Like most eco-conscious foodies, I’m very aware of the food waste problem we have in America. Over 31% of all food produced in the United States is thrown away. So when I found Misfits Market, a subscription box filled with ugly produce that would otherwise be sent to a landfill, I was thrilled. One month into the subscription and I’ve learned that Misfits Market isn’t the solution to my food waste problems.
What is Misfits Market?
Before I go into details about why I cancelled my Misfits Market subscription, I feel like I should explain the concept.
Misfits Market is an “ugly produce” subscription box service that provides organic produce at 40% off retail price. Ugly produce usually can’t be sold in stores because of market standards. By buying ugly produce the consumer saves money and keeps perfectly good produce out of a landfill.
Misfits Market isn’t the only ugly produce subscription service out there. Hungry Harvest and Imperfect Foods are two other boxes that ship to a lot of places across the nation.
Reasons to Love Misfits Market
Yes, I cancelled my subscription, but there are many reasons to love a subscription service for produce that would otherwise be wasted.
Here are a few reasons I loved Misfits Market:
- The price was perfect- for $22 a box, I received 10-13 pounds of fresh produce delivered straight to my door weekly.
- I was able to customize my box to only receive produce that I wanted
- Customer service is amazing. I once was charged for a box I didn’t want and immediately got a refund!
- Produce arrived at a reasonable temperature. Here is South Florida it is really hard to keep perishables in the mail from going bad. I once didn’t notice the box until the next day and the produce was still cold.
Why I Cancelled my Misfits Market Subscription
So why did I cancel my Misfits Market subscription if I loved all the things mentioned above?
I knew my produce wouldn’t look perfect or arrive as fresh as I’d get from the farmer’s market. However, the one thing I didn’t consider was taste. I cancelled my Misfits Market subscription because the taste of the produce couldn’t compete with the local produce here in Naples.
Southwest Florida is one of the largest growers of tomatoes and peppers. One bite into a flavorless green pepper from Misfits Market and I knew I had to cancel my subscription.
Most of the food from the Misfits Market box was either from the northeast or shipped from Mexico. By the time it got to me, most of the good flavor was gone.
Local Food Tastes Better and Lasts Longer
Local food is scientifically proven to taste better.
Several reasons. The most important reason is that local food is given the chance to get more nutrients while growing because the food doesn’t have to be picked early for transportation. Once produce is picked, nutrients immediately start disappearing, which is why it is best to eat produce as soon as you can.
Another reason is that food that travels long distances is often treated with chemicals or coated with wax to prolong shelf life.
Local food also lasts longer. Produce that is shipped across the country spends its prime being relocated. When produce is freshly picked, it can last for weeks in your house before going bad. That is one sure way to avoid wasting food! Food that lasts longer is less likely to be wasted.
For example, we recently picked local tomatoes at Farmer Mikes U-pick, our local community supported agriculture (CSA) farm. The tomatoes I picked lasted for 2 weeks on my counter before I ate them. And they still tasted amazing. The tomatoes that were shipped to me via Misfits Market that were first shipped to them from Mexico had already gone bad by they time they arrived at my doorstep. Who knows how long ago the tomatoes had been picked. Maybe weeks ago!
For these reasons, my green peppers shipped from the northeast tasted like water compared to my locally grown peppers. Once I really did the math and considered all the greenhouse gasses wasted to bring me subpar produce, I could no longer justify my subscription to Misfits Market.
How to Buy Ugly Produce Locally
The easiest way to buy local ugly produce is to shop at a farmers market or reach out to your closest CSA. You can find a list of Community Supported Agriculture locations near you by clicking this link.
Most CSAs and farmers markets will sell their produce to consumers whether it is perfect or ugly! The same standards that dictate supermarket shelves don’t dictate the farmer’s market where ugly produce is actually appreciated.
And of course, if you are closer to the Misfits Market central location, please go there and support the ugly produce movement!
You an also find local ugly produce subscription services near you. Just Google “Ugly Produce (insert your city)”.
More Ways to Reduce Food Waste
If you don’t have a CSA or a farmers market near you there are still ways to reduce your food waste.
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