Wanting to reduce the plastic we use as a family has meant changing a lot of the products we shop for. Food is one area which I know we can easily cut down on. I’ve been buying loose products when I can, simply weighing them without plastic bag and then attaching the sticker to one of the items and chucking them in my bag (a benefit of using scan and go!)
Plastic Free Vegetables
However I was so excited when I spotted my local Asda had wonky veg boxes in stock. The boxes feature a selection of produce that is deemed too misshapen for regular sale. For £3.50 I received a selection of misshapen mainly seasonal wonky veg that weighed roughly 5Kg.
I’d only once before spotted a wonky veg box and purchased from an Asda’s not in my area and had been pleasantly surprised by the veg. As with this weeks box I purchased I didn’t think the veg was that wonky – ok well bar the red peppers which were a bit of an odd shape.
What Did I Get In My Wonky Veg Box
My box was jam packed with potatoes, parsnips, carrots, sweet potato, leeks, onions, peppers, a cabbage and a swede. The best before date on the box was for the following day but I found the veg to be in varying states of freshness. As a general rule I don’t listen to best before dates any way and judge an item myself.
Pretty much everything except the sweet potatoes and parsnips felt like they had loads of time left on them. One of my sweet potatoes did have a massive chunk of mush in the middle though, maybe a bruise? which had leaked on to the rest of the veg. To me this wasn’t an issue and to be honest I wasn’t expecting perfect veg for only £3.50
My first job was to sort through the veg and decide what I was going to do with it. I had already done my meal plan this week so a lot of the veg wouldn’t necessarily be used this week. I went hunting for the wonky veg box first during my shop so the bits I did already need for my meals I didn’t buy a duplicate of (there’s a handy list on the outside of the box telling you what is inside).
Storing the Veg
To preserve maximum freshness of the veg I decided to prep and freeze a lot of the veg immediately. The leeks and pepper I simply chopped up and then laid flat on a baking tray and placed in the freezer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes I took them out and sealed the vegetables in a ziplock bag (yes a plastic one but I am currently using and reusing all the ones I have left in my kitchen before recycling them and looking for plastic free options. No point in adding to waste when I already own them and they have a use in the house).
Freezing them laid out on a flat tray first means that when you get the veg out to use again they won’t be stuck together in one giant frozen ball which is very useful and less frustrating than breaking a massive frozen block apart!
I then sliced scrubbed up and sliced my sweet potatoes, cutting them into 1cm thick discs ready for some sweet potato nachos later this week. I simply cut off and disposed of the bit of sweet potato that had gone a bit squidgy. The slightly soft parsnips I peeled and parboiled before also freezing ready to be roasted for one of our dinners this week.
The rest of the veg was simply washed and stored wither in a dark cupboard or in the fridge, ready to be used in this week’s meals. Whatever I don’t use will be frozen and can be used in a future weeks meal plans
What Did We Think
Overall I was impressed with the veg box and will be purchasing again. They is no plastic in them and I think the only unrecyclable bit is the sticker seal on the box. The produce itself is sourced within Europe. The only thing I would love to see is a completely British sourced veg box. However as this produce would have been disposed of if not sold in the wonky veg box I’m at least happy that I saved some food from being wasted.
I’m still buying some additional vegetables but I hope with buying a wonky veg box each week and prepping and freezing the vast majority of it I can start to greatly reduce the plastic I’m bringing in from the shopping. I’d like to explore a local and seasonal veg box option for the house too but the one I have found in my local area are a whole £10 more than the Asda box, it’s a subscription service too rather than just purchasing as and when I want which isn’t ideal for us. Buying local veg and eating seasonally has a massive positive impact on the environment so at some point I will be looking again at this route.
Have you tried a veg box before? I’d love to hear if you’ve tried any other brands of veg box in the comments below.