Three Food Delivery Companies You Have to Try
Every time I grocery shop, I have something of a mini-existential crisis. Eggs are a good example. Choosing a carton is no longer about choosing large versus extra large, or white versus brown. Now we have to choose between local, organic, cage-free, pasture-raised, fortified with Omega-3 and every possible combination of those labels. And that’s where the panic sets in. If I go with the organic and pasture-raised, I’m not always choosing local. But then maybe the local option isn’t organic; maybe it’s cage-free, but isn’t pasture-raised supposed to better for those little chickies? The pressure and struggle to “vote with my dollars” is real.
The pressure spans beyond eggs, and into the realm of anything harvested, fished or raised. This is why I am so excited about three food companies that are tackling food waste, over-fishing, and eating locally raised meat. Together, they are bringing ethical and environmentally-friendly right to our doorsteps, making eating easy, delicious and free of existential crises.
Imperfect Produce: After harvest, produce goes through what is known as the culling process, where fruit and veggies are judged on their symmetry and blemishes. The produce that doesn’t make it gets discarded, never seeing the light of the market. In the end, there are over 6 billion pounds of produce that go unharvested or unsold each year in the United States. Imperfect Produce sources this “ugly” produce, and sells it at a reduced cost to its subscribers. Not only is the produce delicious, but half the time I have a hard time figuring out what actually makes it “imperfect” in the first place. Maybe, at most, the apples lean slightly to the left, but who doesn’t love a left-leaning apple?
Sea to Table: Buying seafood has always been a struggle for me, and it’s not for a lack of wanting to eat fish, but more because it seems downright impossible to buy fish that is affordable and ethically/environmentally sourced. There’s just too much that I don’t know about buying fish properly, so I basically avoid it all together. Enter Sea to Table. Working with both large and smaller fishing outfits, all of the seafood they sell is wild caught, domestic and sustainable. What I also love about Sea to Table (other than the fact that they deliver delicious seafood) is that they also work with chefs all over the country, helping them think differently when it comes to seafood selection. Let’s let the bluefin tunas repopulate, and give Atlantic Spiny Dogfish a moment in the spotlight!
Five Marys Farms: If you love all things meaty and want to support local farmers, then Five Marys Farms is definitely for you. A small family-run operation, Five Marys offers beef, lamb and heritage pork that have been pasture-raised and spared of any hormones or antibiotics. While they don’t make the claim to being 100% organic, they do state that they are “organically minded and GMO free whenever possible”. We don’t eat enough meat in our house to warrant a monthly or every other month delivery, but I have had Five Marys products on multiple occasions and what they say is true, you really can taste the difference.
Cookbook Tip: When it comes to cooking with these CSA-style boxes, there’s a good chance you’re going to get an ingredient or food item you’ve never cooked with before. This is where my two favorite cookbooks, The Vegetable Butcher and The Flavor Bible, really shine. Not sure how to prepare that wonky-shaped rutabaga that just arrived on your doorstep? The Vegetable Butcher will walk you through the prep process. Not sure how to season your Gulf of Maine Redfish? The Flavor Bible offers a rundown of its complimentary herbs, spices, and flavors that will help take your dish to the next level.