- Functionality — 20/20
- Quality/Ease of Use — 20/20
- Aesthetics — 15/20
- Product Edibility — 19/20
One thing quarantine confirmed for me was my absolute disdain for grocery shopping. Between the long lines, the shortage of products and then the added awareness that stores are actually a hub for germs, a simple supermarket run became a Herculean task. The only reason I kept going in was because I just couldn’t trust the clerks to select good produce for me. And after a couple of disappointing deliveries containing badly dented mangoes and browning bananas, I accepted that I’d just have to drag myself to the grocery store every week.
That is, until I learned about Misfits Market—a Philadelphia-based startup dedicated to rescuing “ugly,” yet edible produce and shipping it to your door. According to Feeding America, roughly 52 billion pounds of food from manufacturers, grocery stores and restaurants end up in landfills. That’s where Misfits Market comes in. The subscription service sources less-than-cute but totally edible produce from regional farms so that it doesn’t end up in a landfill and sells it online for 25 to 40 percent less than what you pay at the grocery store.
How does the ordering process work?
Basically, you sign-up for a Misfits Market box that gets delivered to your home every week or every other week, depending on your needs. You can pick between the Mischief Box, which offers a mix of 12 different types of fruits and veggies or the Madness Box, which gives you 14. The company then gives you a three-day shopping window where you can select/edit the items you want delivered. Once your shopping window closes, you are then notified that your order is in and your account is charged the day before your box is shipped. Your goods are delivered on the preferred date you select when you sign-up.
So, what’s in a Misfits Market box?
The subscription service offers you everything you need produce-wise for any and every meal. I filled my box full of personal favorites—carrots, string beans, broccoli (yes, I was that kid), cauliflower, tomatoes, mangoes and avocados. However, there a slew of other choices—lettuce, onions, mushrooms, celery, squash, artichokes, you name it. (My order didn’t contain any particularly ugly or deformed produce, but a peep at the Misfits Market social media pages can show you just how ugly things can get.)
Not only is Misfits Market convenient for me, but it also good to know they source product that is certified organic and non-GMO. This means their partner farms don’t use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and are prohibited from using genetic engineering or genetically modified organisms. And though there are wider implications when selling ugly produce (it’s often donated to food banks), Misfits Market also works with farmers who don’t have the resources or infrastructure to donate all their unattractive crop.
P.S: Because Misfits Market works with regional farms, they aim to deliver product that is currently in season. That means if you have a particular hankering for peaches, for example, you most likely won’t see them as an option until they’re in season during the summer months.
In addition, Misfits Market deliveries are sensitive to the weather. In the wintertime, the company provides insulation against the cold and when it begins to get warmer outside, they provide an ice pack to keep everything fresh. (The best way to ensure your produce remains pristine and unspoiled is to grab your box as soon as it’s delivered, of course.)
Is it all just fruits and veggies?
No. While Misfits Market is all about saving unattractive produce, they also offer other pantry necessities. You can add items such as brown rice, oat milk creamer and choose from a variety of nut butters and fruit spreads for a complete grocery shopping haul. They have you covered in the snack department with popcorn (currently barreling through a box of sweet and salty Black Jewel popcorn), cookies, candy and chocolate. For those who have some four-legged family members in the house, Misfits Market has a small selection of doggie treats to pick from.
As someone who has been actively looking for ways to avoid a weekly trip to the grocery store, Misfits Market is a top pick for me. However, it can also be a great option for people with hectic schedules or those who travel a lot. Sure, the produce may look a little wonky, but not having to cut out an hour out of my day to go the supermarket is a huge plus in my book.