It’s finally starting to feel nice out again, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to purge the winter blahs out of our system for good by getting back in shape, going outside more and kicking up our healthy eating habits a notch or two. For some of us, that may include going organic.
Why go organic? Aside from eliminating pesticides and hormones in your diet and ruling out the unknown side effects of genetically modified foods, organic fruits and vegetables are said to have higher nutritional quality and better all-around flavour. Plus eating organic helps to preserve local crops and varieties for future generations.
Unfortunately, it can also be an expensive lifestyle to maintain. Luckily, there are tons of organic box delivery programs in place across Canada that source your food for you, package it all up in a box and deliver it to your front door for a reasonable price (average boxes run anywhere from $30-$60 depending on their size). No grocery store required.
Or, is there? We’ve taken the jump and subscribed to an organic box delivery service for you, in order to bring you all of the truth bombs you’ll want to know before doing the same.
Odds are you’ll still have to do the groceries
Sure, we get lots of fruits and veggies, but what about grains, meat and those little extras, like pantry items or snacks? Even though almost all the organic delivery sites we’ve scoured have optional groceries you can add (such as farm fresh eggs and cheese, organic meats and minimal pantry items, like quinoa and beans), they still don’t eliminate the daily need to run out to the store when you realize you’re out of something for that evening’s dinner. Or toilet paper.
You might want to invest in a juicer… or a larger freezer
Depending on the size of your box and your family, you’ll probably be stuck with leftover fruits and veggies by the end of the week. That’s where you’ll have to get creative. Wilting greens? Throw them in a soup or smoothie for a bonus healthy boost. Invest in a juicer, and juice the leftovers for breakfast or lunch. Or, make a habit of washing, cutting and freezing your extra produce for the next time you want off-season ingredients in a dish you’re making.
Your box could come with some extra “protein”
This produce isn’t winning any Pinterest awards, believe us. Sometimes we’re so predisposed to buying the prettiest fruits and veggies at the store that we forget they’ve often been modified to look that way. The stuff in your box hasn’t, which is why it might be misshaped or contain a few bugs — which often come nestled in between leafy greens. Don’t want them in your fridge? Be sure to set aside time each week for washing and drying your haul before you put it away. On the plus side, doing so means less prep throughout the week.
You can take a vacation from your box
Heading to the cottage for a week? Or maybe you just have dinner plans almost every single night. Not a problem. All of the boxes we saw allowed you to skip a week whenever you need. The only problem is that you actually have to log into your account and select that option, so don’t forget.
There’s a limited selection
Here’s another reason you might have to run to the grocery store mid-week: your distributor didn’t offer the ingredients you wanted to cook with this week. The good news is that most of these services offer modifications (some are free, others charge a $2 fee), so you can pick and choose what you’d like to receive rather than sticking to a set list. You can also add items to your standing order each week (for an extra fee) or banish items to the “never deliver” category. So if black licorice makes you gag, perhaps sending fennel to that list makes sense for you.
You have to remember to modify your order
Sadly, the trucks go out at the same time every week, so if you want to make changes or add items to your box, you’ll need to remember to do so. Every. Single. Week.
Be prepared to eat seasonal ingredients
Part of the reason organic box deliveries work is that the organizers work with local farmers and producers in order to bring you seasonal, fresh ingredients. That means you won’t get squash in the early summer or fresh berries in the fall. On the plus side, you know you’re reaping all the benefits from food that came into season naturally. Not to mention it’s a handy way to automatically switch up monotonous menus. Most services we found either included recipe suggestions with the box, or boasted a fair selection online.
You don’t have to worry about being home
Your local delivery service only comes during the week while you’re at work? Not a problem. These guys are more than happy to leave your order outside your front door, your condo unit or on your front porch.
Thinking an organic box might be for you? Check out this comprehensive list of providers in all major Canadian cities.