% savings compared to my local supermarket, which may not be as expensive as those in metropolitan areas.
- Misfits employs those who might otherwise have trouble finding jobs. This includes those who were formerly incarcerated.
What I don’t like:
I can’t think of a single thing I don’t like about the service or produce I’ve received thus far. And the concept is brilliant.
About food waste
In the U.S alone, tons of produce goes to waste each month because it’s not picture-perfect enough for the marketplace, or because markets have over-ordered. This concurrence of waste and abundance collides with the painful reality of hunger in America. What’s worse, an estimated twenty to forty percent of produce is wasted while one in six people are hungry or food insecure — millions of them children.
It’s no secret that hunger is a huge problem in this land of plenty, but what’s less known is that uncomposted produce dumped in landfills releases methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide emissions.
You can read the rest of the article at Jewish Food Experience.