As a foodie and dietitian, I love any type of fresh produce. I especially love when that fresh produce gets delivered to my door every week! That is why I was so excited to be able to try Hungry Harvest, a new produce delivery service that recently launched in the Triangle. The company was started in Maryland in 2014, when a college senior came up with the idea to use “ugly produce” to help reduce food waste and food insecurity. What is “ugly produce” you ask? This is produce that is rescued from farms and grocery stores, and would otherwise be thrown away because of aesthetic reasons. The produce may be too big, too small, or just not attractive to the average customer, so stores will throw them away rather than try to sell them. This is great for us because Hungry Harvest is rescuing that produce, and delivering it for 20%-30% cheaper than grocery store prices. They also help to make fresh produce accessible to individuals and families using SNAP, and partnering with other organizations fighting food insecurity, like Interfaith Food Shuttle here in Raleigh.
I decided to try the Mini Harvest Box, which has a mixture of fruits and vegetables and cost $16 each week. However, there are a number of boxes you can choose from, ranging from $16-$35, depending on the amount of produce. The boxes are delivered every Saturday morning, so you have tons of fresh produce for your week ahead. On Saturday morning, you will get a text message informing you that your box is on its way, and another once it has been delivered to your door. When I got my first box I was shocked how much food was in it, for just $16! I had kale, avocados, blackberries, oranges, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, apples, sweet potatoes, and a Delicata Squash. Also, none of them look unappealing to me at all! That is the great thing about most rescued produce, is that you probably wouldn’t be able to tell a difference anyways. My bell peppers weren’t perfectly red, and my avocados were a little small, but other than that I wouldn’t consider anything in the box “ugly”. While this was great for me, it makes it more of a shame that this produce would have been thrown away by a grocery store or farm. My second box from Hungry Harvest was just as great, with tons of fruits and veggies for a low price. What I also love about getting produce deliveries is that you tend to get at least one product you haven’t used before. For me, in my first box I got a Delicata Squash, which ended up being amazing. In week two, I got artichokes, which I had also never used before. I also just got my third box and have some Rutabagas, which I’ve never cooked with either. Getting fresh produce, reducing food waste, and trying new things… what more could you ask for?!
After three weeks, I still love Hungry Harvest. The goal of the company to reduce food waste and food insecurity, coupled with the fun of fresh produce every week makes me love the concept even more. I am definitely going to continue using this delivery service and would suggest it for anyone who is trying to add more produce to their life.
Note: From time to time we’re invited out to an event or to try a restaurant or certain products. This meal or items are usually comped, as this was. We’re under no obligation to write a positive review or any review at all when we’re invited out to try a place. Every review you see on our site will be an honest review of the place whether or not the restaurant provided us with the meal at their cost.
Melissa Guido is currently a dietetic intern in the Triangle area. She studied nutrition at NC State and Meredith College. Her favorite part about nutrition is showing people that healthy food can be exciting and delicious. Melissa loves traveling and learning about how food fits into different cultures. In her free time she loves trying new restaurants, cooking, and obsessing over her dogs. Follow her on Instagram @made2order and at www.madeorder.wordpress.com.