Organic Delivery Company Reviewed: Not local and overpriced

It is impossible not to notice the explosion in organic food options. 

The only organic option that existed when I was growing up was the food we grew in our backyard.

Now there are CSAs (community shared agriculture plans), organic home delivery companies, home vegetable gardening companies (like ours), farmers markets, organic sections in major supermarkets, even whole stores devoted to organic food.

My wife and I decided to check out one of the home delivery options in Toronto through a Groupon deal.  We were excited to see what organic food might be available in January in Toronto.  Too bad for us, as our first delivery came in March, almost two months and half a dozen emails later.  Well, the food seemed organic enough (no real way to check except for the stickers on some of the items) but we weren’t overly impressed with the lack of local representation.

Here’s what our Harvest box included and where it came from

Product

From Where?

3
Medium Apples

USA

1 Head
Of Broccoli

California USA

3
Carrots

Ontario – unconfirmed (no sticker)

4
Small Potatoes

Ontario – unconfirmed (no sticker)

1
Avocado

Mexico

1
Bunch Red Chard

California USA

1 Acorn
Squash

Mexico

3
Pears

USA

1 Bell
Pepper

Israel

1
Mango

Peru

1 Head
Lettuce

USA

4
Medium Oranges

USA

 

My favourite part? It’s not the inflated price tag – they’re a business after all and they need to make their money too.  I know I could pick this up at my local grocery store for about 20-40% less money, but hey, this came delivered right to my door.  No, my favourite part was their claim that 25% of this box was local.  Seriously?

When I asked if a 100% local option existed I was told there was (why wasn’t this offered to begin with??) but that it costs more.  Pardon me? Food grown locally that’s not transported 9,299 km (Israel to Toronto) is more expensive??  Something’s screwy here and I don’t like it. 

Honestly folks, if you think you’re supporting local sustainable agriculture buy supporting these organic delivery companies you’re wrong.  This is a scam.  You’re paying for people to buy wholesale organic food, pack it into a box and send it to you for a lot more than it would cost you to go to a store and buy it yourself.  Not to mention that you’ve successfully increased your foodprint (carbon footprint of your food) by purchasing a box of food brought in from tens of thousands of kilometres away.  100km diet eh? – forget it. 

Have you ever tried an organic delivery company? What was your experience like? Have you considered planting a garden instead and enjoying food that is not only organic but local too? We want to know.

Eat drink and be merry.

The At Home Organic

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www.athomeorganicfarms.com

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dean Kreutzer on April 5, 2011 at 09:29

    Eating organic does not always mean that the food is locally sourced; I don’t understand why people believe otherwise. Having your food certified organic is only a guarantee of how the food is grown.

    There are thousands of examples out there of how food sourced from all over the world is cheaper than locally grown ones; this isn’t new and it isn’t different because it’s grown organically. Cheap labor, cheap ingredients, and economies of scale are all a part of the low costs, but usually you get what you pay for.

    Reply

    • We totally agree with your closing comment “usually you get what you pay for”
      We’d like to think that organic and local should be available, and cost effective. Thanks for your insightful comment Dean!

      Reply

  2. Posted by Paulette on April 6, 2011 at 07:26

    Green Earth Organics is over priced. I switched over to Mama Earth Organics and have been very happy with them. The prices are better and they seem much more focused on local farms and businesses. I’ve also tried Front door organics, they’re better than Green earth organics also in my opinion.

    Reply

  3. Hi Guys

    I live in Ireland where this sort of selling is not that common, though it seems to be quite common across the water in the UK. One point that was made on a feature about buying food this way was that distance is not always the biggest carbon footprint factor. One example is tomatoes. The options were Dutch tomatoes grown in greenhouses heated constantly with natural gas, ot Spanish tomatoes grown in the open air. The Dutch tomatoes travel less but a huge amount over CO2 is produced growing them while the Spanish tomatoes only generate CO2 during their transportation. Its never simple is it?

    Reply

  4. organic home delivery is coming to the gold coast through organic farm share. organic farm share will be delivering organic foods and organic products from an organic farm in northern NSW. food will be grown on the organic farm or sourced from local producers. the business is a profit sharing member exclusive organic home delivery servicing gold coast, byron bay, tweed heads and brisbane.

    Reply

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