With sustainability at the forefront of everyone’s minds (after Brexit), a great way to ensure you eat well is to order a veg box. They take the hassle out of finding local fruit and veg – and stop you getting back from the supermarket to realise that that those green beans were flown in from Guatemala. Veg boxes right a few air miles by promising to include UK produced food (where possible), and in the case of the supermarket boxes, wonky veg that would otherwise be condemned to the scrap pile. If you’d like to make sure your food really is local (or saved from the scrap heap) then choose the Veg Box People, who source from family run farms in Lancashire and Cheshire. Only want to do one shop? Take a look at Foodlife who also do a monthly organic meat and fish delivery AND sell organic eggs, dairy, dry goods and cleaning products.
Gold standard veg: Riverford – from £11.75 a box (pictured)
The grande dame of veg boxes, Riverford is one of the best known national companies. They have expanded their box offering so that you can now choose from boxes of recipes (highly recommend for busy people); veg; fruit and salad; meat; dairy; make your own. Some of their suppliers are international but rest assured the same care goes into picking them as it does the UK producers, and if you’re particularly worries, you can always make up your own box of British produce. The company just became a cooperative too, so it’s business structure is as ethical as its produce. Veg boxes from £11.75 for a small box of seasonal organic veg. Free delivery, no signature required
Tel: 01803 227227, www.riverford.co.uk
Manchester’s finest veg: Veg Box People – from £6 per bag
This amazing company are supplied by farms that are between 3 and 46 miles from Manchester city centre – it doesn’t get much more local than that! Rather than delivering to houses they offer pick up locations across the city (as well as in Salford Quays, Hulme, Macclesfield, Altrincham, Didsbury and Wilmslow). This ensures you don’t miss your delivery and that food miles and emissions are kept to a minimum. They offer four sizes of Veg Bag – starter/student, small, medium or large. It’s great that they cater for students, who often don’t need a family sized box or always buy the same veg, with a smaller box and collection hubs in student areas including Fallowfields, MMU’s All Saints Campus and UoM’s University Place.
Veg boxes from £6 per bag, collect from hubs across Greater Manchester
. Tel: 07572968523, www.vegboxpeople.org.uk
Everything you need: Food Life Organic – from £12
Food Life Organic has some impressive credentials; founded in 1995 in Bramhall, Cheshire, they were assisted by the Prince’s Youth Business Trust and have gone from strength to strength over the last 23 years. They deliver across the Manchester area and have branched out from just selling fruit and veg: now the company also sells organic eggs, dairy, dry goods and cleaning products. They also sell some non-organic artisan products from local producers. Once a month there is the option to receive an organic meat and fish box, and they do hampers at Christmas time. All of this ensures that you can obtain the best local produce with minimum fuss. Another bonus? Food Life Organic want to reduce waste and so all produce comes in a reusable crate or box that they will collect on your next order. Veg crates from £10.25. Free delivery but minimum order value is £12. www.foodlifeorganic.co.uk
Wonky veg box: Morrisons – £3.50 a box online (w £40 order) or £5 instore
Morrison’s Wonky Vegetable box is available online and costs £3.50. The premise of the is to stop “imperfectly” shaped vegetables from being discarded before they reach the shops. All of the vegetables are grown in the UK and while carrots, onions and potatoes are permanently featured in the box there’s also a minimum of three other types of seasonal produce. Some examples they give include cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, courgettes and parsnips. £3.50 a box. Order online with your weekly Morrisons shop. Minimum order £40
More wonky veg: Asda – from £3.50 a box in store.
Asda’s wonky veg box works to reduce waste from “ugly” vegetables that are discarded before reaching supermarket shelves. Every box contains a whopping 5kg of fresh vegetables. The contents are seasonal but they list carrots, potatoes, peppers, cucumber, cabbage, leeks, parsnips, sweet potatoes, garlic and onions as potential inclusions. Asda claim that the box will save you 30% on standard lines but I suspect it’s a higher saving as the box costs just £3.50. Frustratingly they only deliver 20 of these boxes a week to 300 larger stores, meaning there’s no guarantee that you’ll get your hands on one, but your best bet is to speak to staff at your local store and ask them to put one aside for you. £3.50 a box. Buy in stores, available in 300 locations across the country
Published on: Thu 24 Jan 2019