An insight into fruit and vegetable delivery
When it comes to produce there is no substitute for freshness, but your local supermarket can’t always deliver the best and freshest. The logistical difficulties can sometimes make it impossible to bring you the best produce from the farms they source their products from. They are usually very far away from the supermarket branches and would need to be delivered literally by the tons every month. While you can get very high quality produce from a supermarket they are very few of them relative to the overall stock size. At the end of the day all you could find are under-ripe potatoes and tomatoes, bruised onions, and sad looking lettuces. Supermarkets have to mark up the prices considerably too because they need high-energy consuming storage solutions to store and display their produce in chilled sections of the supermarket and also to pay the staff that care and handle them.
The best source for fresh fruits and vegetables are farmers markets. There farmers can directly sell their produce without the logistical nightmares of big supermarket deliveries, and they face no pressure of keeping up with the harsh daily demands of supermarket customers. What you see is their daily quota, and once that’s out they are done for the day. The produce they bring to their stalls are not as bruised on the way to the market and only the best ones are picked for sale as they are not expected to sit in storage for very long. Most of what you see are likely the harvest of yesterday, less than 24 hours ago since they were last picked and washed.
But the problem with farmers markets is their limited stock and opening hours. While many supermarkets are still open for business at 10 pm, farmers markets are usually closed well before dinner time. They are also open much earlier in the morning which for the average person on a weekend might not be ideal. This limited availability benefits the early birds, but you’d be surprised how many there are in town the day you decided to be one. This also means that the absolute best produce would usually be gone by midday. Still not as bad as what you’d find in supermarkets, but if you are hunting for the best there is a very narrow window for you to do so.
Well thankfully as we have advanced in mobility and connectivity, there is a solution. Ever since the invention of the automobile and the internet deliveries have become one of the most lucrative and invaluable services, particularly food item delivery. We have progressed from delivering cold noodle by foot in Korea in the 18th century, to delivering hot meals and and groceries. No more lugging around your shopping cart playing a game of trolley Tetris trying to split the frozen away from the produce. And no more pale broccolis and bruised apples, you can shop away with less hassle while delegating your produce worries to someone else trained for it.
Benefits of fruit and vegetable delivery
This brings us to the core of our discussion. Farm-to-table, farm-to-fork, Earth-to-girth, or whatever you want to call it is a term mostly used in the food business. It is a social movement promoting the use of locally sourced farm produce. Locally sourced food items are more readily available and the more direct connection to the consumers meant less industrial preservation techniques are necessary. This movement helps the community by strengthening the local economy as well as potentially improving food quality. Small farms feeding a more localized population can be more economically efficient and more environmentally sustainable at the same time.
While the movement has been criticized in the restaurant business, for you and me who cook at home some of the argument for local small-farm produce can ring true. Having to serve a smaller community can lessen the cost of produce by taking out the middle-man (supermarkets and grocery stores). Small farms can directly deliver their produce to consumers for a reasonable fee and still end up with competitively priced products. The demand is kept in check not purely by pricing alone, but by limiting their delivery radius to serve only their local community. These farms also do not need prolonged storage as the products will be in customers’ hands within 24 hours of harvest. Meaning maximum freshness with minimal handling and preservation.
By having your fruit and vegetables delivered you are in fact helping your local community in a number of ways. Your contribution to the local small-farm economy would be the most obvious one. Their running ensures a sustainable food supply in your local area, and the healthy demand also encourages sustainable low pricing.
Produce like fruit and vegetables also perish much quicker than frozen perishables like meats. Most fruits wouldn’t last a week outside of the fridge, and they take up space inside the fridge where your vegetables would be. So more than likely you do need to buy them more often as they would need to be consumed much more quickly. But quite often you would adjust your grocery shopping to suit your consumption of fruit and vegetables. Thus you would be contributing to your local traffic jam quite often during the month. A shopping run is quite often a weekly chore be it for a single person or a family. Reducing your supermarket dependency for produce thus eliminates the need for frequent grocery shopping runs. Not only does this reduce the traffic in your area, it saves you the frustration and fuel consumption. Having your fruit and vegetables delivered from a small nearby local farm at your convenience means you can stop being a slave to their short expiry dates and have them as fresh as possible. Direct, from farm to table! You can stock more of the longer lasting food items and have the best quality produce delivered later.
So if you want the best, go small. You may have a local farm with a fruit and vegetable delivery just waiting for your order.