One of the best parts of our job is helping farmers and putting produce in peoples' homes. We often get calls from farmers when they hear that pallets, cases, or sometimes, TRUCKLOADS of fresh and delicious produce are sent back. Here are five of the craziest stories that have landed us delicious produce for y'all, no food waste, and a nice return for the farmers!
1. The cabbage with specks of dirt
Robinson Fresh, a large supplier who represents thousands of growers reached out about two months ago. The reason why? An entire truckload of cabbage was rejected from the grocery store because the heads had specks of dirt on them. As we all know, cabbage grows in the ground! Of course it has dirt on it! Anyone can run it under their sink to wash the dirt off! We quickly bought it up, which meant that the farmer could get a return and it didn't end up in the landfill.
2. The "over ripe" acorn squash
Clarion River Organics, a local farm in PA, grew a beautiful crop of acorn squash to send to the grocery store. When it arrived to the store, they turned it away because some of the squash was turning orange. This is a sign of maturity in acorn squash, but it doesn't impact the taste or freshness. It's totally safe to eat. Raise your hand if you've ever eaten orange acorn squash!! We bought this immediately and paid the farmer. All of our customers enjoyed organic acorn squash that week!
3. The five "wet" sweet potatoes
Wada Farm reached out to us because out of 180 cases of sweet potatoes were sent away because 5 sweet potatoes had the smallest bit of moist tips which could result in mold. This impacted 1% of the potatoes! These perfectly fresh and delicious sweet potatoes went out in our last delivery :).
4. The un-bunched kale
This one is SO ridiculous. East Carolina Organics packed their kale loosely in bags, rather than bunched. The buyer refused to take it! This kale tasted exactly the same! It was just not tied together in a bunch. Good thing our customers love kale!
5. The chilly cherry tomatoes
Yummy cherry tomatoes were en route to the grocery store in a refrigerated truck (normal procedure). The temperature in the truck dropped two degrees under where it should have been. The grocery store said "no thanks" when they heard this news. We paid for and used all of them. There was absolutely nothing wrong with these tomatoes! Crazy!