Imperfect Produce Review – A Win-Win

When I dropped off medication for my friend Bette who was recovering from serious surgery, I had no idea I would soon become a subscriber to Imperfect Produce.  I live in the Chicagoland area most of the year and had never heard of this great service previously.  Bette, who had just received a delivery of Imperfect Produce was very enthusiastic about receiving her order.  She even credited her medical progress in part, to the organic produce that Imperfect Produce delivered to her.


Boxes being assembled at the Imperfect warehouse in Emeryville

Bette kept telling me about how grateful she was for Amy at Imperfect Produce who made sure the deliveries took place.  And Bette also told me about the beneficial programs Imperfect Produce offers to individuals who can't usually afford organic produce.  Following surgery Bette could not drive or lift which is why the delivery of the produce to Bette’s balcony was extremely imprortant.  Cool weather allowed Bette to use the balcony as a refrigerator.


Imperfect's produce comes in unconventional shapes and colors but tastes the same as supermarket produce

Bette's rave reviews inspired me to try Imperfect Produce.  I had a problem with delivery and found myself talking with Amy, who also helped me.  She arranged for a drop off in an atypical location. This provided me the opportunity to ask Amy how it was that she was so helpful to Bette. Amy explained that she knew a lot about Bette’s surgery because she has seen her father struggle as he healed from the same surgery when Amy was a teenager.  She was anxious to do all possible to make things easier for Bette.


The Imperfect Produce Team

From what Amy said and what she does, she appears to be a great problem solver, so that customers receive the greatest possible benefit.  She told me about the special programs that are described below and mentioned the talks that she presents to local schools.  The outreach from Imperfect Produce is aimed at improving people’s lives.


I learned more  about the programs Imperfect Produce makes available to their surrounding communities.


An Imperfect heirloom tomato

For example, the website says that, "In America, 1 in 5 fruits and vegetables grown don't fit grocery stores' strict cosmetic standards -- the crooked carrot, the curvy cucumber, the undersized apple -- usually causing them to go to waste.

Imperfect's mission is to find a home for these "ugly" fruits and veggies, starting with our produce delivery subscription in the Bay. And because they look a little funny, you get the 30-50% off!"

In addition, a proud Imperfect Produce employee offered that, "Imperfect recognizes that fighting food waste and fighting hunger are interconnected, which is why we are proud to partner with several community food banks and support the important work that they do through weekly donations of thousands of pounds of fresh produce. In the Bay Area we are proud to support the Alameda Food Bank and the Emeryville Community Assistance Project. In Los Angeles we work closely with LA Kitchen. Any time we have excess produce we ensure that it ends up at one of these worthy organizations so that we can accomplish the dual goals of preventing waste and feeding those in need."

Another program that was mentioned to me was the reduced-cost program. "It is available to any customer that completes a quick, three-question survey. We base our program off of the CalFresh and SNAP requirements for food stamps, as the USDA is currently in the pilot program phase of allowing online retailers to accept EBT benefits. Any customer that qualifies automatically receives an additional 33% discount on every box to ensure that our produce is accessible to any person that wants and needs fresh produce.


An Imperfect bell pepper

The day finally came when I received my delivery.  The box was neatly tucked into a spot to keep it safe from the rain.


I picked up the box, Photo: B. Keer

I opened it to find a rainbow of colors and fresh vegetables and fruits, which proved to be delicious.  We enjoyed fresh and cooked produce over more than a week.  My husband looked at the produce spread on the table and commented that he could not see what made this Imperfect Produce.  I really couldn’t either.  The produce looked and tasted "perfect".  Try it and see what you think.


I saw what was inside, Photo: B. Keer


Imperfect Produce looking very perfect

Imperfect Produce website

Photos:  Courtesy of Imperfect Produce unless otherwise noted.


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