I like to cook, but cooking for yourself in college has a tendency to create a cycle where you try to be healthy, get too bogged down by work, and end up either ordering out or getting the same bag of spinach and bunch of bananas from Trader Joe's every week. After feeling myself and my roommate falling into this rut for the second year in the row, my roommate proposed we try Misfits Market. 

Misfits Market is (as described on their website) "a subscription box of sometimes funny-looking, always delicious produce, designed to break the cycle of food waste." The produce included in these boxes are high-quality and organic, but have some small imperfections that would otherwise lead them to be tossed by major retailers to uphold the image of "perfect" produce on their shelves.

Food waste is a major issue in our food system, so finding an easy way to combat it seemed almost too good to be true. Speaking as someone who has an interest in sustainable food systems, I was excited to try out Misfits Market, and I was not disappointed.

What's in the box?

The massive spread of produce is always exciting to dig through, and it's always crazy to think that the food that we're getting would've been tossed because of their surface imperfections. Every piece of produce that we've gotten in our order has been delicious and has never been too weird or bad for us to use. 

My favorite part about Misfits Market, however, is the sheer variety within the shipments. 

Typically my roommate and I get our order once every two weeks, with enough produce to last us about a week or so until they lose their freshness. Our most recent box was definitely one of the better boxes we've had so far.

Rachel Novack

Inside were the now typical onions and a citrus along with some exciting new additions like butternut squash, a pomegranate, and an eggplant. 

The best part about this variety is that it kind of forces us to get out of our cooking ruts. Usually our orders have a couple of pieces of produce that my roommate and I would've never bought if we were at the store, so it's always fun to find ways to use them.  

For example, our first box had leeks in it. I had never really cooked with leeks before but so I looked up different recipes that used leeks and found a soup recipe that I now love. 

Although I usually make a soup or a salad for the week with most of the produce in the box (this week I made an amazing vegan curried butternut squash soup with the included butternut), my roommate went a different route with the eggplant. 

Rachel Novack

Going for a healthy Mediterranean preparation, she breaded and baked strips of eggplant, which she then dipped in a sauce. The eggplant fries were really good and the recipe was a cool new way to prepare eggplant that neither of us had tried before this. 

Seeing as usually before we ordered Misfits Markets both my roommate and I would never go out of our way to make things like curried butternut squash soup or eggplant fries, I can definitely say that Misfits Market is worth the investment for breaking our cooking ruts while also being sustainable. 

For college students cooking for yourself can be daunting, but having some fresh variety at your doorsteps can make things a little bit easier.