Should You Try Imperfect Foods?

Should You Try Imperfect Foods?

Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored by Imperfect Foods & I was not asked to write an Imperfect Foods review. This post does however contain some affiliate links. I genuinely love them and support their mission and wanted to share the love with you.

For months I have been convincing my husband that we NEED to try Imperfect Foods. He is more realistic about things, he asked me questions like:

“Would it really be cheaper than just buying it in a store?”

“How do you know the items are actually any good?”

“How do you cancel your subscription?”

And so on, and so on. He was relentless.

I was drawn to Imperfect Foods because I am passionate about eliminating food waste. When I was younger I worked at a tex-mex restaurant in Florida and I saw how much food was thrown out daily. I decided to start volunteering at a food bank and it completely opened my eyes. There was so much food that was being donated, good food.

Once I moved to Georgia I went to volunteer at a soup kitchen. A lot of the food that was being donated to this place was from restaurants and grocery stores in the local area. Again this was good food, nothing was really wrong with any of it besides it being ‘expired’ by the grocery stores.

I really wanted to try Imperfect Foods because I wanted to do my part in eliminating food waste.

Eventually, I was able to convince my husband to try it. Due to social distancing and moving to an area that seems like the middle of nowhere for me, it was the perfect time to try Imperfect Foods.

About food waste

According to the USDA, about 30-40% of the food supply in the United States is wasted. The United States leads the world in food waste. Nearly 40 million tons of food a year is wasted according to RTS. “That’s 80 billion pounds of food and equates to more than $161 billion, approximately 219 pounds of waste per person and 30-40 percent of the US food supply. Most of this food is sent to landfills; food is the single largest component taking up space inside US landfills.”

RTS is a company that partners with businesses and communities to manage waste more responsibly.

For more information from RTS about food waste, check out Food Waste in America in 2020.

What can you do to help?

RTS gives tips on what we can do to do our part in helping to eliminate food waste. Here are their tips:

  1. Don’t misinterpret expiration labels on food that’s perfectly good to eat.
    • There are typically 3 food labels, “best by”, “sell by” and “use by”.
    • “Best by” is the recommended date that the product has the best flavor. This does not mean that the item is technically spoiled.
    • “Sell by” determines when to sell an item, and just indicates how long an item has been sitting on a shelf.
    • “Use by” this is the date that the manufacture believes that the item won’t have then best flavor or quality.
  1. Learn how to compost to keep food scraps out of landfills, and the amount of greenhouse gases from rising.
  2. Freeze food that can’t be eaten immediately, but can be consumed at a later date.
  3. Share the wealth
    • Find a local food bank and donate what you don’t want to eat.
  4. Plan meals and make deliberate grocery store shopping lists.
    • Check out this blog post all about your shopping list here.
  5. Embrace imperfect produce
    • Try food subscriptions that help to eliminate food waste such as Imperfect Foods.

What is Imperfect Foods?

Imperfect Foods is a food subscription company that sends its customers produce that would have been wasted because it is deemed ‘imperfect’. Imperfect foods are those that may be discontinued, a surplus, have a cosmetic imperfection and so on.

To be clear, Imperfect Foods is not a nonprofit, they are a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC). This is a corporation that is designed to help the public.

Their mission

“Eliminate food waste and build a better food system for everyone.

If food can be saved, we will save it. With every bite into a misshapen apple, short piece of pasta, or oversized egg we can shape our world for the better. We’re hungry for change and eager to reduce waste on the farm, at the store, and in the home.”

Where they get their produce from

Imperfect Foods states that they receive the majority of their produce from California because over 80% of produce in the United States comes from this state.

This is what they say about their sourcing:

“We will always try to source locally when possible, but the sourcing of produce does depend on seasonality and availability. We do source from out-of-state and other countries when necessary and seasonally appropriate. We are not a local produce service. Our primary focus is reducing waste.”

How Imperfect Foods work

During sign up, you are able to choose what kind of grocery plan is best for you. For example, I have a regular, medium box with the meat & fish pack and grains pack that gets delivered every other week.

Box types you can choose from include: 

Regular

All fruit

All veggie

Organic

Box sizes you can choose from include:

Small

Medium

Large

Extra large

The frequency you can choose from include:

Every week

Every other week

Cadence you can choose from:

Even weeks

Odd weeks

Once I signed up and inputted my zip code, the website gave me my delivery day. Mine is Thursday, the delivery day is entirely dependent on where you live.

Because of this, the time I’m able to customize my box is from Friday at 3 pm until Monday at 3pm. This gives you plenty of time to come up with meals based on what is available.

Once this window opens you can choose exactly what you want in your box, from conventional to organic, meats, and all types of fruits & veggies.

The awesome thing about customizing your box is that you can see exactly why the produce is deemed ‘imperfect’. For example, the imperfection with the onions that I currently have in my cart is their size. And for the grapefruit in my cart it’s because there was a surplus.

The only thing is that in order to ship, your box has to come to $30. And the cost of shipping is determined by your address.

For my first box, I received $10 off. I was so excited, I only paid $19.70.

To get $10 off your first box, click here.

What came in my first box

Organic lentils for $2.99

Potatoes for $1.29

Chicken for $3.99

Beef for $5.99

Limes for $1

Oranges for $1

Tomatoes for $1.49

Jalapenos for $.79

Gnocchi for $1.99

Mangoes for $1.89

Grapefruit for $1.29

I saved $10 on this box, (received $10 off of yours) all of this was only $19.70.

With this box I helped to save 7 pounds of food, 280 gallons of water and 23.87 pounds of CO2 emissions.

My Experience

After I customized my box and my window was closed on April 6th, I received an email saying “Get ready for your first box”. This email also came with a storage guide.

Two days later, on April 8th, I received another email saying that there was a slight change to my order. Because they source food that would go to waste, sometimes everything that they think they will receive actually doesn’t arrive. So the boxes aren’t entirely predictable.

Things that were removed from my order were, onions, carrots, cantaloupe, cilantro, and mandarins. The good thing about this was that I wasn’t charged for these items, so for me, it was no problem.

That same day, April 8th, I received another email saying that my box was shipped. I was so excited. With this email they also provided a tracking number.

My box was delivered on April 9th around 4 pm and I immediately opened it.

Everything that I received seemed perfectly normal. Some items were a little small but that was no big deal. The other thing was that my bag of lentils had a little hole in it, resulting in some lentils spilling out. I emailed customer service and they apologized and credited my account.

I loved the product and customer service so much that I decided to order another box right away, even though I initially only wanted it every other week.

So for my next box, some of the things that I am planning on getting include:

Onion for (1) $.79

Cantaloupe (1) for $2.99

Grapefruit (4) for $3.18

Cucumber (2) for $ 1.49

Avocados (2) for $ 1.39

Mangoes (2) for $1.89

Asparagus (1 lb) for $2.99

Tomatoes (3) for $1.39

Lemons (4) for $1.00

Green bell peppers (2) for $1.29

Raspberries (6 oz) for $3.69

Unsweetened oat milk (32 oz) for $3.99

Chicken breast (14 oz) for $3.99

Does this save you money?

I know that every area is different when it comes to prices of groceries so I cannot answer this question entirely. For me, I believe that the prices provided by Imperfect Foods are a little cheaper, which I appreciate. But you have to do your research.

I only buy the organic version of fruits and veggies if they are on the dirty dozen list.

The list for 2020 includes strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, and hot peppers.

Only buying organic items that are on the dirty dozen list saves us a little money and I stick to our budget. For more info on how to stick to your grocery shopping budget check out my post here.

How to reuse the packaging?

If you live in an area where an Imperfect Foods driver delivers, they can easily pick up your packaging. Unfortunately, I do not live in one of these areas. On their website, they list tons of options on how to reuse your packaging, check it out here. My favorite option is donating them to those that are moving or need boxes for some reason, I hate paying for boxes when I’m moving.

Should you try Imperfect Foods?

Absolutely! I 100% believe in their mission and I want to do my part in eliminating food waste. If this is something you have a heart for, I definitely think you should try it.

This is a great company for me because, as I said, my husband and I are currently living in an area that does not have many produce options. I’m sure if you live in a huge area that has many options such as farmer’s markets and healthy grocery stores you may not need this. But I still encourage you to try this out.  Receive $10 off of your first box here.

If you try it and want to cancel your subscription, it is so easy! All you have to do it go to your account, then manage subscription and click “Cancel my whole subscription”.


In case you missed it:

Where To Eat in Columbus, Georgia

If you have any recommendations of what I should write about next please share, I want to write about what you want to read about. Be on the look out for my post about food waste.

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If you know of any other food waste things that we should be talking about, let me know!

Love,

Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored by Imperfect Foods & I was not asked to write an Imperfect Foods review. This post does however contain some affiliate links. I genuinely love them and support their mission and wanted to share the love with you.



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