Saturday, October 20, 2007

SPUD is Ruining My Life

There was a time when I thought certain fruits and vegetables really should be eaten locally-grown and organic, when possible. Tomatoes, I thought, were a very different animal when vine-ripened, and a very fresh peach had no relationship to one shipped in from across the continent out of season. Other things, in this theory, were not so important to buy organic. Who can tell the difference in a potato or lettuce?

Now I know better. With SPUD, everything is organic, and most things are local. Today, while cooking a soup, I cut up an onion, an eye-watering but sweet, tender onion. Then I added some of the gingeriest ginger: the entire kitchen smelled of ginger. I put in some lime zest and felt my nose fill up with a subtle citrus completely unlike your standard lime. Finally, the roasted acorn squash and garlic. It was hard to put them in the soup instead of my mouth. Good lord, I realized, everything is better organic. I have never in my life liked celery, until I tried the organic, local celery from SPUD. They are ruining me for regular food.

I saw an incredible vegetable in Chinatown. I couldn't tell if it was lettuce or cabbage; and the tiny, feathery fins on the leaves made me think of arranging it on a platter under fish. I didn't buy it. It's not organic.


the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

You've got local limes way up there? wow.

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

Hi, me again,

You know, it's a paradox. You are thinking that when you discover delicious new foods that you are increasing your eating possibilities, but it turns out that you are eliminating vast swaths of previously acceptable provisions.
Do you know the play and movie The Designated Mourner by Mike Nichols? It is sort of about the same thing, except without the food. I mean about how every new level of refinement in taste diminishes one's capacity for pleasure. And there's something about totalitarianism in there too.

FJ said...

I know just what you mean, Chocolate Lady. I feel impossibly effete, but what can I do? The organic potatoes smell and even taste like dirt. (I mean that in a good way). But I like to think that with SPUD, the closing down of the non-organic options on the one hand is increased by what I call The Shlep Factor. I used to limit experimental foodstuffs to a tiny percentage of the total, because if it didn't work out I didn't want to have to make another trip to the store. With the good folks at SPUD doing the shleppage, there is no limit to what I'll buy. (I cooked dandelion greens for the first time this weekend. They are delicious.) Yes, this means I over-buy. So I make a lot of soup and give some to my mum. What's so bad about that?

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

You'll never hear me saying a word against overbuying or provisioning one's parents, neighbors, and friends.

So, what's with the limes?
Global warming? Trade-winds?

FJ said...

The limes probably came from Mexico. Not everything at SPUD is local. We do have a wide variety of climates here in enormous British Columbia and neighbouring Washington State, not to mention Idaho (much of which falls within the 1000-km "local" designation), but even if we could grow citrus in some places, the growing season would be so short it wouldn't be worth it. Or you'd have to have greenhouses, which often use as much if not more energy than importing food.

BC has what's called a "pocket desert." Totally cool. Check it out:

Planeride said...

I entirely support the efforts of slow food and sustainable organics but I am in Seattle and I having used the service for a few weeks, I can vehemently say STAY AWAY FROM SPUD! Every week there was a problem. When I received the last fateful $90 order that was left in the rain to spoil, I immediately contacted them. When spud! refused to even respond to my email or refund anything, I said enough. I am still waiting for my refunds from previous deliveries!

I was referred to spud! from another client who had used Pioneer Organics (of which spud! had taken over) who also noticed the recent an increase in bad produce, outrageous prices and rotten customer service. Great concept, bad implementation...too bad considering that spud! has also bought up Organic Express because now there are less competitors. Rather sad to see the negative elements of blatant capitalism take over the organic market especially when spud! promotes themselves as having "a for-profit business with the heart of a nonprofit".

Danni said...

Being ruined on poor food isn't the worst thing that can happen to you!

Hi all, this is Danielle, the marketing maven over at spud! I just want to respond to Planeride's comments. Whoever they are, I get that they are upset, because they have posted this identical upset review on at least 10 other blogs and rating websites. I haven't been able to get in touch with them to resolve everything they are upset about, but I do want anyone who comes after to know that at spud! we are committed to 100% customer satisfaction and leaving customers as thrilled with their food as the author of this blog. And we want to do everything we can to resolve times when we don't do this.

And please always be sure to let us know if we haven't met that! If you would like to experience the service for yourself, please give me a shout at to try it out!