UPDATE – March 2011: Organics Delivered has gone out of business. From a message on their website, customers seeking refunds are being asked to pursue their money via their original form of payment (ie, credit card company).

Organics Delivered

Price is a major reason I don’t buy organic fruits and vegetables more often so I jumped at the chance to try out organic produce delivery recently via Groupon. The online daily deal site offered a two-box trial from Organics Delivered — normally $79.90 — for just $30.

The company, which operates in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Chicago, tries to source local suppliers when possible, but I guessed there wasn’t going to be a great bounty — if at all — of Alberta produce in November. You can’t order exactly what you want, but you can specify what you don’t want.

The groceries are delivered between 4-9 p.m. Our first box came around 7 p.m. I noted down where the items came from if they had a label. The cardboard box held:

  • four Anjou pears
  • two avocados (Mexico)
  • four Valencia oranges (U.S.)
  • five bananas (Peru)
  • 2 lb. bag of carrots (U.S.)
  • romaine lettuce
  • four kiwis
  • four white potatoes
  • five Red Delicious apples
  • bunch of celery
  • green onions (Mexico)
  • bunch of Swiss chard (U.S.)
  • radishes.

Two weeks later, our second box arrived at about 5 p.m. This one seemed to focus on more variety in fruit. I forgot to write down where everything came from. Inside was:

  • bag of peeled mini carrots
  • large head of green leaf lettuce
  • bunch of kale
  • bunch of spinach
  • green onions
  • two grapefruit
  • two oranges
  • two butter Bosc pears
  • four McIntosh apples
  • two potatoes
  • one pomegranate
  • six bananas.

The fruit and vegetables were all quite fresh, especially the Swiss chard, romaine and pears. I had never tried kale before, so it was fun looking up ways to cook it. I ended up doing kale chips, which were easy, tasty and healthy! I also found this recipe to use up radishes, and Jason made a delicious apple-pear crumble. (Because no one likes raw Red Delicious apples.)

For some reason, I enjoyed thinking up ways to incorporate what was in our crisper more than I would have with the produce normally left over in our house at the end of the week. And I ate more fruit that normal because it was there.

As a new mom, I loved the convenience of the delivery. It meant I could avoid a time-consuming trip to the big box supermarket and lugging stuff into the house. With enough produce to last us two weeks, I only had to pop into the local store for a few things to supplement our groceries.

On the other hand, we had a lot of potatoes and carrots. I’m still on the fence about signing on as a regular customer because of price. A regular small box is $39.95 (a larger box for a bigger family would be $48) with small discounts if you sign up for pre-paid deliveries.

What do you think? Is it worth it?

You can try Organics Delivered on a trial basis for $79.90 for two boxes.