Food waste is a huge issue. In the UK over 3 million tonnes of fruit & vegetables are wasted before even leaving the farm, before adding retailer and household wastage on top of that. As consumers we have grown attached to the uniformity of fruit and veg available in shops and grown extremely accustomed to being able to purchase all produce all year round as desired. However, nature is seasonal and fruits & vegetables come in a huge range of shapes and sizes!
Those veggies and fruits that aren’t uniform in shape are rejected by supermarket buyers (approximately 40% of produce grown unbelievably!) and never make it to our shelves. Wasting the food, the energy, water, time and effort of the farmers to grow it all. Just having one medium Oddbox saves enough energy to power a house for 19 hours or enough water for 12 months of drinking. This honestly blew my mind!
This is where Oddbox comes in! They go directly to farmers to see what in season produce they have surplus of and rescue perfectly tasty fruit & veggies for home delivery to subscribers. I’ve had several boxes of wonderful groceries that have been a pleasure to eat and cook with and I’ve made a difference to rescuing fresh seasonal food that would otherwise be wasted.
How it works!
Subscribers can sign up to receive their box either weekly or bi-weekly and can choose from a fruit and veg box, vegetables only or fruit only in a variety of sizes. As a subscriber you have your own portal where you can change your delivery frequency, skip a box for a delivery holiday, cancel at anytime and also put any add-ons to your order. These are seasonal special items, for example I ordered gooseberries one week as an additional item to my box or you can add a fruit booster box.
As a single person household I opted for the Small Fruit and veg box and this is still plenty for all my cooking, baking and fruit snacking! On my customer portal it gives me an indication of what you are rescuing in your box in advance – perfect for your meal planning. The small fruit and veg box rescues 7 types of vegetables and 3 types of fruit and costs £12.99 (delivery included). If you are a larger family the Large fruit and veg box, at £19.99 contains 9 types of veg and 4 types of fruit.
The boxes are delivered overnight to save on emissions. Every area has designated delivery day/s in the week, these are unfortunately not changeable. This was a factor for me initially as my delivery day is overnight on a Friday, and as I don’t have a driveway I was concerned my box would go missing from my front door or get damaged. However, the delivery team have been fabulous every time; you can give a ‘safe place’ option for delivery, with a notification and picture of where the box is left, which has meant each week my box has arrived in perfect condition.
Oddbox are a certified B Corporation, which means they are assessed and held accountable to strict principles that focus on balancing their profit and ecological purpose. It means that their produce is packaged in recyclable boxes with no unnecessary plastic packaging inside. The fruit and veg is often loose, or in simple paper bags. Occasionally they are in containers as necessary, but this is limited as much as possible.
In my latest box I received all of this fabulous produce!
- Potatoes – too many
- Courgettes – too odd in shape
- Savoy Cabbage – too many
- Peppers – too odd in shape
- Mushrooms – too odd in shape
- Spring Onions – too many
- Living lettuce – too many
- Apples – too small
- Clementines – too small
- Passionfruit – too odd and small
In every box there is a leaflet informing you about the origin of the items, why it is surplus produce, how to store it, the best order to consume the items (to avoid things perishing) and even recipe ideas!
All of the items were in great condition, the mushrooms and spring onions were definitely ready to be eaten as the info booklet stated. There were plenty of potatoes, apples and peppers that I even shared some with my family, plus half of the savoy cabbage as it was huge for 1 person! If you’ve never come across a living lettuce they are amazing, I’ve received a few in my Oddbox deliveries now. These have the root ball still attached, so literally you can pop it in some soil in a pot or a jar of water and it keeps growing and alive for weeks – much better than wasting the ready prepped salad leaves in supermarkets that go off so quickly.
Using this fruit and veg box I was able to make a week (and longer!) of delicious meals & snacks! Here are some of the items I made!
- Apple & passionfruit tarts – the family loved these quick tartlets with pastry & creme patissiere base for a weekend breakfast.
- Passionfruit overnight oats for breakfasts
- A courgette & pea orzo with prawns for dinner
- A stirfry using the peppers, mushrooms, spring onions, cabbage and courgette.
- Garlic mushrooms on toast
- Pepper and potato frittata for lunches
The produce I’ve received in my boxes has always been outstanding; it may not always be pretty (although the baby apples are adorable!) but I have found it often last longer than supermarket bought items. Being able to see what may be in the box in advance helps me to do my weekly meal planning, or decide to skip a box if it doesn’t fit with my food plans or schedule that week. I think their B Corp status is such a plus, alongside the brilliant produce, and to see visually how much CO2, water and energy is being saved is eye-opening. To also know they donate leftover produce to charities such as City Harvest just adds to the positive ethics of shopping with Oddbox. I have loved discovering new varieties of produce that I would never have just picked up, despite being a curious cook, – it sometimes feels like an episode of Masterchef to work out recipes to use up all the wonderful quality ‘odd’ fruit and veg!! Why not rescue some wonky fruit and veg yourself by trying an Oddbox, I’d definitely recommend it.
If you would like to try a OddBox with an introductory discount (£10 off your first box) please use this link.
Box: July 2021
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