Sep 26 2014

Green BEAN Delivery is Awesome

Published by at 1:20 pm under Food,Health,Personal

I have a sensation that Michael and I think way too frequently about how to eat ethically – what does an ethical consumer look like? Our ethical debates have led us to all sorts of places — vegetarianism, veganism, CSA’s and Farmer’s Markets. There are a million things to debate about. Organic vs. Conventional vs. Sustainably Grown. GMO vs. non-GMO. Vegan vs. Omnivore. These are all complex issues, and reasonable, thoughtful and ethical people have valid arguments for almost any side of the argument.

But, for Michael and I, we come back constantly to this idea of trying to eat locally, eat seasonally. CSA’s have been a mixed bag – sometimes you end up with terrible looking produce, sometimes you end up with a basket full of pounds of zucchini. Farmer’s Markets are nice – a chance to pick out what you like and to interact with the folks who are growing the food, however, with the exception of our time living in downtown Frederick, they require a drive (usually 15-20 minutes) at a usually inconvenient time (I like to sleep in on Saturday mornings, don’t judge).

So, when Michael mentioned Green BEAN delivery, I was intrigued but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. But we have been receiving produce boxes from them for a month now, and I have been seriously impressed.

What is Green BEAN delivery? It’s a grocery delivery service, but the majority of their produce is organically grown or sustainably grown. They operate two organic farms of their own for some of the produce in the bins and they also work with local farms to provide local produce and products. In Saint Louis, we can get local grass-fed dairy or beef,  bacon and fresh bread from Companion in our basket. Basically, you subscribe to get $35.00 weekly of produce and groceries and they deliver to you every week, no delivery fee.

We have a standing order for the small bin of fruits and vegetables. Our bin is delivered on Thursdays. That same day, they also post on their website what the bin for next week will be. We have until Monday to make changes to our order for the week. We can swap any produce we want for anything else they offer that week. They have some standard produce which is available every week for you to add to your order for example, mixed greens, garlic, onion and bananas. But I have found that the things they choose to include in the weekly bin are really the stars. Over the past four weeks the nectarines, plums, tomatoes, delicata squash and potatoes we’ve had in our bins have been some of the best I’ve ever had. After we switch out things we wouldn’t eat from our bin and add any other produce we’ll need for the week, we can add groceries to our delivery. Over the past month, groceries we’ve added have included: grass-fed steak, raw cheese, demi-baguettes from Companion, olive oil,  cage-free eggs, organic pepitas and fair trade chocolate. They offer a wide variety of groceries, including a lot of things I’d have to go out of my way to get at Whole Foods (a 30 minute drive).

So, what makes GreenBEAN so great?

First and above all, the quality of the produce. I’m not a huge proponent of organic foods, but I do like to limit our exposure to pesticides so I tend to buy organic fruit, bell peppers, etc. Getting quality organic produce without a drive to Whole Foods is next to impossible here and even the produce I get from Whole Foods frequently goes bad very quickly. The items we’re getting from Green BEAN are organic but they also look and taste great (and fresh) and last a LONG time. The mixed greens we get last a week, easy.

Secondly, the convenience factor. Driving to Whole Foods every week is not fun, it’s expensive and who knows what the environmental impact is. We’re getting better quality food delivered to our doorstep. The time and fuel savings are awesome.

Thirdly, the standard bin does encourage us to eat both locally and seasonally, which is important to both Michael and me, in an ethical consumer sense.

Finally, the meat/eggs/dairy that we can get locally are really fantastic products and the price we get on them is also good (very much in line with grass-fed/ pasture-raised / cage-free products offered at the grocery store).

My hope is that Green BEAN finds great success in the Saint Louis metro and we see more and more local goods being offered as time goes on. If you’re in an area served by Green BEAN (Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Missouri) and you’ve been thinking about giving it a try, I whole-heartedly encourage you to do so. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quality and variety of what you get each week.

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