Imperfect Produce Delivered; My experience with Cheap, ugly, tasty produce

Your Imperfections Are What Make You Perfect!

Imperfect Produce- Medjool Dates
These Medjool dates are part of the long list of offerings from Imperfect Produce

Imperfect Produce is a curious phrase. All produce is imperfect. It’s how nature works. However, we as a country seem to only want to take home the most beautiful, plastic-looking fruit and vegetables from our grocery store. Even Farmer’s Markets around the nation showcase a farm’s best of their best.

Why do we do this? Have we been brainwashed to accept the perfection of lacquer-covered apples as being superior? Have we been taught to covet food on magazine covers that have more photographers and stylists fawning over it than Cindy Crawford did back in the 90’s? Funky shaped sweet potatoes taste just as wonderful as their conventionally photogenic counterparts.

Imperfect Produce-
Cara Cara Oranges made incredible corned beef on St. Patty’s Day!

Read about: My tour of one of Santa Barbara’s first organic farms; the beauty of symbiosis and the need to thank our farmers

Fruitful Bounty

A good amount of the produce delivered directly to my apartment by Imperfect Produce has been what they label as “surplus”. It’s a wonderful thing that Farmers grow more than they can sell to traditional buyers. In a world where children are starving and food deserts are real why not buy produce that will go to waste? It supports the very farmers that offer us sustenance, all while preventing the squandering of both water and perfectly good food.

What if I don’t want that?

Imperfect Produce- poblano pepper
Perfect poblano peppers roasted tossed with yellow squash cabbage and corn for slaw

So, the best part in my opinion about Imperfect Produce is that I can choose what I want every week. When signing up you choose a box size and if select conventional, organic, fruit, vegetable, or a mix. But it turns out it doesn’t matter what you choose. Each week, a few days before your delivery day, you get 36 hours to sign in to your account and look at the list of produce they have available. At that point, customize away!

Is it all potatoes, tomatoes and boring apples?

Imperfect Produce- oranges and pink lemons
Rare Pink Lemons along with Valencia Oranges


OMG, no! That’s what I expected it may be like when I was debating signing up. In the last month I’ve gotten pink lemons, poblano peppers, eggplant, Medjool dates, rainbow carrots, orange cauliflower, plums, kiwis, and too many more things to list. I love that I can determine how much of each I’d like that week, and can add as much or as little of anything they have from each category. Don’t know how to cook eggplant? No problem! Remove it and toss in some potatoes instead.

Medicine for Fibromyalgia

As someone with a chronic illness, eating healthy can directly effect the frequency of flares and severity of my symptoms. Having a diet with fruits and vegetables at the forefront does not differ from me taking my medication every day. If I miss a “dose”, I can feel it. Imperfect Produce and their farmers are helping me meet the essential goal to include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in my diet. If I’m flaring and can’t get to the store, I won’t go without because they bring it to my door. Us #Spoonies need to think outside the box when it comes to getting what we need. When our bodies don’t allow us to get out of bed, much less to the grocery store, services like this can help us enjoy a better quality of life. Having healthy food brought to us doesn’t need to be a luxury for the wealthy. This is ridiculously affordable compared to the price of food in any major city.

Imperfect Produce- cauliflower and broccoli
This Orange Cauliflower and Broccoli was roasted and thrown in tacos!

No, I don’t work for them!

No, I’m not being paid to write this. They don’t even know I’m doing it. I was just getting ready to make Eggplant Parmesan for dinner and realized how many culinary options they’ve opened up for me. Even as a chef, I too can get into a cooking-rut. We go to our usual recipes that don’t require us to think. But that’s not how food should be consumed. It’s an adventure made up of a colorful rainbow of edible things!

I can’t recommend this company enough. Not only do I love it because they save me a ton of money, but they are supporting the farmers of this country I grew up with back in California. Those growers keep us fed, so in return we need to keep their very livelihood in play. In addition, their customer service is top-notch. The two times I had missing items or smashed kiwis, they made it right. (Accidents happen. It’s how you fix those accidents that shows what kind of company you are.)

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