If you’ve ever groaned at the thought of doing a supermarket shop, you’re not alone. It’s up there with ironing on the “worst chores list”. So we’re betting you’d love the convenience, speed and variety a veg box brings to the table.
Ordering organic vegetables online helps to purge your kitchen of pesticides. It also supports local, traditional methods of farming and mixes up lacklustre meal times.
There benefits to soil health and wildlife biodiversity. And you’ll have peace of mind from reducing your exposure to pesticides, preservatives and GM crops.
Here’s how to get your ten a day in a way that doesn’t cost the earth or your health.
The Best if You’re Caught in a Food Rut
Recipe boxes are ideal if you’re stuck on repeat when it comes to meal ideas. Best of all, many companies are turning to nutritionists to ensure their grub is as healthy as it is tasty.
This food loving bunch deliver delicious ready-to-cook ingredients straight to your door.
Riverford Recipe Boxes
Anyone for garlic gnocchi? How about a swede, leek and apple bake or a borlotti and barley beanpot? All extremely tasty. And probably not the sort you’d tackle if it weren’t for Riverford’s 100% organic ingredients and simple recipe cards.
Vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians are catered for with three new recipes a week. Farm fresh ingredients arrive in the exact quantity you’ll need, so there’s less chance of a food waste problem.
Plus, you can choose between ‘simple’, ‘light’ and ‘foodie’ depending on how adventurous or hungry you’re feeling. Best of all, the vegan options are cheapest.
Price: from £11.20 per meal for two.
Abel & Cole Recipe Box
Champions of organic farming since 1988, Abel & Cole has new ethically sourced recipes every week.
Similar to Riverford, you can filter the recipes by your dietary preferences, the complexity of the dish or how hangry you are.
We’ve heard the portion sizes are generous but are so scrumptious there won’t be any waste. If you’re wondering how to make a bean stew sing or want to perfect velvety mash, Abel & Cole can help.
Price: from £13 per meal for two.
Gousto Meal Kits
We rated Gousto for its wide range of more than 20 recipes per week. We also love the quality produce (organic and locally sourced where possible) and value for money.
Four vegetarian meals for four people costs £34.99. That’s £4.37 per meal.
Dishes are mostly of the comfort food ilk. Think creamy casseroles, triple cheese pasta bakes and rich ragus.
But while it has tonnes of hearty meal ideas, be mindful of the plastic often involved in these meal kits. Gousto aren’t alone in this, looking at Hello Fresh vs Gousto, there’s a fair amount of plastic involved in all of them. However, food waste is practically non-existent with either of these services.
Price: from £12 per meal for two, add two more meals to get the best price per serving.
The Best if You’re Packing in the Packaging
Fed up stuffing your bin with single use packaging every time you cook something? A vegetable delivery scheme is one of the easiest ways to shrink your plastic footprint.
Some offer a plastic free browsing option and many schemes will take back the packaging they send out.
These forward thinking veg box schemes are also organic and pesticide free. So even the most climate conscious shoppers are kept happy.
The Organic Delivery Company
The Organic Delivery Company has an extensive plastic free produce section. You can add to your basket freestyle or choose a seasonal box of fruit and veg.
In my experience, this company delivers a wide range of fresh produce at a more affordable price than some other brands.
As you browse, you can see exactly where the veg has been grown too. The colourful goods arrive in paper bags in a returnable cardboard box. Delivery is free and delivery times are dependent on your postcode.
Price: For £14.95 you get seven portions of veg and three portions of fruit.
Abel & Cole Veg Box
Abel & Cole has been working with organic farmers for the last 30 years. But its environmental conscience doesn’t stop there.
This B-corp shuns air freighting and is reducing its use of non-recyclable packaging.
Price: For £14.25 you’ll get six portions of veg and two portions of fruit.
Riverford Veg Box
Riverford says its veg boxes will be entirely plastic free by 2020. Until then, use this Riverford guide to find out what to do with your leftover packaging.
Real Plastic Free
Edinburgh-based Real Plastic Free is a convenient online marketplace for doing all your shopping in one go.
Alongside organic fruit and veg, you can pick up a range of other household essentials. Including nuts and seeds, tea and coffee and health and beauty bits – all free from plastic of course.
Vegetables and plastic
We’re yet to find organic vegetables online that have zero plastic in its entire range. Many say food preservation and a lack of recycling facilities for compostables is the issue.
The director of urban farming group Growing Communities published an insightful essay on the matter. She explains why they haven’t jumped on the biodegradable bandwagon and it’s all down to the problem of recycling these materials.
The Best Organic Vegetables Online for Eating Seasonally
OK, so we don’t have the climate for bananas. But we do have the perfect climate for many other crops. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the variety harvested here in the UK if you’re looking to eat with the seasons.
Yes, it means forgoing the luxury of strawberries in October. But these wholesome boxes slash food miles and give local farmers a helping hand.
And there’s a special kind of satisfaction you get from biting into fruit and veg ripened by the British sun.
Are you a glutton for seasonal and organic vegetables? Ethical grocer Farmdrop has many options. If you’re after specific ingredients, browse the items with a ‘best of season’ tag.
Or opt for a colourful veg bundle if you prefer the surprise element. Purton House Organics and Langridge Organic use Farmdrop for their greens.
Purton House Organics rice: from £11.95 for eight items.
Langridge Organic price: from £10.75 for eight items.
If you live in the north of England, check out Organic Pantry. It gets most of its produce from its own family run organic farm in a green and pleasant patch of North Yorkshire.
Like most seasonal boxes, this one includes staples such as potatoes, carrots and onions. Then it adds the more unusual in-season produce for you to experiment with.
Price: From £12 for eight items.
Abel & Cole
The great thing about Abel & Cole’s Very Veggie Box is you can pick and choose what items you want.
You can even blacklist certain veggies you never want delivered. Handy for brussels sprout season.
Price: seven portions for £13.25.
The Best Organic Vegetables Online for Fighting Food Waste
The slightest variation in colour and shape often means fresh, edible veg will never grace our dinner plates.
The range won’t always include organic items. But one thing this box of appetising oddities will always produce is a smile.
Price: small veg box feeds two for £9.45, featuring seven surplus items.
Best for Smoothie Fans
Are you a sucker for a liquid lunch (ahem, of the non-alcoholic variety)? Do you love a post-workout juice? Then there are a couple of organic smoothie offerings you need on your radar.
So, switch on your nutribullet and raise a glass to these mouth wateringly good juicing boxes.
Planet Organic currently offers five options. They range from a beetroot loaded kit at the cheaper end to a berry, banana and coconut blend at the pricer end.
The ingredients are Soil Association certified and some include the liquid extras such as coconut water.
Price: From £5.99.
If it’s just the juicing fruit you’re after, Langridge Organic can help. They have juicing bundles alongside the option to load up on carrots and beetroot.
Order a bundle on Farmdrop but remember that the contents could change depending on what’s in season.
Price: Juicing bundles are £9.75
Honestly Good Smoothie Company
The Soil Association Certified smoothie kits from the Honestly Good Smoothie Company are real time savers. Once you’ve made up your mind which flavourful box to order that is.
First you decide if you want a veggie, green, fruity or variety box. Then you pick whether you’d like five or ten smoothie kits and when you’d like them delivered. Then it’s onto the fun bit, whizzing them up and knocking them back.
The hand measured recipes can be popped in the freezer so you can dip in when you fancy. This is a great option if you’re running on a tight schedule. We’re enjoying the nutritional tips in the newsletters too.
Now all that’s left is to pair your smoothies with these alternatives to plastic straws.
Price: from £4.75 a smoothie, free delivery
The Best for Flexitarians
Remember the 2000s? When everyone was distracted by the Millennium Dome and epic games of Snake on Nokia 3310s?
One wellie-wearing family was busy transforming some barren fields into a fertile oasis. Organic veggies, rare breed cattle and grass fed lamb now thrive on the Eversfield Organic farm in Devon.
Their fare will catch the eye (and the appetites) of omnivorous households who care about flavour as much as provenance.
If you don’t fancy the weekly selection, there’s the option to build your own box. Plus the free packaging returns are a bonus.
Price: small veg box feeds one to two for £10.95, featuring at least seven varieties.
The Best for Offices, Parties and Holiday Homes
It’s all very well living the good life at home. But why should your eco efforts go out the window when it comes to your office, holiday home or events?
Don’t get caught out, invest in one of these boxes. They all manage to deliver large quantities without sacrificing quality.
At Piktfresh, you can choose from three different boxes. ‘Homey’ has up to 25 portions of organic fruit and veg. ‘Fruitiest’ has around 7.5kg of fruit. ‘Prepster’ has up to 3.5kg of garnish style produce tailored to bars and restaurants.
If your office is notorious for having a never ending supply of biscuits, this could help encourage healthier eating. Plus, you can choose to offset the carbon emissions of your delivery.
The Best Budget Organic Vegetables Online
Many cite price as a barrier to buying organic vegetables online but there are a few things that can save you some pennies.
Some supermarkets such as Morrisons offer an organic box. For £8, you can get a decent selection of seasonal veg.
Additionally, it’s worth looking into local schemes which might offer you a discount or freebies in return for helping out.
When I moved to Tottenham in north London, I was thrilled to discover Crop Drop. Tottenham isn’t a leafy part of London by any stretch of the imagination. But this organic veg scheme delivers locally grown produce to local residents.
In return for helping pack the bags up, you get 30% off. Plus, the collection points are great for exploring your local area and supporting local businesses.
Price: small veg bag from £8.40 for five items.
Organic produce doesn’t always have a premium price. Looking for organic vegetables online might surprise you and give you a reason to go organic! And that’s one more step towards eating and living sustainably.