Misfit Veggies By Mail
I’ve previously written about how we get our meat by mail with Butcher Box. Well man does not live by pork shoulder alone (oh if wishes could make it so) so we were intrigued when we learned about a service called Misfits Market that delivers produce to your door. We are often looking for services to make our lives easier.
Like many families, we struggle to get kids to eat vegetables. We always try to provide one if not 2 veggies as side dishes and rotate through the normal options of green beans, broccoli, and zucchini (the veggie that shall not be named). We’ve steamed, baked and roasted. Made cheese sauce and drizzled with maple syrup (not at the same time). I also try to keep a sectioned veggie tray full of cucumbers, baby carrots and red, yellow and orange bell peppers. It’s really helpful for packing lunches during the school year and for snacking times before dinner. There are many times when I don’t have time to get veggies ready and I just plop it on the table. And by “plop” I mean lovingly serve with grace and care.
But the key to get kids to eat vegetables is just to keep offering it and letting kids know that they are not going away. Offering a variety of different things is also important. Misfits Market seems to be a good way for us to get that variety in a convenient way.
Misfits Market is a subscription box for produce priced at up to 50% less than the grocery store. Their slogan is “always fresh, sometimes normal.” They provide produce from farms and distributors that is perfectly edible but maybe too misshapen, small or underripe to sell in stores. They pass the discount on to you.
To get started you just visit their website and pick the size that works for you. We get a large box (18-20 lbs of organic fruit and veg) once per week that costs us $35. A smaller one (8-10 lbs for $19) is also available. The company updates the list of produce they are sourcing on their website. But you may or may not get all of what is listed. You can schedule the frequency and the day of the week you would like it to arrive.
We’ve received three boxes so far and my 7 year-old son has been disappointed that the produce hasn’t been MORE weird than he expected it to be given the name. Some of the oranges have been a little small with mottled peels, the potatoes were not perfectly red and round. The mangoes and pears needed to ripen a bit, and some of the spinach leaves had brown splotches on them. It’s also all organic produce. I know I’ve mentioned that a lot. Did I say that it’s organic? I say this because organic produce is expensive! I definitely feel you get a lot of value for the money given the price of organic produce.
I’ve also been pleased with the selection. It’s a good mix of leafy greens, starchy vegetables, green vegetables and fruits. Some we had in our home before and some were new to me. In a recent box we got some kohlrabi (a crisp and watery root vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked) and some golden delicious apples. I normally wouldn’t have bought either of them being more of a Gala or Fuji man, myself. My 5-year-old daughter balked initially at apples that were not her preferred color but then ate a whole one. Her little brother followed suit. I used the kohlrabi to make some veggie fritters that almost everyone ate and liked (sometimes 2 out of 4 kids is enough). I don’t normally buy jicama or kale (ENOUGH with the kale propaganda) but am looking forward to putting them to use.
Another benefit of Misfits Market is helping to reduce food waste. You are buying food that is deemed “unsellable.” It sounds like a no-brainer but the ethics and reality are far more complicated than it first appears. Misfits Market seems to be one of the “ugly food” purveyors actually trying to buy direct from growers so it has that to its favor. Some vendors just buy from large agribusiness A lot of food that won’t win a beauty contest is sold to manufacturers who turn it into something where initial appearance doesn’t matter. Some say services like this also take away from Community Supported Agriculture programs. We’ve tried to do CSAs and for the most part they have long waiting lists in our area. I tried a type of CSA that delivered a produce box to my office. Apparently that community for some reason supported 2 to 3 different types of radishes per week. We stopped using it.
For now, this solution works for us. It has us trying different things and eating more vegetables. As we enter the busy summer months when it’s more difficult for me to get to the store by myself it’s nice to know I will have a box of fresh something arriving at the house once per week. Yes, I have to plan to cook based on what I get rather than what I want to buy, but sometimes that’s easier than starting from a completely blank slate. And usually there are many things I would have purchased anyway.
Misfits Market has not compensated me for this post. This is a service my family decided to try and I wanted to share it with you.