Farm food waste is a real problem in the U.S. Nearly 30-40 percent of the food supply is sent to landfills, according to the USDA. That includes wholesome food that you could place on the dinner table but instead rot in landfills. Some of the food is not fit for consumption, but often the taste is not compromised; they just have some blemishes.
Imperfect Food created a way to get food from farms typically thrown away into customers’ hands. The company prides itself on helping to eliminate food waste in an environmentally conscious way.
After learning more about food recovery services, I was intrigued. The notion of having food, mainly fruits and vegetables, delivered to me weekly was appealing, and doing my part to reduce food waste had me further sold.
But just how does Imperfect Foods work? Is it worth it? And how does Imperfect Foods compare to Misfits Market? I did the research and tried it for several weeks to get the answers.
Are you looking for an honest Imperfect Foods Review? Well, we’ve got one.
Let’s go to The Chalkboard.
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What Is Imperfect Foods?
Before we can do an honest Imperfect Foods review, we should explore what the company does. Imperfect Foods partners with larger farms that generally sell their produce to grocery stores and other retail outlets. They purchase produce that isn’t up to the standards for sale at traditional stores and resell them through their website.
Customers sign up for their service and receive boxes weekly or every other week. They can also add other salvaged grocery items, including dairy, vegan items, and snacks.
How Does Imperfect Foods Work?
The way Imperfect Foods works is that you sign up for their service and answer some questions regarding your preferences. The survey includes “do you prefer organic fruits and vegetables,” “how many people are you feeding,” etc. Answers are used to make suggestions for your order. There’s no need to worry if you don’t like something in your box; you can easily take it out. As for shipping, you will be assigned a delivery day based on where you live. Setting days helps the company to consolidate shipments and cut down on any emissions within the supply chain.
A few days before your order is set to ship, you will get an email asking you to review it. From there, you click on the link and will see what’s in your order. There’s a window of time to make any changes, typically a little over 24 hours. My orders allow changes from Monday at 1:00 pm until Tuesday at 3:00 pm.
Once you’ve made any necessary corrections, the work is done. If you provided a cell phone number, you will get a text message when the order is out for delivery and another one when it has reached its final destination. The process then repeats every week or every other week.
Imperfect Foods Review — How Is The Produce?
Before I signed up for the service, I wondered how the quality of the produce was. A few orders in, and I am pleasantly surprised. Everything has been no different than what I would buy at the grocery store.
As far as the amount of food in each box, we started with the large box. It was geared towards 1-2 people, as I have often found with some of these services, that when you jump up a level, it was too much food. My kids eat some vegetables but not a ton. (The struggle is real to keep everyone eating well). The estimates for Imperfect Foods are accurate. If you are cooking for three or more people, the extra-large box should accommodate. If you are cooking for one or two, the smaller box will work.
Imperfect Foods Review — Cost Comparison
An Imperfect Foods review isn’t complete without discussing the cost. So just how much does a weekly subscription to Imperfect Foods cost? The answer is not simple. It depends on what you put into your order. We paid $19.33 for a large fruit and vegetable box.
We are huge proponents of online grocery shopping and use it almost exclusively. Through our cost comparisons, we have found Amazon Fresh to be the cheapest option.
To that end, we compared the cost items in a recent large produce box to Amazon Fresh, and Imperfect Foods was $3.50 cheaper. Now there is a $4.99 delivery fee added to the cost of the box. But there is also the cost of Amazon Prime and the tip to the driver.
Imperfect Foods was cheaper than Amazon Fresh.
An Honest Imperfect Food Review
What’s Great About Imperfect Foods
There are lots of things to like about Imperfect Foods.
- The process is smooth. It’s super easy to sign up; all it takes is a few clicks to subscribe. When it’s time to shop, the preselected box made it very easy. Imperfect Foods also makes it easy to shape your order. If you love an item and want it included in every order, place it on your recurring list. As long as the thing is in stock, it will be added to your box. If there is an item you don’t like or cannot eat, add it to your “never list,” and it will be excluded from all future orders.
- They have a wide variety of food. With the additions of a dairy pack, meat pack, etc., you could get most of your food shopping done this way. Other similar services don’t have the same offerings.
- The produce was all in great shape and not very imperfect at all. There weren’t any significant blemishes or imperfections at all. It was no different than what I would get from a grocery store.
- The company’s commitment to reducing food waste while protecting the environment is substantial. They’ve tried to make the process efficient and environmentally conscious. From the packaging to the delivery, they’ve thought of their impact on the planet.
What’s Not Great About Imperfect Foods
While overall it’s a wonderful service, some things may not work for every consumer.
- The window to shop can be inconvenient for some. While most of us are glued to our devices, if you miss the time to change your order, you may be stuck with products you don’t like or won’t use. Also, the set delivery day may be inconvenient for some. There are options to have the box shipped to your office if that is more convenient for you.
- Delivery fees can be prohibitive. I was charged $4.99 for delivery, although some people may pay up to $8.99. That can be a bit steep for some.
- Your food is not local. When you sign up for this service, be aware that you will be getting fruits and vegetables from all over the United States and possibly even Mexico. Your food may have traveled some distance to get to your home. It is not the same as the experience of a local CSA. The company partners with large farms, so you are not supporting smaller businesses.
- You can’t see the product offerings before you sign up. You need to create an account before you can view what Imperfect Foods has to offer. It is easy to cancel your subscription, but it would be nice to see just what you are getting yourself into. If you are concerned about that, know that they offer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, along with snacks, cheeses, meats, and vegan products.
Who Is Imperfect Foods Good For?
- Those that are committed to helping the environment. The company’s mission to reduce food waste while remaining environmentally conscious is impressive. They take it seriously.
- Technology savvy people who can order within the delivery window.
- People who cook. If you want to use the food, you need to prepare it. Meal planning is a great way to reduce food waste and save money.
Who Is Imperfect Foods NOT Good For?
- People committed to local produce. You are NOT getting your fruits and vegetables from a small farm.
- Someone that is not online very much. If you aren’t online much or easily miss deadlines, this may not be for you.
- People with allergies. The company cannot guarantee all food will be allergen-free. “We can’t ensure a completely nut-free/wheat-free facility, but you’ll be able to see ingredient labels for the products we carry so you can pick what’s best for your needs,” the company wrote.
Overall Imperfect Foods Review
The produce was great, the cost was comparable to my usual groceries, and it’s straightforward to use. I would absolutely recommend the service.
That being said, it will not replace my CSA membership. The produce was just as good as Amazon Fresh’s offers, but it doesn’t compare with what the local farm provides. Since the food is coming from all over, it isn’t the same quality as the CSA.
Imperfect Foods Vs. Misfits Market
Besides this Imperfect Foods review, we have also done one on Misfits Market. Imperfect Foods is much better and is the service we recommend. The produce is of higher quality, the company has a more extensive selection, and you can customize your order better.
What Do You Think?
Do you agree with our Imperfect Foods review? Have you tried this service? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear.
If you are interested in other online grocers, check out our unbiased Thrive Market review.
Happy Food Shopping!
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Maria garavaglia says
I am completely confused with the name of this company! Look up the definition of imperfect! Are you serious?please respond so I can sleep at night!
“not perfect; faulty or incomplete.” I agree. Most of the produce was in great shape!
I disagree, Whole Foods prices for mediocre produce, I threw away 10% due to over or under ripe. Their greens were good, the delivery was fine but it was ‘imperfect” for me. I discontinued after a month, some of the products were quite good, the cheese and cauliflower brats but the poor outweighed the good.