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The Oakland Tribune
June 28, 2006
By Jolene Thym


Organic delivery makes eating right easy

Cooking is fun. Eating great food is one of my favorite pastimes. But shopping for the ingredients? Not exactly my idea of a good time. Much better, I discovered a few weeks ago, is to have my kitchen stocked with interesting gourmet edibles – automatically. How? By signing up online to get a weekly bin of produce and other foods from Planet Organics, one of a handful of companies that deliver boxes all over the Bay Area.

I had heard about these kind of boxes sometime last year and I was intrigued, but the busy-ness of life -- and the concern that the company might charge more for the convenience of delivering -- kept me from trying it out, until a few weeks ago when Planet Organics gave me a call.

The first thing the company wanted to know is if I was familiar with their company. Kinda-sorta was the best answer I could give. That's all they wanted to know. They ended the conversation abruptly, but not before asking permission to deliver an “edible press kit.”

Within a week, a plastic bin arrived on my doorstep. Inside the bin was literally a circus of flavors, including local cheeses, smoked salmon, coffee, chocolate and the most beautiful produce you could imagine. There were tiny beets and turnips like the ones you get at a fancy restaurant, and a small head of fresh butter lettuce. The carrots were irresistibly sweet and crisp.

The amount of produce in the bin was way shy of my family's needs for the week, but that's because I didn't order the bin myself. Customers can specify volume, as well as make requests for specialties such as gourmet cheeses and Jeremiah's Pick organic coffee.

Those who don't like the idea of getting random bins of produce on their doorstep might be surprised at the hidden benefits of such deliveries. For me, the presence of the produce alone proved to be inspiration _ an invitation to cook that I could not easily ignore (since produce doesn't last forever). Even better, the random selection of produce actually simplified my meal planning -- I needed to make something out of these very specific ingredients.

The carrots became an instant snack. The lettuce and beets became an instant salad. The pineapple became breakfast. The mangoes became a smoothie. The smoked salmon and Cowgirl Creamery Mount Tam cheese became a party hors d'oeuvre.

The baskets are delivered weekly and are stowed according to your instructions. The cost is about $32 per week. There are no contracts to sign, and delivers can be canceled up to 48 hours in advance. For more details or to sign up for a delivery, call (800) 956-5855 or go to www.planetorganics.com.


 

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