While ordering a box of fresh produce through a local farm in your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) network is a fantastic way to have organic delivered, it's not the only option.
Whether you don't have the space to grow your own fruits and vegetables, can't make it to your farmer's market's Saturday-morning-only hours, or are looking for more variety, these large-scale online organic grocery delivery services can fill the gap by sending organic, all-natural produce and products right to your door.
You can't beat the convenience, but you should keep a few points in mind when you're ordering: Double check that the offerings are seasonal and local -- if you see bananas in your box in January in New York, you may be eating organic but you're not eating local; look for a service close to you to cut the shipping footprint; and be prepared to compare the prices and quality to what you could get on your weekly store trip.
In short: ordering organic food can be good for your carbon footprint if you pay attention to exactly where it comes from -- but if the Whole Foods one block from your house is offering local apples in the fall, berries in the summer, and asparagus in the spring, then go there first.
1. Door to Door Organics
Door to Door Organics offers its delivery services in several locations across the country, including Colorado, Kansas City, Chicago, and Michigan, and partners with Suburban Organics to deliver to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
In the winter, the group turns to warmer climates and international organic farms to stock the boxes with produce -- so while you know it's always pesticide free, it's not always local. (You can see a week-by-week breakdown of what's in your box of produce and where it was harvested from on the company's site.)
2. Urban Organic
Urban Organic focuses its delivery efforts on the New York Tri-State area with weekly stops in the boroughs, New Jersey, Long Island, and Connecticut. You can sign up for one of four box sizes, from The Little Box to the Extra-Value Box, with contents that change every week -- think carrots, greens, broccoli, apples, tomatoes, grapefruit, tangerines, and more.
The company also offers a Juicing Box designed for DIY juice and smoothies, which comes with carrots, beets, parsely, celery, ginger, apples, pears, dark greens, and a cucumber.
SPUD -- which stands for Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery -- targets much of the northern West Coast: Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and Orange County, Vancouver, Van Island, and Calgary.
You can design your own Harvest Box by choosing your delivery frequency, how much you want to spend, and opting for local goods only, local goods over a variety of items, or variety over source.
The company also sells canned goods, baby food, sustainbly-raised meat and household supplies (from organic cat food to Biokleen cleaning spray).
4. Boxed Greens
Boxed Greens was designed to provide fresh fruits and vegetables from farms local to Phoenix, Ariz., so they offer weekly delivery to Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, and other areas in that state -- but they also offer an overnight state- and nationwide delivery.
The boxes are kept cold with reusable freezer packs. But if you go this route, be prepared for extra packaging (about four pounds worth on the statewide deliveries). Box options include the Essential Family, with basic produce for four people; the Family Gourmand, which comes with a few more unusual fruits or vegetables; a box designed for juicemakers; and the Breakfast Box, comprising seasonal fruits and fresh granola.
5. The Green Polka Dot Box
Of course, there's more to cooking than just fruits and vegetables -- and if you want to stock your pantry with organic, natural snacks, condiments, baking supplies, and more then The Green Polka Dot Box can help.
This online grocery store lets you order from brands including Newman's Own, Annie's, Sprout, Tom's of Maine, and more, with either a $50-annual Club Membership or a $125-annual Rewards Membership. The group's goal is to bring organic products to "food deserts" across the country via a buying collective that keeps prices down.