Our friends at Imperfect Foods are reimagining grocery delivery. With just a few clicks, you can have all your must-have ingredients for the week (and beyond) delivered straight to your doorstep. Here, Studio52 Director Shannon Muldoon—who recently made the switch to Imperfect Foods—shares how eliminating trips to the grocery store transformed her cooking routine.
Wandering the aisles of the grocery store after work used to be a hobby of mine. I knew where all of my go-to staples were and often found myself picking up new and random items along the way to challenge myself in the kitchen. While some of my friends and family had started using grocery delivery services, I preferred the old-school method of shopping in person. I also have a few dietary restrictions and a food allergy, so a grocery delivery service seemed totally out of the question for my lifestyle. I saw no reason to change my routine.
Then 2020 hit, and how we grocery shop took on a whole new meaning. In the early days of the pandemic especially, going to the store felt rushed and stress-inducing; I would get in and out as quickly as possible, only grabbing the essentials to get through the week. Like a lot of people, I found that my grocery list became stagnant and I was no longer inspired in the kitchen. It was in that moment of uncertainty that I decided to do some research on what other options were available to me in Brooklyn and I found Imperfect Foods.
I like to think of it as my one-stop shop for pretty much anything I can get at a conventional supermarket—fresh produce, pantry goods, dairy products, you name it. But what I’m really a fan of is their mission: to build a sustainable food system that’s all about reducing waste. They source sustainable meat and seafood, plant-based meats and cheeses, "ugly" and surplus produce, and then some. Their affordable prices, personalized weekly orders, and a “Never List” to ensure my kitchen only gets stocked with foods I can eat and items I love are big bonuses, too. I no longer have to worry about braving the long lines and leaving the store under a cloud of anxiety wondering if I grabbed everything on my list.
When my first order arrived—a medium-size box with dairy, meat, and snacks—it felt like Christmas and I was hooked. My Monday delivery became my favorite day of the week, and after three consecutive weeks I challenged myself to a new food competition. The only contestant was me, but I vowed to cut out the grocery store altogether and cook all of my meals using just my Imperfect Foods ingredients. The result? Not only was I turning out delicious dishes, but I was actually having fun with my food again.
My order typically includes a few pantry favorites—like Imperfect’s private-label Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, coffee, and brown rice—along with a few seasonal surprises. Getting a mix of reliable staples and new ingredients pushed me to try fresh recipes for breakfast and lunch, but especially dinner, where I felt most in a rut.
What are you cooking this week? Tell us in the comments!
In partnership with Imperfect Foods, we’re shaking up our cooking routines with a little culinary challenge, and want you to join in: Show us all of the delicious dishes you can make with your own Imperfect Foods order—without wasting a single item. Customize it to your tastes (choosing from your favorite snacks, pantry staples, and more), or let Imperfect Foods do the picking for you—either way you’ll be stocked with delicious ingredients that help prevent food waste and contribute to a kinder, less wasteful world. Sign up here to get started with your own personalized weekly grocery order from Imperfect Foods.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).