When you can’t make it to the farmers’ market, these online grocers are here for you. 

By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
June 26, 2020
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Browsing the produce section of a supermarket or shopping the farmers' market used to be a totally innocuous routine we'd look forward to doing at the start of summer. But now that our routines have been shaken up and some of us are just beginning to brave the market again, getting your greens in can feel like a challenge. The good news is that placing an online order for farm-fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, and more is as easy as a few clicks before your fridge is full of a restaurant-worthy bounty of fresh food. Over-order if pickling and preserving are your thing (find the best methods for extending the life of fresh produce here), or subscribe to smaller quantities to get a weekly or biweekly fix of fresh goods. 

When you can’t make it to the farmers’ market, these online grocers are here for you. 

That so-called “ugly” produce that veggie snobs may overlook is your discount to delicious, fresh food, thanks to Misfit Market. Created to combat food waste, the online marketplace of mishapen supermarket rejects sells produce that isn’t farmed with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and each subscription box is full of certified organic, non-GMO produce and as well as misfit pantry staples. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all, and that twisty carrot or lumpy eggplant may just add that uniquely appetizing accent to your favorite recipe.

Misfits delivers to every zip code in 23 Eastern and Midwestern states and D.C. Subscription boxes start at $22 and include 10 to 13 pounds of fresh and organic mixed fruits and vegetables like leafy greens, root vegetables, stone fruit, and more seasonal treats.

Part meal kit, part online grocer, this healthy marketplace and personalized grocery service has over 100 product offerings from both the Hungryroot brand and its partners, like Banza and Beyond Meat. Customers share their food preferences and receive personalized weekly deliveries of healthy groceries along with 10-minute recipes to make fresh, delicious meals, which can be customized to be vegan, vegetarian, soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, pescatarian, tree-nut free, peanut-free, and egg-free. Packages include ready-to-use ingredients like chopped kale and shredded carrots, pre-washed veggies, cooked and seasoned proteins, healthy sauces, condiments like curry and hummus, and much more. Pricing plans average from $60 to $100 per week and orders over $70 receive free shipping.

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Chef’s Garden vegetable boxes allow home chefs to thrive in the kitchen, especially with a few guidelines that help indecisive cooks decide what to make. Shoppers can add produce—complete with notes on flavor, texture, storage, and more—a la cart to their online shopping carts, or choose from curated boxes that put together the best of the season, immunity boosters, ready-to-braise veggies and more. Introductory boxes go for $59 and subscription boxes start at $89 and can include everything from restaurant-quality microgreens and edible flowers to some of the freshest salad ingredients you may ever taste. 

Imperfect Foods is an online grocer whose goal is to create a more sustainable and effective food system and better the environment. Imperfect produce and surplus food is sourced directly from farmers, growers, and food purveyors to preemptively prevent waste. A customizable subscription service offers up to 30 percent lower prices than what consumers pay at grocery stores and includes options to add on meat and fish, dairy and eggs, grains and snacks to a regular or organic weekly produce pack. Imperfect Foods is currently available to consumers in 43 states nationwide. Boxes are 100 percent customizable, so cost depends on the items and quantities customers choose, with an added $4.99 to $5.99 delivery cost per order.

Designed to alleviate people living in food deserts from not getting the fresh produce they need, this subscription veggie box delivers organic and conventional produce nationally. Choose from small, medium, or large boxes with either all fruits, veggies, or an assortment. Each box supports local and sustainable agricultural businesses and prices start at $47.95.