You’ve probably seen all these produce subscription services that use imperfect, ugly, misfits, or another way to say not-quite-perfect produce. I’ve tried a few of these services, and landed on one I like. Answer a few questions to decide if Ugly Produce Boxes like this are for you.
What Are Ugly Produce Boxes?
There are various companies that rescue produce that’s shaped a bit odd, that too much was produced, or too much variation in size.
There can be scarring on the fruit or vegetables surface, some broken stalks on a bunch of celery, a bruise on an apple, but most of the produce I’ve gotten looks great and tastes even better!
Where Can I Order These Ugly Produce Boxes?
It depends on what part of the US you live in. Some companies service certain states or regions. So you may have to research one near you. Please feel free to add your area and a link to the one you like in the comments.
Here are a few that I know of:
- Misfits Market – this is the one I use
- Hungry Harvest
- Imperfect Produce
- I will add more as I find out about them
Are Ugly Produce Boxes for Me?
You need to think about what’s most important to you in produce. If you love going to the store or famers market and picking out each piece carefully, these boxes aren’t really for you.
You will get some bruised fruit, or on occasion a veggie with a bad spot. The size will vary widely and what you get one week maybe completely different than another.
While you will get seasonal produce, you may not get cranberries for Thanksgiving or berries the week of your big party. You may have to supplement with a trip to the store when you want to make certain things.
Please note that it’s fine if these aren’t for you. That’s the beauty in having some many options to source your fruits and veggies!
What is MisFits Market?
That’s the service I’m currently using. They have a large or small box that you can get weekly or every other week. Use this link to get a 25% off your first box: http://misfitsmarket.refr.cc/kathyhester
One of the things I like is that all the produce in their boxes are organic, and at these prices you get a lot for your money.
The large box is called the madness and is $35. You will get up to 14 different types of fruit and vegetables that will be around 20 pounds of produce.
The smaller is called the mischief and is $25,
You can also order gift boxes and I think that would be a great holiday present. Just look under boxes on the navigation and go to the last one.
What Can I Expect with Imperfect Produce in Ugly Produce Boxes?
Most of the boxes I get look like they are straight from a grocery store. I’ve unpacked many of them on my YouTube channel if you want to see more.
I purposely put photos on this post that had the most imperfections because I’m afraid that seeing so many almost perfect boxes gave some people the wrong expectations.
You can see in the photo below that there was a soft spot on one of the sweet potatoes. That particular potato is huge and I needed to cut off about a quarter of it.
Some of the celery was damaged, but most of it was easily salvaged. I just cut out any bad parts and then made a nice soup.
In the past with Misfits Market I’ve lost an onion or a tiny potato, but it wasn’t anything that I felt needed a refund on. There was another service where I was getting yellowed kale and they promptly refunded me.
Can I Pick What Fruit and Veggies I Want?
That depends on the service. Hungry harvest gives you a base list and lets you pay $1 to swap things out. Misfits market is all a surprise, though they do send out a list of possibilities each week.
What Size Box Should I Get? How Often?
Some places have small, medium, and large boxes. With the service I use there are 2 sizes, the smaller for a household of 2 – 3 and the larger for a larger family.
Another thing is to consider is just how much produce you eat in a day. If you are nutritarian or follow a whole food plant based diet the larger size might be for you.
What Can I Chop and Freeze?
There’s meal prepping and there’s ingredient prepping. I lean towards having ingredients chopped and ready to go, so cooking dinner doesn’t take as much time to prep.
The very first thing I do is chop the onions and freeze in a resealable freezer bag, but you could use any freezer safe container. I like using a bag because you can thaw them fast if you use a thin layer or just break off what you need for a dish.
Next I chop up and bell peppers and mushrooms. These can also just be tossed in the freezer as is in their own separate bags.
What Else Can I Prep?
I usually clean and break down kale, collards, or other greens and store them in a produce saver container in the fridge.
If you get a lot of winter squash you can break it down, blanch in hot water for a minute or 2, cool in ice water, then freeze.
I Found Something Unusable in my Box – What Should I Do?
First, take a deep breath. Things happen and something may have looked ok when packed but didn’t travel well. Or something slipped through by mistake.
Just take some photos and email customer service. You can ask for a partial refund or for that to be replaced depending on the service you use.
My Delivery is Days Late – What Should I Do?
Depending on the service you’re using they may be the delivery service or they may be using someone like UPS or USPS. First, contact customer service and let them know if you don’t receive a box on the due date.
You might get it the next day if it’s a postal issue, but this way you have it documented in their system and it will be easier to continue the conversation.
If you do get a box days late, the produce is likely to have perished. Take photos of the box, the label, and the produce inside.
Compost what you can and your box provider should give you a full refund if none of the produce is useable. Remember if it is the delivery service’s fault all the box people will be able to tell you is when it shipped from them. Please be kind to them and they will help you get your refund.