Eating Healthy: Suburban Organics review
Last week my girlfriend got me a gift certificate for Suburban Organics. Suburban Organics delivers organic fruits and veggies straight to your door on a weekly, bi-weekly, etc. basis. (They only deliver to the tri-state area within New York.) Each week you log onto your account to see that week’s menu and you’re allowed to make up to 5 substitutions. So if, for example, you hate onions and that particular week onions are included in your box, you can substitute them for something else. I like eating healthy so this gift was perfect for me.
I quickly set up my account (you’ll need a credit card) and last Thursday I received my first shipment (I opted for the smallest package called the “little box”). The Little Box costs $25 (shipping included) and is described on SU’s site as the “perfect starter box for the single cook, roommates, or a couple.” I would agree with the single part, but for a couple, it’s a tad too little in my opinion. Anyway, my box included 4 bananas, a head of garlic, 2 kiwi, 2 apples, 2 danjou pears, 1 avocado, half a head of red leaf lettuce, a bunch of carrots, and a bunch of broccoli. The produce is wrapped in a clear plastic bag and shipped in a brown box. (I have a doorman, so delivery was not an issue for me.) The good news is that everything looked and tasted great. The kiwi was delicious and sweet, the avocado arrived ripe and ready to eat, the broccoli was nice and purplish in color, and the bananas were thin, but sweet. As far as quality, I give SU a perfect score.
This week I decided to do a taste test so I got some kiwi from my local Whole Foods and believe it or not, but Whole Foods’ “Italian” kiwi was nowhere near as tasty as SU’s California kiwi. Whole Foods’ kiwi was actually a bit bitter. I noticed that Whole Foods also sells braeburn apples and danjou pears, but I wasn’t able to do a direct price comparison because SU doesn’t always tell you what each item in your box costs. They do, however, list weekly specials which you can add to your box for an additional cost. This week blueberries were the special item. SU sells 6 oz. of blueberries for $2.99. Whole Foods sells 16 oz. of blueberries for $4.50. I realize SU must factor in the cost of shipping, but if Whole Foods’ blueberries are also organic, then SU isn’t really saving me money now is it?
And that brings me to my only gripe with SU. I can’t tell if it’s saving me money or not. Granted, SU doesn’t claim to be a money-saving service, but in today’s economy, I don’t want to spend more money than I need to. My Little Box didn’t last me a full week and Saturday afternoon I found myself back at Whole Foods shopping for more apples and some produce (such as celery) that wasn’t included in my box. My second SU box arrives tomorrow and this time around I’ll try to do a better price comparison.