Hardly any of us get the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables in our daily diet, but I can tell you from experience that making salad is expensive, time-consuming, and more complicated than a typical lunch. It’s not exactly fast food. Yes, you can get a salad at many fast food outlets, but have you seen the prices? A startup founded by Luke Saunders called the Farmer’s Fridge (previously at Neatorama) aims to change all that, by offering salad from vending machines, for as low as a dollar in selected low-income areas.
Most of Saunders’s machines are installed at private office buildings, food courts, and convenience stores, where the salads cost upwards of $7. Eventually, he wants to drive down the price to the point where anyone can afford them.
The Farmer’s Fridge machine at the East Garfield Community Center is his initial attempt to bring healthy food to a low-income area. The buck is a nominal fee—the salads are actually day-old donations that didn’t sell at the corporate locations. (All of the salads are perfectly good for up to three days.)
It sounds like a good idea, although you can see where the economics could be the project’s undoing. I would imagine there would be a great many salads not sold for $7, leading to plenty of $1 salads, but how could you sustain the project with such massive markdowns? The question in the article at The Atlantic is: would people eat healthier food if it were more convenient? There are some who will never eat fresh vegetables no matter how cheap and convenient they are. And although my family will eat salad, it has to be custom made or offered salad bar-style, as everyone hates some ingredient that the others love.
(Image credit: Farmer’s Fridge)
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