Fresh fruit & veg: The verdict

26 Aug

Here is my verdict on the organic fruit and veg delivery service that I have trialled these past two weeks. If you missed my original post then click here. After two weeks of testing and tasting the produce, here’s my report on quality, practicality and cost.

The quality was exceptional. After years of eating supermarket f&v the quality of the fresh produce was obvious. The oranges were brighter and juicier, the carrots lasted over a week without going bendy, the pumpkin was silky and potatos were big and dirty (sounds good doesn’t it) which meant minimal human intervention from ground to door.

In terms of practicality, some components of the box were extremely useful. The oranges and carrots were demolished in days thanks to my brilliant orange, carrot and ginger breaky juice:

But a challenge were the vegetables that I’m less inclined to cook with. What was I going to do with so much cabbage? I’ve rarely (never?) cooked cabbage and it’s not because I don’t like it. It’s not bad. It’s just not exciting (“Woohoo, cabbage for dinner!” Yeah?). First I thought I might try sauerkraut (that’s pretty exciting) but after realising it requires fermenting for longer than my attention span, I decided to make a potato, cabbage and bacon bake that was simple and hearty. Next recipe will be a slow-braised cabbage method that I found in a new cookbook, and it sounds delicious. To use the large quantities of pumpkin and sweet potato I made pumpkin and walnut loaf, and later a sweet potato and pumpkin chicken pie (which contained 11 vegies). I also made a banana bread along the way with my $3 bananas that I bought elsewhere. And I have plans for sweet-potato fritters to finish the last of it off. All of these recipes were extremely healthy being organic, gluten free and dairy free.

And then there were the things in the box that, regretfully, were not eaten because either one of us can’t or won’t eat them. In our house we have allergies to avos, dislikes to kiwis (the fruits, not the people, they rock) and low FODMAP diets – more on that later.

So in terms of practicality, while it’s good to eat seasonal produce, it comes with a burden of requiring some element of creativity. Maybe this burden would dissipate over time as your repertoire broadens, but you may not always have the time or the mental energy to get the most value out of your seasonal f&v.

Lastly, on price, it was quite high at $99 (I got the box on a $39 deal to try it out). And while the price is a reflection of superior quality and delivery to your doorstep, it’s more than I would budget for f&v and my staple f&v items would still need to be purchased (tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, ginger etc). Unless you are ONLY going to eat the seasonal fruit box, then I would suggest that unfortunately it’s a high price to pay for quality.

In the end, I have decided that because I loved the quality (and the creative challenge), I will buy the box from time to time, but it would probably be neglected if I purchased it every week or fortnight. I may also look into the option of selecting my produce from their seasonal list so that I omit the f&v’s that we just won’t use.

(As an aside, I’m a convert on the cabbage. It’s good gear!)


Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Food



3 responses to “Fresh fruit & veg: The verdict

  1. Kathryn Smith

    August 26, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    I totally only started eating cabbage cos I kept getting it in my vege box. Have a nunber of delsih braised cabbage recipes now (also good in asian salads). $99 is pricey tho – our frut and vege box is ~$40 per week which is doable and I love gettign surprises each week! Our box comes on a friday too, which is good so we can shop on the weekend for other food to complement what we get in the box!

    • Alicia

      August 26, 2011 at 1:35 PM

      Hah that’s so funny! Poor cabbage with a bad image. Asian salads are a great idea!

      You raise a good point – maybe I can look into smaller boxes that would be less expensive and more practical on a weekly basis. $40 is what I would spend at the shop on f&v and it’s totally doable.

      Also, I imagine a person would eat healthier by having the box delivered. Do you think that you cook healthier options (i.e. more vegetables, less processed foods) because of your delivery?


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