Are you busy? Do you buy groceries? If so, consider embracing the services of a growing number of online grocers who have turned to organic food delivery — bringing fresh produce, pastured meats and more straight to your door. Many eco-conscious shoppers are concerned about the carbon footprint of “food miles” — the distance food travels from soil to salad bowl, and the amount of fossil fuels that each journey requires. A couple of recent studies report that getting your groceries delivered is actually the greenest way to fill your fridge. A 2012 report from the Transportation Research Forum likened grocery delivery to carpooling: When many households’ groceries share a large truck, fewer miles are traveled overall. The result can be up to 90 percent less emissions. Collectives of small U.S. farmers often benefit, too.
America’s Farmstand is an “online farmers market” that offers an impressive selection of products, from produce and pies to cheeses and meats. It even sells gift baskets. Ships internationally via Standard, Priority or Rush; perishables are shipped Next Day in dry ice.
Door to Door Organics serves five regions (Chicago, Colorado, Kansas City, Michigan, and the Tri-State area of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania), and the concentrated delivery areas ensure fuel efficiency. Sign up for a customizable produce box or shop by recipe. Free shipping; all packing materials are recyclable.
Green PolkaDot Box is a one-stop shop that specializes in organic and non-GMO items. Thousands of items are available at discounts off retail pricing. Choose from multiple product categories: food, baby, pet, personal care, supplements and more. Membership is required, and joining costs $50 (comes with free shipping on orders over $75), with a one-time trial membership available for $10 (includes free shipping). Auto-ship options available; ships to the United States and Puerto Rico.
Tendergrass Farms sells grass-fed meats from six farmers who have agreed to strict feeding standards (listed on the website). All deliveries are made by ground transport, a system the company claims makes your food’s carbon footprint 14 times smaller than if you were to drive to a nearby farm to fetch it. Read Tendergrass Farms’ Mother Earth News blog posts. Free shipping on orders over $199; otherwise, $19 shipping within the 48 contiguous states.
Organic food delivery may be especially useful for anyone who has trouble getting around due to physical disabilities. If you try one of these online grocers, please leave a comment here to share how you liked the products and the service.