Imperfect Produce arrives in the Twin Cities

an Imperfect Produce cardboard box that mentions supporting farmers and saving produce, water, land, and labor from going to waste

It seems like I can’t scroll through a social media platform right now without seeing a few posts about Imperfect Produce. This California-based company is slowly expanding across the US, offering delivery of “imperfect” fruits and vegetables sourced by farms who are unable to sell them for one reason or another. The produce may not meet an industry standard by being too small or by not being shaped the “right way,” or sometimes they take a surplus if a farm grows too much for them to sell.

Since they’re new to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Imperfect Produce has offered the code MSPENV50 for 50% off your first box, so I figured it was worth trying. I was able to select a box of mixed fruits and vegetables, or you can choose just one or the other. They give you a three-day window where you can swap out anything in your pre-selected box, and the price will update with each edit. There are organic and non-organic options. Here’s my order:

a receipt for Imperfect Produce totaling $12.76 which includes fifty per cent off the box and a $4.99 delivery charge

My delivery window was noon-8pm on a Monday, and I received a text with six minutes’ notice of the delivery. I wish they could offer a more detailed window of time or more notice, but it was fine for my box to sit at my front door for a bit, which I mentioned in my delivery notes. And here’s what I received:

oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, mini peppers, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, and apples

Everything is in great condition, and I like that not everything came in a plastic bag. It would be cool if they used paper bags instead. The sweet potatoes, mandarin oranges, and apples are small but otherwise completely fine. The box comes with a storage guide, which is super helpful, and they’ll donate five pounds to a food bank when you post a photo and tag them.

While I like reducing food waste, I likely won’t stick with Imperfect Produce. Their Sourcing FAQ says they source locally when possible, but I get the impression that most of it comes from California since that’s where most food is grown. I love taking a trip to the local farmers markets and hand picking produce myself, along with supporting local farmers.

five rainbow carrots of assorted colors from Imperfect Produce

I’ve also looked into CSAs (community supported agriculture), but I’m not one to be reliable about going somewhere to pick up my box consistently. In that respect, I appreciate the delivery aspect of Imperfect Produce. Keep in mind the delivery fee is $4.99. If you’re interested, either use the code MSPENV50 to take 50% off, or you can use this link to take $10 off your first box (in looking back, I should have used a friend’s referal code!). It’s a fun service, and I can see why it’s popular.

And at the very least, Gus acquired a new hangout spot….

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4 Responses to Imperfect Produce arrives in the Twin Cities

  1. Cadry says:

    That’s a win for Gus! I see a lot of Imperfect Produce in my Instagram feed too. I prefer farmers markets too when they are in season. I look forward to going once or twice a week. In addition to being a great way to get fresh & local produce, it’s also just an enjoyable way to pass the time. But it’s nice that Imperfect Produce exists for the convenience factor & to minimize waste on “imperfect” fruits & vegetables.

    • Laura BSB says:

      Yes! I love that companies like this exist, and I may still order from time to time. There’s just something about the novelty of the farmers market. 🙂

  2. Mark says:

    I’m also unlikely to use it just because it’s easy enough for me to walk to my co-op for my produce needs, but I’m glad to see this as an option for folks who don’t live so close to one as well as reinforcing the message that “imperfect” produce is still just fine.

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